When it comes to the debt collection industry, many consumers who have been affected by past due debt have had negative experiences with the debt collectors contacting them. After the financial crash of 2008, the federal government created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to regulate the debt collection industry and protect consumers from unfair collection practices.
IC System, founded in 1938 and 2021 winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Awards for Ethics, is dedicated to working with consumers in a way that assists them in addressing their debts in an ethical and kind manner. Additionally, the company works diligently to ensure the organization stays up-to-date in understanding and complying with federal and state regulations.
Michelle Dove, Corporate Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, IC System, spoke with Tyler Kern about the importance of security and compliance measures within the debt collection industry. And, with 20 years of experience working for and with IC System, Dove’s expert understanding of compliance is readily apparent as she explains a variety of issues at a level understandable to compliance professionals and business leaders alike.
So why are security and compliance such hot topics? Dove noted that “it’s front of mind for a lot of business leaders right now because the regulatory environment, I’d say, is pretty intense under this administration there is a lot more activity than we saw with the prior administration.” With the increased activity, debt collectors need to make sure they stay current with frequently released new rules, address issues quickly, and deal with the rise in investigations by regulatory bodies.
“On the security end, we’re hearing every day about cyber-attacks and cybercriminals, and so this is certainly a topic that’s keeping business leaders up at night and giving them sweaty palms,” said Dove. As a business partner, IC System understands the importance of ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations to be a good business partner and keep both IC System and its clients safe.
As for the CFPB, Dove explained that this particular branch of the government was created to protect consumers and rid the debt collection industry of bad practices that negatively affected consumers. Among the many rules that Dove mentions and simplifies for guests’ understanding include the FDCPA (must be nice to consumers), the TCPA (must have consumers’ permission to contact them on their cell phones), and FCRA (which requires companies to follow fair credit reporting requirements. And this barely touches the federal rules and doesn’t even begin to address rules that are specific to each of the fifty states.
So, what does Dove think of the CFPB? “Does the CFPB make life hard for us from time to time? Yes. Is it entirely a bad thing? No, I don’t think so. I think for a company like IC System, they give us the rules, we follow the rules, and everyone can get along well.”