The majority of the seven individuals chosen to serve as the debt collection advisory committee for the California Department of Financial Innovation are from the accounts receivable management industry, which is a good thing because one of their first jobs will be to help build the state’s new debt collection licensing program.
The members of the committee are:
- Elizabeth Gonzalez, Public Law Center
- Scott Hyman, Severson & Werson
- Mark Naiman, Absolute Resolutions Corporation
- Cindy Yaklin, States Recovery Systems Inc.
- Tamar Yudenfreund, Midland Credit Management
- Ohad Samet, TrueAccord Corporation
- Prasad Krishnamurthy, UC Berkeley School of Law
Some of the names will be very familiar to members of the ARM industry. Naiman has been involved with the leadership of RMA International for a number of years and Samet was briefly a member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board before former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney fired all the members of the CAB after he was criticized for canceling meetings.
Each of the seven members will serve a two-year term on the DFPI’s debt collection advisory committee. It is scheduled to hold its first meeting in late July.
“I look forward to working with this group representing diverse stakeholders in the debt collection industry,” said DFPI Commissioner Manuel P. Alvarez, in a statement. “The committee’s perspectives and advice will be critical in helping the Department effectively oversee debt collectors and protect consumers.”
The committee is expected to help the DFPI build out its debt collection licensing program, which is scheduled to go live in January 2022. The DFPI issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking this week with details of the licensing application it is looking to put into place.
The DFPI itself is a new agency, created from the former Department of Business Oversight. Among the investigatory powers that have been bestowed upon the department are those to look into the use of engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices with respect to consumer financial products and services, which could include debt collection activities.