FTC and CFPB Announce Public Roundtable on Data Integrity in Debt Collection

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will co-host a roundtable on June 6, 2013 to examine how consumer data is used and maintained in the debt collection process, according to an FTC news release issued yesterday. The roundtable will include a discussion of such topics as:

• the amount of documentation and other information currently available to different types of collectors and at different points in the debt collection process;
• the information needed to verify and substantiate debts;
• the costs and benefits of providing consumers with additional disclosures about their debts and debt-related rights; and
• information issues relating to pleading and judgment in debt collection litigation.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has primary responsibility for administering the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), with the FTC exercising concurrent jurisdiction. The CFPB, in conjunction with the FTC, recently released the FDCPA Annual Report 2013, which catalogs the agencies’ actions over the past year with regard to the FDCPA, including information concerning the collection of consumer complaints, the supervision of debt collection activities, and enforcement. The FTC and CFPB also share authority in administering federal privacy and data security laws such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

The roundtable will feature panels and presentations by FTC and CFPB leaders, including Commissioner Julie Brill and Associate Director of Financial Practices Jessica Rich from the FTC, and Acting Deputy Director Steve Antonakes and Program Manager John Tonetti from the CFPB. The program will also include an array of industry representatives, consumer advocates, and academics. Panel topics include “Information Available to Debt Collectors at Time of Assignment or Sale,” “Debt Collection Litigation,” and “Time-Barred Debts.”

The roundtable is open to the public and will also be streamed live online. We will monitor the event and post a summary.