One of the most common questions that has been asked about collectors using the Model Validation Notice put forth by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Regulation F is, “Can we make any changes to it?” Collectors have asked about adding additional pieces of information, disclosures, or making other changes to the notice, but still being able to enjoy the safe harbors that Regulation F provides to collectors who choose to use the Model Notice. The CFPB lays out its requirements in Section 1006.34 of Regulation F, and that is where we still find ourselves as John Bedard from Bedard Law Group breaks down the form in which the validation information must be provided by collectors when communicating with consumers in the latest episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule.”
For example, Regulation F requires that collectors deliver the required validation information in a way that is “clear and conspicuous.” Bedard has previously addressed the definition of “clear and conspicuous” in an earlier episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” to help build guardrails for collectors so they know what is allowed and not allowed should they deviate from the CFPB’s Model Validation Notice.
Bedard also discussed the limits of the safe harbor that collectors are offered if they choose to use the Model Validation Notice. “If a collector takes their validation notice and sticks it in the windshield wiper of every car in a big box department store parking lot, you’re not going to get safe harbor for that even though you used the model form,” Bedard notes in the episode.
Many collectors have asked if they can use a second page when sending their validation notice, and Bedard reiterates what the CFPB says in Regulation F about the use of additional pages.
“If a collector uses a second page to provide any portion of the validation notice, the Bureau makes clear that the collector does not receive safe harbor protection for that second page of information,” Bedard said. “Safe harbor applies only to the first page of the model notice.”
Check out all the episodes in the series here: You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule. You will also find links on that page to subscribe to the audio version of the series through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Like what you see? Be sure to reach out to John and let him know!