Compliance and quality management are two sides of the same coin. Many of the restrictions and rulings put out by the CFPB in relation to debt are created in response to customers feeling treated unfairly or tricked. If your service is engaged in activities that make your customers feel harassed or duped, is that quality service?
At first glance, bringing your contact center up to speed with the CFPB guidelines can seem like a daunting task. The rules are specific and the potential consequences are very real. But we’re here to help. Let’s dive into the CFPB new debt rules and the four C’s that will see you through.
What are the new CFPB rules?
The first set of new debt collection rules, issued on October 30th, 2020 focuses on the use of communications related to debt collection. Among other things, it addresses prohibitions on:
- Harassment and abuse
- False or misleading representations
- Unfair practices by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt.
It also clarifies the use of email and text messages in debt collection, with certain limitations and requirements, such as providing explicit opt-out messaging.
The second set of new debt collection rules, issued on December 18th, 2020 clarifies the disclosures that debt collectors must make at the beginning of collection proceedings, as well as validation notices.
Organizations have until November 30, 2021, to instate policies to mitigate risk and address compliance, although the CFPB has proposed extending the deadline until January 29, 2022.
So, what strategies can you use to help you operate within the confines of the new CFPB rules?
The new CFPB debt collection rules require you to exert a bit more control in your outbound contact center. A few takeaways about the impacts are:
- Customers can restrict the channels on which debt collectors can communicate with them
- Debt collectors can place no more than seven calls in seven rolling days regarding the collection of the same debt
- Outlines what a limited content message looks like.
In order for you to be as compliance-focused as possible in your operations, you need to have some measures in place that address the CFPB’s new rules. This might look like agents manually logging calls or spreadsheets that keep track of channels you can and cannot use to communicate with customers. But let’s face it, that’s a lot of information to keep track of by hand with the cost of error being quite high.
For a more efficient way to control important areas of compliance, you might want to consider leveraging contact center quality management software powered by artificial intelligence. When you call customers, you can automatically:
- Synch your customer’s channel preferences as they change
- Turn ability to contact customers on and off depending on the time of day
- Log number of calls made to customers.
The CFPB’s new debt rules have underscored the importance of consent management. They have also endorsed two new avenues for communicating with consumers, text messaging and email.
Takeaways centered around consent are:
- Debt collectors must obtain consent before sending email or text messages to customers
- Text messaging and email may be used to obtain consent
Essentially, your task is to manage the capture and revocation of consent across interactions. Customer consent management software powered by speech analytics simplifies this task. It automatically logs and tracks consent collection to guide compliance. With the advent of text messaging and email as ways to capture consent, solutions that work across channels are ideal.
Consent isn’t the only thing you need to capture under the new CFPB rules. You must also maintain records of:
- Proof of detailed disclosures about your customers’ debts and their rights being given prior to the beginning of the collection
AI-enhanced contact center quality management software works by following rules. By making sure your operational rules are centered around compliance, the information you capture can be in keeping with the CFPB’s new rules.
To help mitigate risk and make compliance more of a focus, you can leverage technology that has the ability to coach your agents through customer interactions. Coaching gives you confidence that your agents follow procedure. It also helps you capture consent and other necessary pieces of the compliance puzzle at key moments during a conversation.
Coaching can help you ensure your call center agents are:
- Correctly obtaining consent
- Adequately disclosing information about debt and rights.
The best way to approach integrating the new CFPB rules into your outbound process is through automation. Quality management software powered by AI is a real boon to debt collectors, enabling you to “set it and forget it”—and giving you the confidence that you’re making the necessary moves to make CFPB compliance a top priority.
|DISCLAIMER: This article and the statements therein do not constitute legal advice. We urge businesses to consult with their own experienced legal counsel to independently review the topics covered in this blog and independently evaluate any compliance measures they undertake.|