RMAI Opposes Delay of Regulation F

RMA International sees no reason the effective date of Regulation F — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s debt collection rule — needs to be delayed for 60 days as proposed by the regulatory, because its members will be ready to comply with the rule on November 30, as originally proposed. If a delay is needed, RMAI suggested postponing any enforcement actions for 60 days, but to let the rule go into effect as originally scheduled.

RMAI stated its position in a comment letter it filed in response to a proposal that the CFPB announced last month to delay the effective date of Regulation F for 60 days — to Jan. 29, 2022 from November 30 of this year. The CFPB said it was considering the delay to allow companies more time to get ready because of potential delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The comment letter from RMAI is one of just four that have been submitted in response to the proposal to delay the rule’s effective date. ACA International filed its comment earlier this month, making many of the same suggestions as RMAI.

If the CFPB decides to delay the rule’s effective date until January, RMAI suggested that the safe harbor provisions included in Regulation F go into effect on November 30, because the entities that have “already expended considerable resources to comply … should not be deprived of the protections afforded by compliance.” Companies that have had issues with COVID-19 can also work on implementing the necessary policies and procedures to become compliant while still being protected by the rule’s safe harbors, RMAI said.

Both members of RMAI and consumers would be harmed by a delay in the rule’s effective date, the association said in its comment letter, with RMAI noting that the delay may allow the CFPB to change or modify the rule’s provisions. RMAI members have spent a lot of time and money to comply with the rule’s provisions and if they are changed or modified, “the costs to RMAI members would be even more substantial, and the harm far greater.”

“Introducing uncertainty after the effort and expense spent over seven years would be counterproductive,” RMAI said in its comment.

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