If you’re in the Collections industry, you’re more than likely familiar with CFPB’s Regulation F that’s set to go into effect in December 2021. This new “Final Rule” is going to drastically change the way that collectors communicate with their customers.
Reg F addresses communications by debt collectors, as defined under the FDCPA, made in connection with debt collection and restates and clarifies prohibitions on harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair debt collection practices.
Some notable changes include:
The Final Rule allows the use of technologies such as email and text messages to be used to communicate with consumers regarding their debts, subject to certain limitations. For example, electronic communications must include a simple method to opt out of receiving further emails or text messages.
Reg F places restrictions on the times and places at which a debt collector may communicate with a consumer and a consumer does not need to specify a time or place that is inconvenient for debt collection communications. Rather, these restrictions apply to any time or place that the debt collector knows or should know is inconvenient – before 8 am and after 9 pm.
The Final Rule presents a new term in connection with debt collection communications. A “limited content message” is a voicemail a debt collector may leave for a consumer that falls outside the scope of a “communication” under the FDCPA.
Reg F added that collection contact attempts can only be made up to seven times in the span of seven days. It also stipulates that the collector needs to wait seven days to contact a consumer after they have successfully communicated with that person.
Reg F includes provisions clarifying a debt collector’s obligation to retain records evidencing compliance or noncompliance with the FDCPA and Regulation F. A debt collector must retain records beginning on the date it begins collection activity and for a period of three years after the debt collector’s last collection activity on the debt.
The Final Rule clarifies that the personal representative of a deceased consumer’s estate is a “consumer” for the purposes of Regulation F. By doing so, this allows a debt collector to discuss the debt of a deceased consumer with the personal representative of the consumer’s estate.
For those in the collections industry, the stipulation of only 7 phone call attempts in 7 days, makes having the best phone number to reach someone more important than ever.
Enformion’s Reg F solution will give you the best phone number and best email address so you can be assured you’re spending your time wisely. With the best phone number, you’re more likely to increase your right-party contact rate and collect on an account sooner.
With over 120 billion records from 6,000 sources, including non-header data, Enformion will help increase your efficiency, saving you time and money. We also offer customizable solutions and delivery options, such as Batch and API, to fit your data needs. Contact us today to learn more about our Reg F solution and how we can help ensure you stay in compliance with this new rule.