Recently a major consumer finance watchdog released reports that the government has plans to regulate previously unregulated financial firms. Now these debt collectors and credit reporting agencies are preparing themselves for the worst.
Consumers have been complaining that credit reporting agencies and debt collectors have been engaging in unethical collection tactics and have been overly aggressive towards the consumers. This has led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to propose new regulations allowing the agency to overlook and manage those two areas of the financial sector.
This is a sign of the government’s new extensions of their regulatory powers. This will be the most important proposal brought forth from the consumer agency so far. It is also one of the first in a long line of attempts to start policing other financial institutions besides just banks.
“Debt collectors and credit reporting agencies have gone unsupervised by the federal government for too long,” said Richard Cordray, the director of the bureau. “It is time to provide the kind of oversight of these markets that will help ensure that federal laws protecting consumers in these financial markets are being followed.”
But the proposal hasn’t passed yet. It must first enter a period of time in which it is open for comments. The proposal was actually brought to the table almost two years ago, and the bureau is hoping to have it passed by its two year anniversary, this July. The bureau worries however that it may get stuck due to the impasse of political disagreement. They fear that Republicans will fight the proposal tooth and nail, and may even threaten to cut some of the bureau’s funding and authority.
The bureau was created with the Dodd-Frank set of regulations and has been given the broad task of not only regulating the big banks but also regulating some of the smaller but still important parts of the financial sector. If this proposal passes, it will make be an indication of a shift to more federal power and less state power, as the regulation of financial industries has been mostly left to the hands of the states thus far.
“I expect increased diligence and increased costs in light of the pronouncement from Mr. Cordray,” said Donald N. Lamson, a former regulator. “It would be incumbent on them to beef up those areas that deal with consumer complaints.”
This new proposal could mean a lot to consumers interested in protecting their credit scores or those who already have poor credit and just want to be treated more fairly when companies call to collect. The new proposal will likely make it so that these agencies have to stop using such aggressive means to force consumers to pay. It could also mean benefits to people’s credit scores, depending on what the section of the proposal regarding credit reporting agencies exactly says. Either way, this will mean big news for credit consumers!
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