The Massachusetts Division of Banks and the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General have scheduled a meeting to seek input on the current state of debt collection and debt collection regulation within the State. They are considering whether changes may be warranted.

The live session details are:

September 22, 2016
1000 Washington Street
Hearing Room 1-E, First Floor
Boston, MA 02118

Written comments may also be submitted until 5PM on Friday October 21, 2016 to:

Massachusetts Division of Banks
1000 Washington Street, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02118-6400

The regulators are seeking input specifically in response to the following questions:

  • How has the debt collection industry changed over time? How have advances in technology shaped the debt collection industry in recent years?
  • What types of organizational structures are typical or common in the debt collection and debt buying industries? What are the business purposes for those arrangements?
  • Do debt buyers and debt collectors assign ownership and collection functions to separate, but affiliated, organizations? What are the details and purposes of such arrangements?
  • Where a debt collector or debt buyer has multiple separate, but affiliated entities, which entities should be subject to licensure and why?
  • Should passive debt buyers be licensed as debt collectors or required to be registered in some way?
  • Do law firms exclusively or primarily engaged in debt collection employ non-attorneys who are themselves engaged in debt collection activities? If so, how do firms supervise the debt collection activities of these non-attorneys?
  • What information is typically provided to a debt buyer as part of the sale of a debt and does it vary depending on the type of debt?
  • Do consumers have access to all or part of this information upon request?
  • Aside from residential mortgage debt, do creditors typically notify consumers that their debt has been sold? If not, should notification be required for all types of debts?
  • Should the scope of the attorney-at-law exemption be clarified? If so, how?
  • Are there practices that should be prohibited that are not currently prohibited?
  • How should changes in the federal laws and regulations governing debt collection practices be reflected in the Commonwealth’s regulations
  • What litigation-related issues/problems do consumers face regarding debt collection? What changes could be incorporated into the Division’s regulation to address these challenges?
  • What other debt collection related issues do consumers and/or industry members face?
  • Additional comments and testimony, including specific recommendations, are welcome.

insideARM Perspective

Wow. If engaged ARM professionals weren’t already busy enough digesting and responding to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s extensive Outline of Proposed Rules released just one month ago — in advance of today’s SBREFA hearing – buckle your seat belts; it’s going to be a very busy fall.

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