CFPB in 2013: Changing the Game

100x100-RefereeLike many of you, I have paid particular attention to the actions and rhetoric of the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB). This entity has spent the past few years preparing and organizing with 2013 the year in which we will see a lot more direct evidence of their initiatives. We have already heard and seen their involvement in audits and recommendations. This body of authority has the ability to be the single greatest factor affecting our industry both in 2013 and beyond.

The power of the CFPB is recognized by many in our industry. That is evidenced by the amount of time devoted to it over the past number of years in both classes and seminars at various industry shows as well as the amount of space devoted to it in the various trade magazines and periodicals that focus on our industry. Let me encourage you to continue to read and participate in those discussions so that collectively we can act together.

In some of my discussions with individuals throughout the industry, I have been surprised by the lack of motivation some have expressed in taking action. The feeling that this is relatively new and thus potentially undefined is overwhelming to some and thus they choose to continue to move forward as they have always done. I suggest that this is not a viable solution for anyone in our industry. I liken it to a house fire and, instead of evacuating the family, the parents are left wondering which child to take out first. Being overwhelmed with the decision, they decide to sit and wait for the fire department to rescue them accepting whatever the consequence that decision might cause. Obviously, the folly of that decision seems obvious.

The Intelitech Group has a unique position within our industry as we witness this being rolled out. As a consulting company, we pride ourselves on being informed and using that information to assist you. While not legal experts, our recommendations and observations come from information that we gather in working with the many agencies, vendors, and debt buyers that make up our industry. Our hope is that as individual entities, we do not all try to ‘create the wheel’ but rather learn from one another as the CFPB continues to introduce mandates and recommendations.

Just recently, the ACA published an article that assists in this effort by sharing some resources and places to find additional information. Additionally, it illustrates some of the areas that ACA is focusing on with regard to this topic. Compliance and the CFPB are broken down into the following topics: advocacy, information, training, learning, preparation, and compliance. These can be found in the January 2013 issue of the Collector magazine. This is just one of many sources of information that are available to assist in navigating this changing area.

Let me encourage you to continue to participate in the discussions and take action. If you need more information, learn! If you have been learning, act! In paying appropriate attention to compliance and the CFPB, I am confident that twelve months from now, when we are looking back on our year, we will be grateful for the effort we put forth in addressing this new challenge before us so that we may continue to provide the valuable service our country needs.