The CFPB recently issued guidance documents regarding requirements in its Debt Collection Rule (Regulation F) related to validation of a debt.
In 2020, the CFPB promulgated new regulations to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which WBK previously covered here and here. As recently confirmed, these rules go into effect on November 30, 2021.
The CFPB added information to the Frequently Asked Questions section of its website regarding the Debt Collection Rule related to debt collectors’ obligations to validate debts. The responses include details on the information that must be provided to consumers to validate the debt, use of a model debt validation notice contained in Appendix B to Regulation F, and special provisions governing validation of certain residential mortgage debt (e.g., allowing a debt collector to provide a periodic statement instead of itemization-related information in a validation notice required under Regulation F, as well as how to do so while maintaining specified safe harbor compliance under the Rule). These Frequently Asked Questions were added to the questions and responses that the CFPB already released earlier in October 2021, addressing limited-content messages and the telephone call frequency provisions in the Rule.
The CFPB also released a compliance aid regarding how to use the model debt validation notice contained in Regulation F, focusing on how to complete the itemization table in the notice. The compliance aid describes what information (such as a breakdown of the amount of the debt in principal, interest, fees, payments, and credits) must be itemized in the notice, and provides step-by-step instructions for how debt collectors are supposed to complete the itemization fields on the model notice. It further provides sample scenarios to help demonstrate application of these explanations.
Finally, the CFPB issued a Spanish-language translation of the model debt validation notice.