Collector - February 2018 - 5
VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS
Anne Rosso May
What a Difference a Year Makes
The YGS Group
How seeds planted by ACA and its members have helped change the
collection industry landscape.
By Rick Perr, Esq.
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y the time you read this column, it will have been a little over one year since the Trump
administration took office. I think it is fair to say that the future of the ARM industry
looks radically different from what was commonly perceived just 18 months ago.
One year ago, we believed that the release of proposed debt collection rules by the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau was imminent. Earlier in 2016, the CFPB had released its thoughts
on the framework of those rules (debt substantiation, contact restrictions and an established
format for initial validation letters), implemented a SBREFA panel as a precursor to the release
of such rules and adjusted its timeline to reflect release in 2017.
One year ago, despite denials from government officials, Operation Choke Point was in full
effect throughout the country as many ACA International members continued to experience
its impact in their banking relationships. While members of Congress rallied in support of the
elimination of the practice, it was clear the policy continued behind the scenes.
One year ago, CFPB Director Richard Cordray had fortified himself in his position.
The CFPB was issuing new rules on many fronts and appeared poised to oppose the
administration's plan to rein in abusive regulatory excesses. The CFPB issued rules for payday
lenders, eliminated arbitration and class-action waiver provisions in consumer financial credit
agreements and increased its enforcement activity.
Today the landscape has changed, and because of efforts many years in the making, the
seeds sown by ACA and its members are growing fruit. Our relationships in Congress helped
to invoke the Congressional Review Act and repeal the CFPB arbitration rules. Our lobbying
efforts bolstered legislation prohibiting Operation Choke Point. (Check out the article on page
28 of this issue to learn more about how your fellow members are connecting with legislators to
support our industry.)
Today, Cordray has resigned from the CFPB, and Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has many
relationships with ACA members. He halted the release of any new rules, engaged in a thorough
review of all enforcement actions in order to see where the CFPB has overreached beyond its
intended mission and promised that the CFPB will no longer be a barrier to small business.
One year is a long time in politics. We must remain ever vigilant to ensure that the progress
from one year ago does not evaporate in the coming year or years. While it is difficult to
predict the future with any certainty, I am looking forward to reading ACA President-Elect
Jack Brown's column in the February 2019 issue of Collector magazine to see how much further
ACA has come. If the past year is any indicator, hold on to your seats and make sure you are
prepared to take advantage of the new landscape ACA helped create.
Rick Perr, Esq.
is a partner at the firm Fineman,
Krekstein and Harris, P.C., in
Philadelphia. He can be reached
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