CFPB issues advisory opinion, final rule regarding credit, debt collection practices

The CFPB on Monday issued an advisory opinion to address regulatory uncertainty regarding Regulation B, and late last week, a final rule on fair debt collection practices.

Regulation B. The new advisory opinion addresses the regulatory uncertainty regarding Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act as it applies to certain aspects of special purpose credit programs. The ECOA and Regulation B prohibit discrimination on certain prohibited bases in any aspect of a credit transaction and clarify that it is not discrimination for for-profit organizations to provide SPCPs designed to meet special social needs, according to the agency.

The CFPB does not determine whether individual programs qualify for special purpose credit status. Instead, the creditor offering the SPCP must determine the status of its program, while Regulation B provides creditors with general guidance for developing SPCPs that are compliant with ECOA, according to the agency.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requirements. On Dec. 18, the CFPB issued a final rule to implement Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requirements regarding certain disclosures for consumers. The rule requires debt collectors to provide — at the beginning of collection communications — detailed disclosures about the consumer’s debt and rights in debt collection and information to help consumers respond.

The rule requires debt collectors to take specific steps to disclose the existence of a debt to consumers reporting information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency, and the rule prohibits debt collectors from making threats to sue, or from suing, consumers on time-barred debt, according to the agency.

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