AFSA Comments on CFPB Debt Collection Survey

On March 6, AFSA commented on a proposed CFPB survey. The survey asks for consumers’ experience with debt collection and feedback on proposed disclosure forms. The CFPB first issued its request for approval in June 2017, then again in November 2017, but withdrew the latter request. Earlier this year, the CFPB re-published the survey for comment.

AFSA wrote that it supports the CFPB’s intent to begin a debt collection rulemaking, but asked that the survey not proceed as proposed.

The letter stated, “First, while we recognize the CFPB’s need to inform its debt collection rulemaking with data, conducting this survey is premature. Before testing disclosure forms with consumers, the CFPB should release the forms for notice and comment. After gathering comments and making changes to the forms based on those comments, then the CFPB could test the forms with consumers.”

AFSA also said that substantial changes need to be made to the survey itself. For example, AFSA objected to the style of many of the questions, writing, “They do not appear related to the particular communications at issue and the effectiveness of those communications. Rather, they appear to collect attitudinal data of consumers, which is not relevant to the effectiveness of the communications the CFPB seeks to sample.”