A recent comment letter from the American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable to the CFPB urged the Bureau to prioritize third-party agencies in its FDCPA rulemakings.
Chief among the group’s concerns is maintaining “the distinction between first and third-party collections recognized by the FDCPA.” The signatories “strongly oppose placing FDCPA-like restrictions and requirements on first-party creditors” and “oppose the wholesale extension of the FDCPA to first-party creditors” vis-a-vis the Bureau’s authority to prohibit unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices.
Immense pressure is on the CFPB from consumer advocates to regulate first-party creditors, and unsurprisingly, banks and other first-party creditors are seeking to restrict the scope of FDCPA rulemaking to third-party creditors. A recurring theme in public statements and comments to date from first-party creditors is that third-party creditors are more commonly the subject of consumer complaints and pose the greatest risk to consumers and the CFPB should respond accordingly. The CFPB is expected to issue rules at some point later in the year or in 2015, and all creditors should begin to brace themselves for what could potentially be a wholesale revision of the federal government’s approach to debt buyers and collectors.