Collection Agencies Hindered by Hitches in CFPB Email Notification

April 16th, 2014

Forever fighting the stigma of their industry, collection agencies face tremendous pressure to respond swiftly and appropriately when a consumer files a complaint against them. This is true of any company whose work includes customer service, of course, but there is slightly more pressure on certain industries than others. In the case of collection agencies, a delay in responding stands to confirm beliefs held by certain people about companies who care little for how people are treated and care only about collecting money.

It is only fair, then, that agencies ought to have the chance to respond to a complaint immediately so as to put their best foot forward and prove their commitment to treating people with dignity and respect. Furthermore, timely responses to complaints are one of the benchmarks used by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). What happens, then, when it is a hitch in the CFPB's complaint system that is hindering agencies from responding in a timely fashion?

The folks over at InsideArm have the latest update on the issues with the CFPB's Email Notification system:

"One the one hand: a recent fix ensured subscribers would receive emails only in the event of a new complaint or new activity on an existing complaint. Before, daily emails from the CFPB arrived regardless of an activity for each subscriber.

However, a remaining issue is that many collection agencies are reporting that they’re not receiving notification emails at all when a new complaint is lodged. Since responding to complaints in a timely fashion is one of the benchmarks the CFPB is using with collection agencies, the email notification function remains, for the moment, dicey at best."

That is not to say, however, that agencies do not have other means to check for complaints:

"ACA International is counseling its members to “regularly check the CFPB’s secure company portal to double check for any complaint notifications or updates.”

Above all, this serves as a reminder that agencies must remain proactive when it comes to issues of compliance. There are many moving parts for collection agencies between the evolving role of the CFPB and the uncertainty surrounding the TCPA. These glitches with an email notification system confirm something that has been true for a while now: agencies cannot afford to sit and then react. They must be proactive, as much as possible, in addressing issues of compliance and customer service.

Link: CFPB's Email Notification for Debt Collection Complaints Portal Still Working Out Kinks (InsideArm)

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