Law Firms

Debt Collection Lawyers Among Those Who Will Be Scrutinized by Consumer Financial Agency

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued its final rule for oversight of debt collectors—and lawyers didn’t get an exemption.

The rule allows the CFPB to send field examiners to law offices of debt collection attorneys to review procedures and compliance, the National Law Journal reports.

Any firm with more than $10 million in annual receipts from debt collection activities will be subject to the agency’s authority beginning on Jan. 2, according to the NLJ, the New York Times and the Washington Post. About 63 percent of the debt-collection industry is affected.

The CFPB did narrow a definition, however, in response to a letter (PDF) by the ABA Business Law Section’s Committee on Consumer Financial Services, the NLJ story says. “The Bureau agrees that not every occasion on which an attorney seeks money from a consumer client constitutes debt collection,” the rule states. Rather, the CFPB has supervisory authority of debt collection efforts by those “whose principal business activity is debt collection.”

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