ARM Disruption – Are You Reg F Ready?
We recently caught up with Sara Woggerman and Mike Frost on our webinar, ARM Disruption – Are you Reg F Ready? Throughout the discussion, we touched on themes like assessing your Reg F risk appetite, making the switch to self-service collections, how to compete with new entrants and digitally native agencies, what to do with the Hunstein decision and more.
You can watch the webinar replay here or read-on for our written recap.
What to do About Hunstein?
There are a lot of moving parts here, and the status-quo is going to change state-to-state for a while. It could be several years more before we get a Supreme Court decision on whether Hunstein will be upheld cart blanche. The key takeaway here is – don’t just sit on your hands and wait for the dust to settle. Start prepping a defense for these cases.
Despite the notoriety of the rulings – we’ve started to see consumers beginning to throw-in Hunstein references in their complaints, trying to use it as a dispute mechanism to scare collection agencies – our panelists have an overall positive outlook for collections agencies – the industry has really come together swiftly to get on the same page and fight the good fight.
Next Big Compliance Driver – Medical Collections
Medical community – buckle up. Post-pandemic, state regulations are changing swiftly here, impacting medical collections across the board in a way that we have not seen previously. Historically, medical debt collectors have not had the attention of the CFPB because of their definition as a larger market participant. We will see this shift as a priority. New regulations are seeking to put a hold on medical collections across many states. The focus the CFPB initially put on the banks, they’re now focusing that attention on medical collections agencies.
How to Tackle Reg F
- Step 1 – take your temperature and see what level of risk you’re willing to accept. It’s going to take time to get your data and your client’s data in a good place for seamless monitoring and reporting.
- Step 2 – Set a deadline for your final decision-making and set clear priorities so you know by Nov. 30 how you will be able to train your employees and start working through your hit list. Now is the time to get organized and on the same page.
- Step 3 – Create standardized rules and processes. How you manage your collection management system is essential. We can all talk about the pros and cons of Reg F until we’re blue in the face, but setting reasonable procedures for your email communications, for example, is a key step.
- Step 4 – Focus on the 7-in-7 rule by Nov. 30. Don’t wait on this one.
Technology as a Competitive Advantage
Throughout this summer’s conference circuit, there has been lots of conversation about text and email. Everyone wants to do it, but few are sure how to implement it successfully from a compliance perspective. Look for a vendor that can help you through the process. Weigh these priorities with what you need to have done by Nov. 30.
Data shows that calls and letters don’t work. Today’s consumer is accustomed to self-service. If you’re going to invest in something today to help propel the future of your company, the #1 thing is to have a highly robust, self-service web portal to help capture consent on your website. If you can’t add all the bells and whistles at first, that’s OK. Do what you can and continue to add more self-service functionality over time.