Industry ‘Well-Prepared’ to Comply with Reg F, Encore States in Comment to CFPB, As Advocacy Groups Urge Rule’s Overhaul

A number of industry participants, as well as a group of consumer advocacy organizations have filed their comments on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal to delay the effective date of Regulation F by 60 days, pushing it out to January 29, 2022. And while the advocacy groups used their comments as an opportunity to further express their displeasure at the contents of the rule and asked the CFPB to use the extra two months to make changes to the rule’s provisions, those from within the accounts receivable management industry said they are ready to comply with the rule, but would prefer a delay in enforcing the rule.

Comments were filed recently by the National Creditors Bar Association, Encore Capital Group, Credit Union National Association, Heartland Credit Union Association, Consumer Reports, Better Markets, and Human Rights Watch.

Encore said in its comment that it does not support delaying the rule’s effective date and that it and other “responsible actors in the industry at large are well-prepared to comply with the long-awaited rules” when they are scheduled to go into effect on November 30. There are plenty of resources available and plenty of law firms ready to help companies comply with the new rules. “Our industry is well-prepared to adopt the new rules, and additional time beyond the November 30, 2021 effective date is not needed,” it wrote. At the very least, Encore suggested, the CFPB should keep the November 30 date in effect for the rule’s safe harbors provisions, to protect companies and consumers. “Prolonging the effective date of such safe harbor protections contained in the final rules does not nothing to help the industry in light of the pandemic, but rather delays a significant benefit contained in the final rules that our industry has been anticipating to benefit from effective November 30, 2021.”

As for the advocacy groups, they remain committed to getting the CFPB to change the rules to undo what they claim to be provisions that do not protect consumers enough.

Consumer Reports, for example, reiterated its position that time-barred debts should be uncollectible and that the caps on communication attempts should be lowered from what the CFPB proposed. Comments that were echoed by Better Markets and Human Rights Watch in their comments.

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