These are heady times in the debt collection industry. The emergence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), along with the continued presence of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a renewed interest from state governments in regulating debt collection, the playing field has never been more complex.
On Sept. 29, I had the opportunity to serve on a panel at the second of three Debt Collection Dialogues hosted by the FTC. The first FTC Dialogue, in Buffalo, N.Y., featured only government regulators as panelists, while this Dallas dialogue included myself and two peers from the debt collection industry in addition to government representatives. The panel featured a beneficial give and take, with both industry representatives and regulators presenting thoughts on how regulations and enforcement can find a way to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices without stifling the abilities of creditors to effectively manage their accounts receivable.
Collections remains a crucial component of the American economy. Effective practices ensure continued availability of credit for consumers to purchase goods and services. At the same time, that economic benefit needs to be applied in a manner that respects the rights of consumers.
In order to maintain a balancing point fair to creditor and consumer alike, events like the FTC Dialogues are crucial. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve on the panel and remain hopeful that continued discussions will help bring clarity and equity to the regulations and enforcement of consumer debt collection policy.