CFPB Proposes Delay in Enactment of Debt Collection Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today announced it is issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aimed at delaying the effective date of Regulation F, its debt collection rule, until January 29, 2022.

The rule was scheduled to go into effect on November 30, 2021. The rule was issued in two parts, back in October and December 2021.

The CFPB said it is seeking to delay the effective date of the rule in order to give companies more time to comply because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The proposed delay would allow stakeholders affected by the pandemic additional time to review and implement the rules,” the CFPB stated in a release announcing the NPRM.

Comments on the NPRM are being accepted for 30 days once it is published in the Federal Register.

“Since the Debt Collection Final Rules were published, the global COVID-19 pandemic has continued to cause widespread societal disruption, with effects extending into 2021,” the CFPB said in the NPRM. “In light of that disruption, the Bureau believes that providing additional time for stakeholders to review and, if applicable, to implement the final rules may be warranted. The Bureau believes that extending the rules’ effective date by 60 days, to January 29, 2022, may provide stakeholders with sufficient time for review and implementation.”

The debt collection rule will overhaul how collectors communicate with consumers regarding unpaid debts. Along with explicitly allowing collections to communicate with consumers using text messaging and email, it offers collectors a model validation notice that can be used to communicate required disclosures with consumers.

Many in the industry have begun making changes necessary to comply with the rule, and it seems as though the CFPB is not seeking to make any changes to the provisions of the rule, but merely to delay when the rule goes into effect.

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