CFPB Publishes Guide to Help Consumers Understand Reg F

Given all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into bringing Regulation F into this world, I would have expected the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to do something to commemorate the enactment of the debt collection rule yesterday, but it instead chose a more understated approach, opting to take the opportunity to educate consumers about the “five key things” they need to know about the new rule.

The five things listed by the CFPB are:

  • What is a debt collection validation notice?
  • How often can a debt collector call me?
  • When can a debt collector report my debt to a credit reporting company?
  • Can a debt collector contact me on social media about a debt?
  • What is a “limited-content message?”

For each category, the CFPB explains in straightforward language the provisions that collectors are going to have to follow, such as laying out the information that will have to be included in a validation notice, detailing how many times collectors can try to call a consumer about a debt, the circumstances under which communications can occur on social media platforms, and what should be included in a Limited-Content Message.

It’s through reports like the one published by the CFPB and this one, which was published in The Washington Post that consumers will see and how they will learn about the changes being brought on by Regulation F. Knowing how consumers are learning about these changes can help collectors build scripts and responses to the types of questions that they may be asked by consumers, and make them aware of potential red flags that may pop up during a conversation that could lead to legal trouble down the line.

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