On Wednesday, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) Director Richard Cordray issued the call for consumers to submit complaints on debt collection experiences and on payday lending problems. The CFPB’s request for debt collection complaints coincides with the issuance of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to the debt collection industry. It has been clear for a while that debt collectors would be targeted by future CFPB rulemaking, and now this process is formally underway.
The CFPB release regarding debt collection complaints asks consumers to submit comments about debt collection “experiences.” The CFPB has partnered with RegulationRoom.org (operated through Cornell University) to collect debt collection complaints, and the press release claims that this portal is dedicated to removing “barriers to public participation.” The CFPB has been collecting complaints about debt collection for months, and financial institutions can expect that the aggregated consumer data will inform the rulemaking process. It is important for businesses to consider participation in the rulemaking process, as well, and the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking offers the opportunity to do so.
Additionally, the CFPB opened its consumer complaint portal to issues with payday lending/cash advance loans. Such loans are generally less than $500. The press release noted that common complaints might include unexpected fees or interest; payments not being credited to loans; problems contacting the lender; receiving a loan you did not apply for; or not receiving money after you applied for a loan. The CFPB blog entry on this topic made some fairly charged comments about annual percentage interest rates applicable to these loans.
If you have any questions about what to expect from these recent CFPB efforts, please contact Spilman or other knowledgeable counsel.