New Debt Collection Rules Won't Stop Scammers

The debt collection industry is already one of the most regulated.

ACA International represents 250,000 professionals across the globe who stress communication, compliance and training and have long been committed to making our business a more consumer-friendly experience.

With a billion consumer contacts each year, helpful debt collectors have worked with millions of Americans to successfully resolve their accounts.

The debt collection industry is already one of the most regulated in the United States, with rules and laws at the federal, state and local levels.

These laws already strictly govern communications between debt collectors and consumers. And as acknowledged by the regulators, there is a big difference between legitimate debt collectors and scammers who ignore the law.

The prospect of placing additional burdensome federal regulations on legitimate, law-abiding businesses that do their utmost to comply with numerous and complex existing laws does nothing to stop scammers.

These outliers will simply continue to ignore the law, while the legitimate debt collectors who keep our credit-based economy afloat will be put further at risk.

As an association composed primarily of small businesses that provide critical services to other small businesses, we hope the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) ideas on new regulation will add clarity in an industry burdened with outdated and complex laws and regulations.

Later this month, a panel of federal agencies will convene in Washington to hear from small businesses that will be directly affected by the bureau’s upcoming debt collection rule.

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and it is essential that the regulators get this right. We encourage regulators to listen to the voices of small business during their review process, and we hope the CFPB will be careful to avoid the “trap of unintended consequences.”

By proposing new rules that add to the cost and burden of legitimate small businesses, they could end up harming the very consumers they wish to protect.

By Patrick J. Morris

Patrick J. Morris is CEO of ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals.