On deck: NJ Attempts to Fill CFPB Void, Power of Attorney Requirements, and the Trend in FDCPA Case Outcomes

Compliance Weekly

» Forward Compliance Weekly to a friend.

"If the Right One Doesn't Get You, the Left One Will"

Nature, and cats, abhor a vacuum. Which is why New Jersey is stepping boldly into the CFPB fray. Let's look at why.

The deets

Mick Mulvaney, a human person and not a forgotten character from the comic strip Andy Capp, has made reining in the CFPB part of his mission statement as director of The Bureau. This has left gaps in consumer protections.

What kind of gaps?

Mulvaney is interested in limiting the activities of the CFPB, by re-aligning its mission statement with less-strict consumer protections, and re-thinking how the Bureau itself is funded. All of this has left opportunity on the table for states looking to develop stronger consumer protections.

So, how will New Jersey do this?

It started by nominating Paul R. Rodriguez to serve as the Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The Division of Consumer Affairs is responsible for protecting consumers’ rights, regulating the securities industry, and overseeing 47 professional boards.

Will other states do this?

It seems likely? Here's Stephanie Eidelman on that question: "Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney has set expectations that the Bureau is currently working on a debt collection rule. Those tasked with consumer protection at the state level are likely watching closely to see what this rule will cover; and are likely prepared to step into the space if they don’t like what they see."

New Forum Resource: Power of Attorney Rules by State Chart

A CPF member reached out with the following question:

I am looking for a resource on Power of Attorney. The credit repair companies send the POAs, but they are not notarized. Do you know if there is a resource of POAs and if they need to be notarized?

So, whether or not a Power of Attorney needs to be notarized depends on the state -- so there's no "one answer to rule them all" on this.

What there is, though, is a resource detailing requirements, state-by-state. It's now now available for all CPF members. Click here. (The chart, to be clear, is not legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. It's just the hard work of my typing fingers and mouse-scrolling. Errors, corrections, etc.: send 'em my way.)

I was curious about the efficacy of collection agencies making it a practice to act for all PoAs to be notarized in order to be accepted, and Editorial Review Board member (and my best friend, "Rozanne" category) Rozanne Andersen said, "Requiring notarization in documents not otherwise required to be notarized by law may be deemed overly burdensome or an unfair or deceptive practice. I wouldn’t recommend the practice for a third party debt collector in connection with the collection of consumer debt." 


"It's Quiet around Here - Too Quiet."

From WebRecon's Jack Gordon to Moss & Barnett's John Rossman, people are noticing a positive trend for collection agencies in FDCPA cases. Is it a trap?

IS IT?!

Well, maybe not a trap. But this is an industry that -- how to put this politely? -- isn't good at multitasking its attention. So, while everyone rushes to FDCPA compliance, we saw a swell of TCPA cases. And then, while TCPA was being reckoned, plaintiff attorneys were on the hunt for the next big thing.

Is this a nature documentary?

I will say this: there's an evolution, a battle between species if you will. As collection agencies tighten compliance in one area, attorneys find other, weaker areas to exploit. Each side gets better at its job, which is a problem for both sides.

John Rossman

John Rossman once sent me a photo of him running a marathon through fire. This is a man to listen to, so check out his podcast in the link above.