New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Releases Glossary and Translations of Commonly-Used Terms Just Before October 1, 2020 Expiration of Enforcement Grace Period


The enforcement grace period for the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ (“DCA”) new debt collection rules, ends today, October 1st.

Among the provisions of the new debt collection rules is the requirement for entities engaged in debt collection procedures to include a link to the DCA’s glossary and translations of commonly-used terms in debt validation letters and/or on their public websites, along with a disclosure to consumers that a translation and description of commonly-used debt collection terms is available in multiple languages on the DCA’s website. On September 29, the DCA released the glossary and translations of commonly-used terms on its website. The glossary can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/consumers/Glossary-of-Common-Debt-Collection-Terms.page

Although the new rules only expressly require entities to provide a link to the DCA’s website, the best practice is to provide a link directly to the glossary to avoid any Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims that it was misleading or deceptive to send consumers to the general DCA website. The industry also understands that to be what DCA wants from a compliance standpoint, notwithstanding the literal language of the rule.