Whoever said that a pandemic has to stop or slow down the pace of regulatory rulemaking for debt collectors apparently didn't send that message to the regulators. Since the pandemic started, New York City issued its Limited English Proficiency Rule and the Consumer Finacial Protection Bureau reiterated its intent to have the final debt collection rules out before the end of the year (and received comments on its supplemental time-barred debt rules). Colorado decided to join the fray as the most recent state to press forward with debt collection-related rule changes while the industry—and the world—is still knee-deep in COVID-19 adjustments.
The Administrator of the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA) scheduled a stakeholder meeting for Tuesday, August 25 at 2pm (presumably Mountain time) to discuss amending and clarifying the rules under the CFDCPA and to solicit topics for rulemaking from interested parties.
The Administrator's proposed amendments to the current rules are available in redline here. Some highlights of the proposed changes include adding a 2-year call recording retention requirement, some clarification about who can sell and refer accounts, and changes to certain timeframes/dollar value in the rules.
The timeframe/dollar value changes include:
- Extends the time period in which a collection agency must provide an account statement to the consumer upon request to 14 days (originally 10 days).
- Increases the amount a collection agency can charge a consumer if he requests statements beyond the free 12-month period of statements to $10 per statement (originally $5 per statement).
- Changes the time period in which a collection agency must provide a written statement to the consumer that a debt has been paid or settled in full to 14 calendar days after the debt has been paid or settled (originally 10 business days).
- Changes the time period in which a collection agency must refund a payment disputed by the consumer to 7 calendar days (originally 5 business days).
- Extends time period in which a licensee must file a new bank authorization if any trust account information in the license or renewal application changes to 35 days (originally 30 days).
- Extends the time period in which an agency must return payment if it cannot identify the account to which the payment should be applied to 35 days (originally 30 days).
Meeting Access Information
The meeting will be held on Zoom with the following details:
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/97668606404?pwd=SEFiMTQ3Rm5TOEszaHNzajdnbC9BQT09
Meeting ID: 976 6860 6404
Call-in Option: (346) 248 7799
Meeting ID: 976 6860 6404
We would like to encourage insideARM readers who do business in the state of Colorado to attend this meeting. While the changes proposed by the Administrator seem benign, the meeting is worth attending for fact that the Administrator will be taking notes on what rule changes stakeholders recommend. This not only allows agencies to make their voices heard about updating certain outdated or overly cumbersome current rule requirements, but it also allows the industry to hear and immediately address changes that consumers and their advocates propose.