MINNEAPOLIS, May 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- While ACA International continues to study the finer points of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed debt collection rules released Monday, May 7, the industry applauds the bureau for seeking to incorporate commonly used modern technology and clearer guidelines for its use. ACA International, the leading voice for the accounts receivable management industry, advocates on behalf of fair and objective CFPB rules that clarify legal obligations for debt collectors and solve problems for consumers and regulated entities.
"We appreciate that the proposed rules acknowledge and seek to address modern communication methods such as email and text messaging, and provide important safe harbors to actually allow for the use of these mediums in a more meaningful way," ACA International CEO Mark Neeb said. "We think it will be critical for the bureau to receive feedback about the workability of some of the electronic disclosure options for email communications."
ACA has concerns about the quality of the data used to set a proposed seven-call-per-week cap, noting that the limit could be harmful if it unnecessarily impedes communications between consumers and the industry.
"One-size does not fit all in the debt collection industry, and the number of times needed to connect with a consumer may vary depending on the type of debt being collected," Neeb said. "We cannot overstate the importance and value of open lines of communications between the industry and consumers."
The rule acknowledges that "the Bureau's data do not permit it to reliably quantify either the reduction in call frequency or how much borrowers would value this reduction in dollar." Thus, on behalf of its membership, ACA International plans to provide the bureau with more evidence of harm that results when communications are unnecessarily limited. The association is hopeful regulators consider this before finalizing this cap.
ACA also appreciates that the rule provides a safe harbor for a "limited content voicemail message," which would help provide clarity for the industry. "In addition to addressing a statutory catch-22 for leaving voicemail messages that clearly warranted regulatory clarity, the proposed safe harbor will likely lead to fewer calls and more control for consumers to listen to messages at their own convenience," Neeb said.
Neeb discussed these issues and others during the CFPB Town Hall meeting in Philadelphia Wednesday, May 8 hosted by CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger. To read more on this topic, visit ACA International's website and www.acainternational.org or click here.
Once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, the public has 90 days to submit comments to the CFPB. It will be in effect one year from the date it is finalized.
ACA International (ACA), the association of credit and collection professionals, is the largest membership organization in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset buying companies, creditors and vendor affiliates, representing tens of thousands of industry professionals. ACA produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, including educational and compliance-related information; and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers. www.acainternational.org.
Contact: Kim Coghill
SOURCE ACA International