ABA Opposes CFPB’s Premature Debt Collection Data Survey

In a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday, the American Bankers Association objected to the bureau’s request to the Office of Management and Budget to conduct a debt collection survey, citing the need for the CFPB to solicit public feedback before moving forward. The CFPB’s survey, which attempts to measure consumer understanding of model debt validation notices and model debt collection disclosures, has not been subjected to broad public comment as required under the Paperwork Reduction Act, ABA pointed out.

“We support the bureau drafting and releasing a ‘model’ validation notice, which would promote consumer understanding while curtailing frivolous litigation regarding the sufficiency of these notices,” ABA said, “However, the content and form of the notice should be considered as part of the rulemaking process.” The association added that consumer testing should only move forward once the CFPB has heard from all interested parties via a notice and comment process.

ABA has opposed the bureau’s previous two attempts to conduct a debt collection survey and has broadly opposed CFPB attempts to collect data without providing the public a meaningful opportunity to comment on the utility and feasibility of the data being collected.