You Wanted a Rule; You Got a Rule

Episode 1: How We Got Here

In the first episode of this new video series, John Bedard of the Bedard Law Group walks us through the process that has led us to the precipice of a new debt collection rule being released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Episode 2: How to Properly Digest the 653 Pages of the Rule

While a definite page-turner, the CFPB’s debt collection rule should not be read like a traditional book. In this episode, John Bedard breaks down how to properly digest the rule and in what order the rule should be read to ensure maximum comprehension.

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Episode 3: Section 1006.1 and (most of) 1006.2

In this episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John Bedard of the Bedard Law Group starts to break down the specific sections of the CFPB’s debt collection rule. Up first — Section 1006.1, Authority, purpose, and coverage, and most of Section 1006.2, definitions.

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Episode 4: Section 1006.2, Part II — The Limited Content Message

On its face, the limited content message can be seen as a godsend for the collection industry. The chance to leave a voicemail for a consumer and not have it count as a communication under the FDCPA. But, as John Bedard points out in this episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” the conditions under which a limited content message may be left for a consumer may be such that it does not make business sense to use it. Collection agencies are going to have to test the effectiveness of the limited content message in order to determine if it is worth using it.

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Episode 5: Section 1006.6, Part I

When is it inconvenient for a collector to try and communicate with an individual? In this episode of You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule, John Bedard of The Bedard Law Group starts breaking down Section 1006.6 — communications in connection with debt collection — by discussing the importance of understanding when it is convenient and inconvenient to speak with a consumer.

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Episode 6: Section 1006.6, Part II

Collectors are prohibited from directly contacting individuals who are represented by attorneys. But, there is an exception if the attorney does not respond to a communication from a debt collector in a reasonable amount of time. What is reasonable? In this episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” which is sponsored by The Bedard Law Group, John Bedard talks about how the CFPB’s debt collection rule addresses this situation.

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Episode 7: Section 1006.6, Part III

When engaged with an individual on the phone as part of a location information conversation, do your collectors know all the requirements that need to be met? In this episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John Bedard of the Bedard Law Group breaks down how the CFPB’s debt collection rule addresses these requirements and the language that he sees often left out of those conversations.

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Episode 8: Section 1006.6, Part IV (Using the Bona Fide Error Defense When Sending Emails)

When it released its debt collection rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau included a safe harbor protecting collectors from third-party disclosure violations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when sending emails. In this episode, John Bedard of the Bedard Law Group breaks down the steps that collectors need to take in order to be able to invoke the Bona Fide Error defense. 

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Episode 9 – Section 1006.6, Part V (Using the BFE Defense For Emails, Part II and For Text Messages)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau instituted a number of safeguard to protect debt collectors when communicating with individuals via text messaging and email. But in order to receive the protections of those safeguards, collectors have a lot of steps that need to be followed. In this episode of You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule, sponsored by Bedard Law Group, John Bedard walks through the steps that need to be followed in order for a collector to be able to invoke the Bona Fide Error defense when communicating via email and text messaging. For any collector that is planning on using these communication channels because the CFPB is now allowing it, understanding these conditions under which the Bona Fide Error defense can be used will be of critical importance.

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Episode 10 – Section 1006.6, Part VI (Opt-Out Requirements for Electronic Communications)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calls for opt-out messages for electronic communications, including email and text messaging, to be “clear and conspicuous” and that opting out of receiving such messages needs to be “reasonable and simple.” In this episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John Bedard of Bedard Law Group walks through what those terms mean and how collectors need to approach this important provision of the debt collection rule. 

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Episode 11 – Section 1006.10 (Acquisition of location information)

While largely unchanged from what is included in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, how collectors can use location information calls to try and locate individuals with unpaid debts as detailed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in its debt collection rule does have some subtle changes from the statute, and collectors would do well to note those changes while also using the opportunity to refresh their knowledge of what is required during these conversations.

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Episode 12 – Section 1006.14, Part I (Harassing, Oppressive, or Abusive Conduct)

In this episode, John talks about what a legal presumption is and why that is important in the context of complying with the debt collection rule, and breaks down the call frequency caps limiting the number of communication attempts and communications that collectors can have with consumers.

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Episode 13 – Section 1006.14, Part II (Harassing, Oppressive, or Abusive Conduct)

When it released its debt collection rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not make a lot of changes to how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act restricts the use of harassing, oppressive, and abusive behavior, but it did make some subtle changes, and they are changes that collectors need to be aware of. In the latest episode of, “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John Bedard of Bedard Law Group finishes off Section 1006.14 of the debt collection rule, walking through some of the new wrinkles that are different from what was originally included in the FDCPA.

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Episode 14 – Section 1006.18 (False, deceptive, or misleading representations or means)

When it was written, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act laid out a number of things that collectors are not allowed to do. In order to maintain consistency, and because there are still collectors today doing those things they are not allowed to do, the CFPB kept many of the original provisions from the FDCPA in its debt collection rule. That includes ensuring that collectors do not use false, deceptive, or misleading representations when attempting to collect on debts. In this episode, John Bedard walks through all of the things that collectors need to learn to make sure they do not run afoul of the law in this important area.

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