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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Episode 15: Section 1006.22 (Unfair or unconscionable means)

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Episode 16: Section 1006.26 (Collection of time-barred debts)

For the first time, “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule” looks at Part II of Regulation F, which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released last December. This particular section of the debt collection rule may be somewhat straightforward — debt collectors may not bring or threaten to bring legal actions against a consumer to collect a time-barred debt. But determining whether a debt is time-barred or not is far less straightforward. In this episode, John Bedard walks through the section on collecting time-barred debts while offering his insights into the nuances of determining which statutes of limitations apply and a key change the CFPB made from the proposed rule to the final rule which makes the stakes even higher for collectors when they make a mistake.

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Episode 17: Section 1006.30, Part I — Other prohibited practices

So far, John Bedard has covered the harassing, oppressive, abuse abusive, false, deceptive, misleading, unfair, and unconscionable conduct that is prohibited under Regulation F, the CFPB’s Debt Collection Rule. In this episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John turns his attention to Section 1006.30, which details the other prohibited practices that collectors are barred from doing. The CFPB lists five practices that are prohibited in this section, and the first one deals with something known as debt parking, which occurs when a furnisher of information to credit reporting agencies reports an unpaid debt to a credit bureau without notifying the consumer first. Listen to John detail the steps that furnishers must follow if they are to comply with the credit reporting provisions of Regulation F.

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Episode 18: Section 1006.30, Part II — Other prohibited practices

In this episode, John Bedard of Bedard Law Group finishes off the other prohibited practices detailed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Regulation F, more commonly known as the debt collection rule. This includes what to do when someone makes a payment but has multiple debts placed with a collector, how to handle accounts that have been discharged in bankruptcy, and where collection lawsuits must be filed.

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Episode 19: Section 1006.34, Part I — Notice for validation of debts

In this episode, John Bedard of Bedard Law Group kicks off a discussion about Section 1006.34, which covers the CFPB’s model validation notice, starting with a new term coined for Regulation F — Validation Information — and moving on to how this information is required to be communicated to consumers.

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Episode 20: Section 1006.34, Part II — Notice for validation of debts

In this episode, John Bedard of Bedard Law Group tackles the definitions that collectors will need to understand in order to communicate validation information to consumers, including what “clear and conspicuous” means as well as the five different options that collectors have to choose from to communicate the itemization date to consumers.

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Episode 21: Section 1006.34, Part III — Notice for validation of debts

In the latest episode of “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John Bedard of Bedard Law Group breaks down the four categories of validation information that will be required to be included in validation notices so collectors can understand what changes are going to have to be made to their letters.

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Episode 22: Section 1006.34, Part IV — Notice for validation of debts

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Episode 23: Section 1006.34, Part V — Notice for validation of debts

In this episode, John Bedard breaks down Section 1006.34(c)(2) of Regulation F, which addresses the nine pieces of information about the debt that will be required to be included in validation notices.

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Episode 24: Section 1006.34, Part VI — Notice for validation of debts

In this episode, John Bedard breaks down Section 1006.34c(3) of Regulation F, which covers “information about consumer protections” that must be included in the validation notice. This includes new specific details about when the validation period ends and how debts are to be disputed.

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Episode 25: Section 1006.34, Part VII — Notice for validation of debts

In this episode, John Bedard breaks down Section 1006.34c(4) of Regulation F, which details the consumer response information that collectors will have to provide if they use the Model Validation Notice. Referred to as the “tear-off” portion of the notice, this gives consumers options about how to respond to the notice sent to them by collectors.

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Episode 26: Section 1006.34, Part VIII — Notice for validation of debts

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Episode 27: Section 1006.34, Part IX — Notice for validation of debts

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Episode 28: Section 1006.34, Part X — Notice for validation of debts

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Episode 29: Section 1006.34, Part XI — Notice for validation of debts

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