In a lot of what’s included in Regulation F, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gave debt collectors options, such as what to say in the Limited-Content Message or what to include in the Model Validation Notice. While there are components of each that are required, collectors are given the opportunity to include other information, should they so choose. Not so with the latest section broken down by John Bedard of Bedard Law Group in “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule.” In this section, the Bureau is very specific about how disclosures must be sent to consumers, and you know it’s important because Bedard uses the exact same language in his breakdown. The most important thing for collectors to remember is that when sending disclosures that are required by Regulation F or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, whether they be in writing or electronically, those disclosures must be sent in a “manner that is reasonably expected to provide actual notice and in a form that the consumer may keep and access later.” That means any collector looking to use disappearing ink is out of luck.
Bedard notes that there are two exceptions to this requirement — disclosures related to opt-out messages included in electronic communications and the mini-Miranda are not required to be provided in a manner which is reasonably expected to provide actual notice and for which the consumer may keep an access later. But there are exceptions to this exception. In situations where a collector is sending the consumer a validation notice, or responding to a dispute or a request for original creditor information, then the collector must follow the disclosure requirements.
This particular section is also the section that connects Regulation F with the E-SIGN Act, especially when collectors are planning to communicate with consumers via email. Watch the episode to hear Bedard’s explanation of that connection.
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!