Technology: The Key to Consumer Digital Engagement Under the Final Debt Collection Rule

Editor's Note: This article—authored by Joann Needleman, Leslie Bender, and Ann Lemmo—originally appeared as an Alert on, and is republished here with permission. Joann Needleman and Leslie Bender are members of the iA Legal Advisory Board.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) Final Rule for Debt Collection (Final Rule) not only provides industry with a much-needed (and long-awaited) framework for the interpretation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), but it also provides consumers with control over the manner and method of communications about their debts. Section 805 of the FDCPA (15 USC § 1692c) has always (and continues to) prohibited debt collectors from communicating with consumers at “any unusual time or place or at a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer.” The Final Rule settles how debt collectors can capture consumer preferences and abide by them. Furthermore, §1006.6 of the Final Rule outlines the explicit methods by which debt collectors can communicate with consumers using email, text, and possibly other social media platforms. Section 1006.6 also outlines how consumers can express and change their preferences for these communications. Both these provisions will present some challenges for the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry, while at the same time offering significant opportunities for the use of expanded technology to meet the intent and purpose of the Final Rule.


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