“Regulating Debt Collection” by White and Odinet forthcoming in leading scholarly banking and financial law journal


An article by Vice Chancellor Roederick White and Prof. Chris Odinet, Regulating Debt Collection, which describes and analyzes the July 28, 2016, proposal by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), regarding the regulation of debt collection, is forthcoming in the Review of Banking and Financial Law, published by the Boston University School of Law.

White and Odinet explain in the paper that consumer debt collection (such as credit card debt, healthcare-related debt, and student loan debt) is currently governed on a state-by-state basis and by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. However, until the passage of the financial reform legislation in 2010, titled the Dodd-Frank Act, the federal government lacked the power to issues rules and regulations that interpreted and gave clarity to the various ambiguities in the federal statute.

“Dodd-Frank authorized the newly created CFPB to more heavily regulate consumer debt collection in the United States,” said Odinet. “Back in July we got a first glimpse at what the federal agency intends to do with that power when it released the proposed new rules,” he said.

White further explained that although the proposed rule is still in draft form, it is obvious that the agency is being strongly encouraged by consumer advocacy groups to move forward and to do so aggressively. “Obviously debt collectors and debt-buying companies are concerned with how these new regulations will play out and many worry the cost of compliance will drive them out of business,” said White.

“Whether that’s true or not, we’ll have to see, but debt-collection companies will certainly have to invest more in personnel and resources–particularly technology–to ensure that they comply with the new guidelines when it comes to how they interact with consumer debtors.”

The article describes how the new rules would affect the time, place, and manner of how debt collectors deal with consumers, as well as how banks and other first-party lenders will be indirectly impacted by the proposed regulations.

The hard copy of the article will be published in late winter 2017. The Review of Banking and Financial Law is the country’s leading scholarly banking and financial law journal. The journal publishes articles written by professors, attorneys, and other professionals, as well as student notes and comments. The scope of the Review is broad, covering topics such as banking; securities; financial services; and administrative and general corporate law issues.