DBA Announces New Version of Certification Program
Certification Standards Referenced in CFPB Outline of Proposals for Debt Collection Rule Making
DBA International created its certification program to promote transparent, consumer-oriented, best practice standards for the receivables management industry — exceeding many of the consumer protection requirements in state and federal law. It was evident that DBA International’s Receivables Management Certification Program was used by the CFPB in the development of the proposals and alternatives provided in its Outline for Debt Collection Rulemaking put out on July 28, 2016.
Highly regarded within the industry and regulatory community, DBA International’s Receivables Management Certification Program includes a mandatory annual review of the program requirements to ensure that they evolve with industry best practices and incorporate any new statutory, regulatory and judicial developments. Some enhancements contained in Version 4.0 include:
- Data Security Policy (Standard 7) defines the six components of a reasonable data security policy. Built on DBA International’s work with the Federal Trade Commission, the policy includes, amongst other things, that consumer data is transferred securely through the use of encryption or other secure transmission sources and that the secure and timely disposal of consumer data complies with all applicable laws and contractual requirements.
- Statute of Limitations (Standard 12) does not allow the retolling of the statute even if state law revives the limitations period when a payment is received after the expiration of the statute. Companies may continue their collection efforts beyond the expiration of the statute provided there are no laws and regulations to the contrary.
- Commissions (Standard 17) introduces a new standard that companies that provide commissions or bonuses based on collection activity include compliance-related criteria.
- Purchase and Sale Documentation Requirements (Standard 18) requires clearly defined policies and procedures for the purchase or sale of receivables to ensure accuracy and completeness of information. The buyer must receive a copy of the signed contract of other account level documentation that provides evidence of the relevant consumer’s liability for the debt in question. A complete chain of title is required detailing the initial sale by the charge-off creditor to each successive owner with the name, address and dates of ownership for each.
- Representations and Warranties (Standard 19) includes a requirement that the seller identify any account that was the subject of a consumer dispute while owned by the seller acknowledging whether it was responded to or validated.
- Sale Restrictions (Standard 20) requires the seller of consumer accounts to have access to Original Account Level Documentation. Sellers must also perform due diligence on the purchaser validating their financial strength, data security measure to preserve the integrity of consumer data, any adverse information on the company or principals and the volume and nature of consumer complaints filed with the CFPB.
Version 4.0 of DBA’s Receivables Management Certification Program becomes effective August 1, 2016.
To ensure that DBA member companies fulfill Certification Program standards, companies are monitored through limited and full compliance audits performed by independent third party auditors, as well as through a structured self-compliance audit process. Currently certified companies are encouraged to adopt these standards immediately.
The program summary indicates where the standards meet or exceed federal and state requirements.