On Tuesday, May 7th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finally released their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to clarify and update the principles in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The CFPB’s recent proposal gives clarification to a number of things that have been teetering on the edge of legality, including the number of times a debt collector may contact a consumer, consumer protection requirements, and suits and threats of the suit on time-barred debts. But the biggest update for virtually every business in the industry is regarding how debt collectors can lawfully use new technologies to reach consumers.
Technology, specifically communications technology, has rapidly evolved since the FDCPA was enacted in 1977. Sometimes the emergence of new technologies can call for concern and pushback from regulators, but it appears that the bureau looks at voicemail as an important part of the future of fair debt collection practices.
“This definition would permit a debt collector to leave a message for a consumer without communicating, as defined by the FDCPA, with a person other than the consumer.” – CFPB
In the proposal, the CFPB recognizes that these technologies are a more effective and efficient means of communication between the debtor and the consumer. They make it clear that they would prefer that collectors leave a message than call, hang up, and call again. While there may still be some kinks to work on in the overall implementation and recognition of the rule, we’re very excited about the new landscape and its progression in optimizing a lawful, humane, and fair way to help consumers resolve their financial obligations.
The calling for a clearer definition of the lawful use of voicemail is a huge win in the world of DirectDrop voicemail. The fact of the matter is that consumers want to pay their debts, they just want to be able to do it on their own time. This new rule will allow consumers to be met where they are in their decision-making process, all while giving agents the bandwidth to reach more consumers. A true win for both parties.
Want to know more about DirectDrop Voicemail and how it can help your business? We would love to connect. Reach out here or call us at 855-910-6706.