The issue of correct consumer identification and account information has long been a key point with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). A heavy hand has stayed on third-party collection agencies to make sure accurate information is being used to collect the debt and is being furnished to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs).
CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, made some remarks on the subject and is now starting to place focus not just on the third-party collectors, but the creditors who supply the information. He stated the following:
“As we evaluated the feedback we received on the proposals under consideration, one thing became clear. Writing rules to make sure debt collectors have the right information about their debts is best handled by considering solutions from first-party creditors and third-party collectors at the same time. First-party creditors like banks and other lenders create the information about the debt, and they may use it to collect the debt themselves. Or they may provide it to companies that collect the debt on their behalf or buy the debt outright. Either way, those actually collecting on the debts need to have the correct and accurate information. All of these parties must work together to ensure they are collecting the right amount of debt from the right consumer.”
A newly developed rule with the idea of “right consumer, right amount” is in the making for first-party creditors. This will help to insure that the information supplied to third-party collectors is as accurate and up-to-date as possible. The focus is still on collection agencies to ensure consumers are treated with respect and dignity while collecting from them. However, the emphasis on and responsibility of sending accurate data from the get go is going to now be more balanced between the creditor and the collector.