Most debt collection professionals would like to see the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau take the guesswork out of written communication with consumers. In a July poll conducted by insideARM.com, 79 percent of participants said they were in favor of having the CFPB develop standard letters.
Of the 145 votes cast, participants seemed to walk a fine line between federal standards and room for customization. Even those who wanted CFPB-approved versions of standard letters commented that companies should be able to develop their own written drafts. They see any potential CFPB involvement as a template, not a mandate. One participant even suggested letting consumers identify their issues in writing.
At the same time that insideARM.com conducted this poll, the CFPB updated its online Q&A to address consumer questions about communicating with debt collectors. If the Bureau is arming consumers with guidelines for written communication, it only makes sense for the industry to use that advice as a template for its own compliance. For more information on how the CFPB views the debt collection industry specifically, check out our low-cost CFPB’s Advice to the Consumer report. We have compiled the CFPB’s full list of debt collection questions in one document and organized it by topic as a convenience. Links have been maintained so you can access future updates at any time.
And as the industry starts to build consensus around what it needs to effectively communicate with consumers, we can offer guidance from the industry’s top legal minds to get your company on the right track.To the Point: Written and Verbal Communication takes the hot topics from our popular Ask the Attorney webinar series (don’t miss our next one November 1!) and condenses them into a user-friendly brief to help tackle pressing compliance issues. Get expert insight into how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act views written and verbal Cease and Desist communication. Learn how to respond to consumer validation letters when the dates don’t add up. Understand how recent case law on written communication may impact your company.