Industry Very Optimistic About 2019 Prospects; Most Also Expect Debt Collection Rule From CFPB

Members of the credit and collection industry are overwhelmingly optimistic about their prospects for 2019, even in spite of the fact that most in the industry expect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue a long-awaited proposed debt collection rule at some point this year, according to a survey conducted by

More than 80% of the respondents to the survey said they were more hopeful about the industry’s prospects for 2019. Just under 15% said they were more fearful and 5% were not sure what to think about what this year will hold in store for the ARM industry.

More than 70% of the survey’s respondents expect the CFPB to issue a debt collection rule in 2019. The agency has said on a number of occasions that it is planning to issue the proposed rule by March. The bureau has been working on a proposed debt collection rule for several years, having issued a framework for a rule more than two years ago. Following that, the Bureau changed strategy and decided to narrow the focus of a proposed rule related to third-party collection, with the plan of addressing first-party collections separately.

Nearly 75% of respondents said that they expect the CFPB to issue fewer enforcement actions in 2019 than it did in 2018, which was already a down year, when compared to the number issued under former director Richard Cordray before he resigned in November 2017.

When asked about what they were most hopeful about in 2019, here is a sampling of responses from respondents:

  • More clarity in the laws and regulations
  • Getting a more standardized rule set landscape
  • Less bad actors in the industry. I feel that they’ve been getting flushed out more in recent years which is helping to restore integrity to the industry.
  • Better collection rates as employment is up.
  • Finalization of rules, especially TCPA
  • Reduction in frivolous lawsuits

When asked about what they were most fearful of, here is a sampling of responses:

  • More enforcement actions from the states
  • No TCPA guidance
  • Prolonged shutdown of government agencies stagnating any progress
  • Losing clients due to unhealthy competition. Our industry is shooting itself in the foot with the low rates that are bid.
  • Increase in the number of unanswered outbound calls
  • I am fearful clarification will not come

For those who want in, there is still time to enter the proposed debt collection rulemaking pool. Click here to select the date you think the CFPB will issue its proposed rule. Enter as many times as you want.

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