There is never a shortage of news in the ARM space, but how do you determine what is worth knowing? That’s where we come in! Our editorial team brings you only the most important news each week. Last week in the ARM industry was a true mixed bag with news from the Colorado legislature, a warning shot from the CFPB, and some inter-industry data to help forecast the remainder of the year. For highlights of these stories and why we at insideARM felt you needed to hear about them, read on!

Tuesday’s news came from Colorado with an article about a new law amending the state’s consumer protection laws. Some of the major changes for debt collectors included: having to provide their name and original creditor’s name in legal actions, must possess full authority settle the debt, and there are $1,500 penalties for violations of this law that can be assessed by the state administrator. On the bright side, the law also takes aim at credit service organizations, who must now pay an annual fee and register with the state administrator, and debt-management service providers, who cannot provide services without a debt management plan for the consumer. While the law is another example of states placing restrictions on debt collectors, it is refreshing to see some movement against credit service organizations and debt-management service providers. 

On Wednesday we highlighted more CFPB comments regarding medical debt. While the Bureau has been aggressive recently in banning credit reporting on medical debt, this time they took aim at medical financing products. Their recent blog post discussed marketing practices, incentives given to healthcare providers, and the high-interest and/or deferred interest provisions in many medical credit cards. They claim that these products are being marketed too aggressively to consumers, that healthcare providers may have an ethical dilemma regarding incentives vs. the interest of the consumer, and that deferred interest rates are confusing to many consumers. As we have mentioned many times before, if the CFPB is talking about it, regulation will not be far behind. Any industry members working in this space should prepare accordingly and take note of the specific concerns put forward by the Bureau.

We finished the week with a look at the industry trends for the rest of 2024 and into the new year. In the article, a poll of ARM Industry participants provides emerging trends, the top collection channels, and the main operational challenges facing collections. Unsurprisingly, AI took the top spot in emerging trends with data analytics and digital collections close behind. Phone calls, text messages, and emails remain the most common channels for collecting debt while on-line portals have yet to take off. Finally, customer engagement was identified as the top operational challenge facing the industry, while many others are concerned about complying with ever-changing regulations. To stay competitive in the ARM space, its important to know where the industry as a whole is going. This article helps provide some of that insight. 

We at insideARM are extremely thankful that you continue to trust us to keep you up to date on the latest developments in the ARM Industry! Been out for a bit? You can see our recap for the week of June 17th here.

You’ve taken a great first step by staying informed, but the next step is to turn that knowledge into action. Sound daunting? Not to worry! We can help! insideARM’s Research Assistant hosts a weekly peer group meeting every Monday. Our members discuss the latest news and discuss their collection, legal, and compliance problems with other industry veterans. Click here to learn more about what a Research Assistant membership provides and how you can try it all out for free!

Next Article: Debt Collection Industry Trends and Insights 2024