As part of an effective Compliance Management System, it is important to always make sure that all your call center debt collectors know the rules and what types of practices are unfair, deceptive or abusive with periodic training.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is watching closely and has the power to identify and prohibit practices that are collectively referred to as “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP).”
Understanding this aspect of compliance is of great importance to the debt collection industry. But describing what the CFPB deems as unfair, deceptive and/or abusive is tricky.
The following are examples of conduct that could constitute UDAAPs. Some of these are already prohibited under the FDCPA, but debt collectors may face additional liability under UDAAP violations:
1. Collecting or assessing a debt and/or any additional amount of money related to a debt (including interest, fees, and charges) not expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
2. Failing to post payments timely or properly or to credit a consumer’s account with payments that the consumer submitted on time and then charging late fees to that consumer.
3. Taking possession of property without the legal right to do so.
4. Revealing the consumer’s debt, without the consumer’s consent, to the consumer’s employer and/or co-workers.
5. Falsely representing the character, amount, or legal status of the debt.
6. Misrepresenting that a debt collection communication is from an attorney.
7. Misrepresenting that a communication is from a government source or that the source of the communication is affiliated with the government.
8. Misrepresenting whether information about a payment or nonpayment would be furnished to a credit reporting agency.
9. Misrepresenting to consumers that their debts would be waived or forgiven if they accepted a settlement offer, when the company does not, in fact, forgive or waive the debt.
10. Threatening any activity that is not intended or the covered individual or service provider does not have the authorization to pursue, including false threats of lawsuits, arrest, prosecution, or imprisonment for non-payment of a debt.
At Call Center Services International (CCSI), we understand your compliance responsibilities. Our knowledge of the industry allows us to recruit and train call center agents that will integrate to your debt collection operation and meet compliance. Read more about our debt collection solution here
What steps do you take to comply with UDAAP? Comment below to join the discussion.