Lex Patterson

Lex Patterson

Recent Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) developments have made it vital that collection agencies take a proactive, and sustainable, approach to managing contact consent, as well as revocation of that consent. The following list of questions may be helpful in considering where your process currently stands.

Considerations Regarding Consent at the Originator 

  • How is consent captured by the originators?
  • Do their contracts contain the broadest possible language?
  • Is the language affirmative vs. passive?
  • Are the consent clauses conspicuous?
  • Do they address downstream consent?

Tracking Consent at the Debt Collector

  • How do we currently track consent?
  • Is the process different across business lines?
  • How do we treat implied consent?
  • Which accounts do I currently have consent to call?
  • Which consumer accounts have I previously had conversations with, have they already made payments, and have they already given consent?
  • Do certain accounts create challenges for our work procedures and call flows?
  • What is our strategy for identifying and tracking wrong or re-assigned numbers?

Managing Revocation of Consent

  • Revocation of consent can come in many forms, and through many channels. Have we identified and mapped processes for all of these? (Examples include: to the agency by mail, phone call with a consumer, correspondence from an attorney, correspondence from the client)
  • Is revocation of consent addressed in our policies and procedures, as well as in our training process?
  • How is revocation data collected? Is there a central repository?
  • Are we recording 100% of our calls, and does our QA or voice analytics process turn up instances of un-recorded revocation?
  • Is there an information flow from the originator to the service provider regarding revocation of consent?

By creating workflows based on account segments, you will maximize collection potential and minimize contact risk. Today, there are many applications available to visualize your processes with flow charts for all of your policies and procedures.

The following tools, utilities, and training, whether incorporated into your collection software or added as stand-alone solutions, will assist in making your consent-related policies and procedures practical and sustainable:

  • Collection recovery scores
  • E-signature, text, and email capability to quickly facilitate consent capture
  • Call recording and retrieval technology to capture and retrieve consent recordings
  • Agency-defined database fields and screens to notate and track consent and revocation
  • Corresponding system workflows that mimic and align your system users to your consent capture policies and procedures
  • Document storage repository for electronic consent storage and retrieval
  • Thorough training for how to utilize these system features during employee onboarding
  • Ongoing refresher training courses for employees
  • Continued corporate communication highlighting the importance of compliance with the rules related to producing proof of consent

By taking a proactive and sustainable approach to managing both consent and its revocation, collection agencies will minimize TCPA risk. While many of you are likely familiar with the answers to some or most of the questions provided above, you may want to provide this article to your staff and ask them to use it as a checklist to conduct a review of your current consent-related policies and procedures.

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