New requirements from the CFPB, published in October 2020 and December 2020, are designed to address concerns about debt collection communications. These rules apply to calling customers, but now for the first time ever, the CFPB has also issued rules around email and SMS.
The first part of the ruling, released on October 30th, 2020, addresses a wide range of requirements and is available to read in its entirety here. The second part, specifically covering certain disclosures to customers, and released on December 18th, 2020, can be found here. In response, we’ve put together a new free eBook that covers how the new regulations impact you, what you need to do about them, and how LiveVox can help you strategize and execute for success in spite of the changes.
Below, we’ll dive deeper into the steps you need to start taking to be proactive in your preparations. It’s crucial that you make CFPB compliance a top priority now to prevent any last-minute need for operational changes—or worse, to avoid being in a position where you’re doing nothing at all.
Steps to Take
Above all else, you can’t be reactive. The only way to be proactive is to have the right technology in place to ensure you follow the new rules. In some cases, you might not need to do anything at all. You might already be staying within the new confines. But you might not be. Do you already have specific rules in place? You need to find out for sure. And even if you are complying with the requirements now, you need to ensure that you will continue to comply in the future.
Evaluate your operations
You need to start planning. You need to start making sure that you have the ability—both internally and externally—to make sure that you don’t violate these new rules. The first question to ask yourself is: Are you currently operating within the new CFPB requirements? If not, it’s crucial you start putting a plan into place now that prioritizes compliance.
Create a strategy
It comes down to process or product. Are you going to use a process to comply with the new rules? Or are you going to use a product? Think about this: processes break more often than products do. So choosing the product route is a good start. But a product can’t ensure you have a strategy for your dialing.
Use digital channels
If you’re not already using email and SMS in your communications, it’s time to start. Officially, as the ruling is written, emails and text messages will not count against the limit of seven communications to a customer about a particular debt in a seven-day period. Supplementing your calls with digital channels is a key way to more effectively reach customers, although you need to be sure you’re including clear opt-outs in your messages.
In addition, using email in your operations is more important than ever, since the CFPB is counting electronic messages as fulfilling the requirement to inform customers about their debt before credit reporting. You can also use email to send Validation Notices—a more cost-effective and streamlined method than traditional mail. For maximum efficiency, a Validation Notice is considered an appropriate disclosure to customers when debt parking, giving you the ability to accomplish both in one fell swoop.
Monitor, monitor, monitor
Run exception reporting and see how many attempts you’re making to customers in a seven-day period. Did you have exceptions or not? Did you not have exceptions because that’s what you planned? Or did you not have exceptions by happenstance? With the right technology powering your operations, the insights you gain from your exception reporting will be that much easier to understand.
Before, it was important to capture consent from customers. Now, it’s more critical than ever. But with so many calls—and ideally emails and text messages—happening with customers, how can you possibly manage the capturing and revocation of consent across all interactions? The answer is a robust consent management tool, further powered by speech analytics. With automated scorecards powered by AI, you can evaluate all of your agent transactions for the required opt-in/opt-out language.
What will happen if you don’t do anything?
Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Rolling the dice isn’t worth it, though. If you’re not complying with the new rules by the time the enforcement deadline hits, it could lead to fines from the CFPB and litigation from customers.
By operating outside the lines, there’s always a possibility you could be sued, or worse. Your company’s reputation could also take a hit. Why even take the chance? Not following the new CFPB standards is not an option. You’d be putting your contact center at risk—and that risk could have a very real cost to your bottom line.
Stay tuned for one more post coming in this in-depth series about the new CFPB rules.
If you have specific questions about how to operationalize the new requirements, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Read our full CFPB eBook to find out:
- What the new rules are
- How they could impact your operations
- What you need to do right now
- What could happen if you don’t do anything
- How LiveVox can help