Considering the broad spectrum of applicable government agencies, associations and regulations, doing business in the collections industry can be overwhelming. In this complicated landscape, knowledge is power while a familiarity with the various terms and organizations provides a competitive advantage for collections managers.
Below are some of the most common agencies, associations and acts that are important to collectors.
Associations and Agencies
ACA – The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals: This association enacts ethical standards, produces publications and services, and vocalizes the value of the credit and collections industry to consumers, policymakers and businesses.
CFPB – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: This independent agency is responsible for the protection of consumers in the financial sector. It writes and enforces rules for financial institutions, monitors and reports on markets, and tracks and collects consumer complaints.
FTC – Federal Trade Commission: This federal agency protects consumers by stopping fraudulent practices in the marketplace and promotes competition by enforcing antitrust laws while making sure the markets are free and open.
FDCPA – Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: This act prohibits debt collectors from using deceptive, unfair, or abusive methods to collect from consumers.
TCPA – Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991: This act restricts telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment as well as limiting the use of artificial or prerecorded voice messages, fax machines, automatic dialing systems, and SMS text messages.
Check 21 – The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act: This federal law is created to enable banks to handle more checks electronically, making check processing quicker and more efficient.
FCBA – Fair Credit Billing Act: This law’s purpose is to protect consumers from unfair billing methods and to provide a mechanism for addressing billing errors in “open end” credit accounts.
State Collections Acts
Collections state acts can sometimes vary depending on the state. Below are a few examples of these differences. It could be beneficial to look into your own state laws regarding collection agencies.
CFDCPA – The California Fair Debt Collections Practices Act: California sets limits on debt collectors in addition to the FDCPA. They also regulate agencies who are regularly collecting debts on others’ behalf.
FCCPA – Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act: This act covers debt collectors just like the FDCPA, but unlike the federal act, this state act also covers the original creditor.
Other acronyms pertaining to collections include CCPA, CRA, ECOA, FFEL, FCRA, HIPAA and HITECH.
With this information at your fingertips, we anticipate that you will more easily navigate your role in the collections industry. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have outside help.
Optio Solutions offers assistance to businesses by providing licensed and bonded collections services in all 50 states. Using advanced technology, data security and professional security, Optio ensures that consumers will have an enriched experience. Request a complimentary consultation to learn more on how Optio can help your business.