CUNA met with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) staff Monday to address credit union concerns with a forthcoming Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) rulemaking. CUNA Chief Compliance Officer Jared Ihrig and Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel Leah Dempsey attended the meeting.
The CFPB issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) in 2014, providing a list of 162 questions related to the rulemaking. CUNA urged credit unions and state leagues to comment.
When Congress enacted the FDCPA, it did not include original creditors, but sought to focus on establishing guidelines for third-party debt collectors. The CFPB’s ANPR included questions about whether first-party creditors, such as credit unions, should be swept into this statute that Congress drafted to establish guidelines for for-profit debt collectors.
During Monday’s meeting, CUNA reiterated concerns with this potential inclusion of first-party creditors in the rule, as well as problems that could stem from adding even more regulatory burden to credit unions. CUNA staff also urged the CFPB to consider the close relationship that credit unions have with their members, and the distinctions between this and the relationship that for-profit businesses have with consumers when attempting to collect debts.
CUNA also urged the agency to include small credit unions in an upcoming Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel that will look at the impact the rule would have on small businesses.
CUNA is closely following both debt collection enforcement actions and the rulemaking on this topic.