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CFPB must address communication issues

Oct 09, 2011 Mike Garretson

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - the new federal regulator for the debt collection and accounts receivable management industry - must determine which rules it will absorb from its predecessor, the Federal Trade Commission, insideARM reports. According to the news source, the CFPB will have greater powers than the FTC, and will be able to write binding rules instead of just making recommendations to Congress. Still, it will likely rely heavily on the FTC's previous rules, most of which focused on improving the debt collection litigation process and making accommodations for new communication technology. Membership organization for credit and collections professionals, ACA International, recently issued its own guidelines for reform. These included allowing collectors to communicate with consumers via any method and specifying the language a collector can legally use when leaving a voicemail. It remains to be seen if the CFPB will accept the suggestions. However, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the communication issue has caused banks to push for limited information-sharing with states, as they're concerned attorney generals could file lawsuits based on private data that's been collected.