Collector – June 2019 - 44

GOVERNMENTAFFAIRS

CFPB Releases Proposed Debt Collection Rule
The proposed rule addresses call frequency, emails, text messages and more.
By Leah Dempsey and Andrew Pavlik

I

n May, the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau issued its longawaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,
providing the first regulatory clarity more
than 40 years after the law's enactment.
"[This is] a historic time for our
industry," said ACA International President
Jack Brown III, president of Gulf Coast
Collection Bureau Inc. "As with any change,
there are challenges and opportunities
presented to our members; the rules provide
opportunities to deploy modern technology
in communicating with consumers while
also presenting challenges of fertile ground
for consumer attorneys to plow. ACA
International continues to vigorously
represent our members' interests in
advocating for clear rules of the road for our
industry and members."
It should be stressed that this is only
a proposed rule and does not currently have
the force of law. Once it is published in the
Federal Register, which hadn't yet happened
as this magazine went to print, the rule will
be out for public comment for 90 days.

TOP-LEVEL TAKEAWAYS
Here are a few high-level takeaways from
the proposed rule:
* The rule provides a safe harbor for a
"limited content voicemail message,"
which would help provide clarity for
the industry. The proposal would
provide example language that a
debt collector could send, such as by
voicemail or text. The content of a
limited-content message would not be
considered a "communication" and,
if heard or observed by a third party,
it would not constitute a prohibited
third-party disclosure.
* The model validation notice will also
help provide clarity and safe harbors. It
includes: certain disclosures, including
an itemization of the debt and plainlanguage information about how a
consumer may respond to a collection
attempt, including by disputing
the debt. ACA will have comments
and suggestions surrounding
improvements to the model validation
notice, including requirements for

*

*

*

*

itemization and other aspects of it that
don't account for different types of debt.
The proposal seeks to provide clarity on
using modern communication methods
such as email and text messaging. It also
provides methods by which collectors
may provide required disclosures
electronically. It identifies safe harbor
procedures for debt collectors who
unintentionally communicate with
an unauthorized third party about
a consumer's debt when trying to
communicate by email or text message.
It would require a debt collector to
include in emails, text messages and
other electronic communications
an option for the consumer
to unsubscribe from future
communications.
The proposed rule would also clarify
that calls to mobile telephones and
electronic communications, such
as texts and emails, are subject
to the FDCPA's prohibition on
communicating at unusual and
inconvenient times and places.
The bureau proposes a cap of seven
phone calls per week. The proposal
would prohibit a debt collector from
engaging in more than one telephone
conversation with a consumer about
a particular debt within a seven-day
period. ACA is reviewing this and
the research the bureau is basing the
cap on.

ACA'S EDUCATION EFFORTS
ACA has been actively engaged in
discussions about the rule since the
bureau's inception. The association was
notably active in the Small Business
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
(SBREFA) process and provided extensive
feedback to the bureau throughout the

44

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector – June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – June 2019

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Adapting to a New Environment
“Today agencies realize this is an opportunity to help the consumer.”
ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Close the Revolving Door
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Ask the Experts: Small Talk
Growing into the Industry
Exploring STIR/SHAKEN
CFPB Releases Proposed Debt Collection Rule
Industry Advancement Program Helps Member Defeat FDCPA Claim in Ninth Circuit
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – June 2019 - Cover1
Collector – June 2019 - Cover2
Collector – June 2019 - 1
Collector – June 2019 - 2
Collector – June 2019 - 3
Collector – June 2019 - Industry News
Collector – June 2019 - President’s Page
Collector – June 2019 - 6
Collector – June 2019 - 7
Collector – June 2019 - 8
Collector – June 2019 - 9
Collector – June 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – June 2019 - 11
Collector – June 2019 - FYI
Collector – June 2019 - 13
Collector – June 2019 - 14
Collector – June 2019 - 15
Collector – June 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – June 2019 - 17
Collector – June 2019 - Adapting to a New Environment
Collector – June 2019 - 19
Collector – June 2019 - 20
Collector – June 2019 - 21
Collector – June 2019 - Close the Revolving Door
Collector – June 2019 - “Today agencies realize this is an opportunity to help the consumer.”
Collector – June 2019 - ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Collector – June 2019 - 25
Collector – June 2019 - 26
Collector – June 2019 - 27
Collector – June 2019 - 28
Collector – June 2019 - 29
Collector – June 2019 - 30
Collector – June 2019 - 31
Collector – June 2019 - 32
Collector – June 2019 - 33
Collector – June 2019 - Calendar
Collector – June 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – June 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – June 2019 - 37
Collector – June 2019 - Ask the Experts: Small Talk
Collector – June 2019 - 39
Collector – June 2019 - Growing into the Industry
Collector – June 2019 - 41
Collector – June 2019 - Exploring STIR/SHAKEN
Collector – June 2019 - 43
Collector – June 2019 - CFPB Releases Proposed Debt Collection Rule
Collector – June 2019 - 45
Collector – June 2019 - Industry Advancement Program Helps Member Defeat FDCPA Claim in Ninth Circuit
Collector – June 2019 - 47
Collector – June 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – June 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – June 2019 - Membership
Collector – June 2019 - 51
Collector – June 2019 - Last Word
Collector – June 2019 - Cover3
Collector – June 2019 - Cover4
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