If there is one certainty about what is going to happen once Regulation F goes into effect on November 30, it’s that individuals who receive notices from debt collectors are going to dispute more debts. By providing the option for consumers to dispute the validity of a debt on the tear-off portion of the Model Validation Notice, the expectation is that more disputes are going to be submitted, whether they are legitimate or not. How collectors need to handle those disputes is tackled by John Bedard of Bedard Law Group in the latest episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule.”
One of the new definitions in Regulation F is “duplicative dispute.” Bedard notes in this episode how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is defining the term, even though there is some room for interpretation — likely to be made by a judge. A duplicative dispute is “a dispute that is submitted by the consumer in writing within the validation period that is substantially the same as a dispute previously submitted by the consumer in writing within the validation period for which the debt collector has already satisfied its requirements to stop collecting until it sends verification to the consumer,” Bedard says.
This particular section of Regulation F — Section 1006.38 — is where debt collectors will receive their safe harbor from overshadowing claims when they use the Model Validation Notice, Bedard notes.
This section also details what happens when a consumer requests information about the original creditor, what happens when a consumer asks for communication to cease, and how to respond to disputes.
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!