March 20, 2014

Auriemma Responds to CFPB’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Debt Collection

(New York, NY):  Auriemma submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last month in response to that agency’s proposed rules for debt collection. The response is intended to influence regulatory decisions as the CFPB prepares to move Regulation F into the rule writing stage.

In November, the Bureau released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) introducing the regulations under development and seeking public comment. Auriemma’s response, incorporating feedback from its clients in the credit card and auto finance industries, will inform the Bureau’s rulemaking agenda in two key areas:  debt collection communications and unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP). Auriemma’s proximity to the debt collection industry uniquely positions it to contribute remarks in these areas. In its response, Auriemma offers key recommendations as to how the CFPB can update and clarify the applicability of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

In the realm of debt collection communications, Auriemma emphasized that modernization of the law is necessary to advance the industry beyond voice and paper contact and alleviate significant risk of non-compliance with key provisions of the FDCPA, including:

  • Prohibitions on communicating with a debtor at an inconvenient time or place
  • Communications with third parties
  • Harassment or abuse in connection with the collection of a debt.

Existing legislation governing the industry does not account for modern technologies and has become outmoded as emerging forms of contact, such as email and text messages, have superseded traditional channels.

In the context of UDAAP, Auriemma highlighted the need for greater definition and clearer standards to facilitate compliance with the law. Auriemma’s response covers questions on sections 806, 807, and 808 of the FDCPA, including proposed bright-line prohibitions on repeated communications, the use of predictive dialers, and mobile phone consent requirements.

Auriemma’s submission marks its latest action to participate in the formulation of regulatory policy, impact regulatory decisions, and engage in industry advocacy.


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