New CFPB Debt Collection Rule Falls Short

Oct 23, 2012, 20:32 ET from ACA International

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ACA International, representing consumer debt collection, believes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) final rule for supervising "larger market participants" in the consumer debt collection market does not address key industry concerns provided in ACA's formal  comments submitted in response to the proposed rule last February.  The CFPB plans to announce the final rule on Oct. 24.


"While we anticipated a final rule, it was our hope that the CFPB would provide greater consideration about how our industry is structured and broaden the large market threshold so that small businesses are not defined as larger market participants," ACA Chief Executive Officer Pat Morris said. "We'll are reviewing the final rule and the new debt collection examination procedures to determine the full scope of impact on our members."

Specific industry concerns with the CFPB's final rule:   

  • The final rule sets a threshold that debt collectors with more than $10 million in annual receipts will be subject to supervision.  The proposed $10 million threshold for a large market participant is contrary to the facts before the CFPB, as well as law.  It is not consistent with the Small Business Administration definition of a small business, currently $7 million with a proposal to change it to $14 million.  
  • The use of annual receipts as measurement is an inaccurate metric because it counts the entirety of what is collected without regard to the fact that much of this amount is returned to our clients.  ACA suggested a formula based on gross revenue, excluding non-retained income paid to credit grantors by debt collection companies.

"ACA members embrace consumer protection but it has to be balanced with the industry's ability to do their jobs in recovering rightfully-owed consumer debt," Morris said. "Repayment of consumer debt is the lifeblood of America's credit based system and helps ensure that affordable credit is available and goods and services remain affordable, sustains jobs, and supports keeping taxes low."   

Third-party debt collectors are valuable to the national and state economies, helping to employ more than 300,000 people, pay nearly $2 billion in federal, state and local taxes, donating $85 million and volunteering 650,000 hours to charitable organizations in local communities.  If contacted by a debt collector, consumers have important rights under a number of federal and state laws. For more information visit

ACA International ( is the comprehensive, knowledge-based resource for success in the credit and collection industry.  Founded in 1939, ACA brings together nearly 5,000 members in the United States and abroad, and their employees, including third-party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates.  ACA establishes a wide variety of products, services and publications. 

Contact: Mark Schiffman, PR Director, +1-952-259-2124,

SOURCE ACA International