The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its Notice of Proposed Rule on Debt Collection, Proposed Regulation F in May of this year. Since that time, National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA) undertook an extensive process to review the proposed rule and prepare a detailed response. Under the leadership of Clark Hill’s Joann Needleman, an NCBA past-President, and NCBA Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee Co-Chair Brit Suttell, working groups were established to dissect the proposed rule and prepare comments to the various sections. After months of numerous committee meetings and hundreds of collective work-hours, the NCBA Board of Directors approved the formal comment letter to the Rule which was filed with the CFPB on September 18, 2019.
Among the multiple proposed sections, the one that specifically targets creditors’ rights litigation and is germane to all NCBA members is the “Safe Harbor for Meaningful Involvement”, § 1006.18(g). While appearing to offer a “safe harbor”, the section, in essence, regulates how debt collection attorneys represent their creditor clients when preparing and filing debt collection litigation pleadings. This is an interference of the practice of law and not a “safe harbor” at all. Utilizing our industry relationships, the NCBA is fortunate that all major industry trade associations, including the RMAI, and ACA, agree with our assessment of this section and, for the most part, mirrored the NCBA’s opposition to this proposal. We want to particularly thank the American Bar Association for their support of the NCBA’s position on this section and for filing a comprehensive comment in that regard.
We would like to formally thank all of our members who volunteered to participate in this time-intensive process that resulted in a detailed and professional comment. A link to NCBA’s filed comments can be found here. Additionally, a 90-minute educational session is scheduled for the upcoming NCBA Fall Conference in Washington, D.C. from October 16-19. We look forward to continuing to aggressively advocate for the positions taken and are proud of the final comment letter. The legal creditors’ rights practice area is fortunate to have such dedicated leaders and staff to ensure the voice of our attorneys are heard at the highest levels.