The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) formally extended the comment period for its proposed debt collection rulemaking on Friday, August 2. Rather than requiring that all comments be submitted by August 19, 2019, anyone interested in submitting a comment now has an extra 30 days to do so. The official comment period for the debt collection notice of proposed rulemaking will now close on September 18, 2019.
The CFPB initially released its notice of proposed rulemaking to amend Regulation F on May 7, 2019, and published it in the Federal Register on May 21, 2019. From that point, the CFPB initially set out a 90-day comment period. However, numerous consumer advocacy groups and industry trade associations recently requested that the CFPB provide additional time for all interested stakeholders to opine on the proposed rule. In response to those requests, the CFPB decided that an additional 30 days is warranted.
As discussed in prior posts, the proposed debt collection rulemaking will have broad implications for consumers, entities that qualify as debt collectors, and first-party creditors. As such, engaging in the rulemaking process now and providing the CFPB with feedback is important and can pay dividends in the future. We have seen in the past with other significant CFPB rulemakings that it is extremely challenging to make substantive changes to the law after final rules are issued, and even more so after they become effective. Particularly if you believe that the current proposal will have unintended consequences on your business or that additional guidance in certain areas is needed, it would be prudent to utilize the extra time that is now being afforded and engage with the CFPB to let them know your thoughts on the proposed rule before it is too late.