The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) monitors collection agencies, and ensures that they all have Compliance Management Systems (CMS) operational while conducing any business. By ensuring that your business’ debt collection processes are compliant, you can make it more productive and avoid or lessen costly legal issues or cases.
Makeup of a Compliance-focused Debt Collection Company
The foundation of a compliant collection company consists of two parts.
The first part is having a rigorous compliance program. The program should contain the CMS, align with the directives of the CFPB, and should be fleshed out with fully worked-out policies, guidelines, and directions to ensure compliance.
The second part of having a compliant collection company is having employees who have invested into compliance. Employees should be properly trained on how to carry out their duties while following the rules within their industries. You should also be keeping tabs on your employees and using corrective actions to take note of those who are performing below average, are non-compliant with industry rules, or need to be reminded of their role and duties as an agent.
What Your CMS Must Have
CFPB will ensure that your CMS has the following qualities:
• Clearly articulates its compliance duties
• Shares its duties with employees
• Designs policies and procedures that comply with the law and also are part of
everyday business activities
• Inspects operations to check that duties are performed and legal compliance is
• Uses corrective actions as appropriate
• Additional CMS recommendations that the CFPB makes
A successful CMS should have these elements, according to the CFPB:
• A Board of Directors and upper management who monitor CMS
• Comprehensive policies and procedures for the compliance program
• Training program for employees
• Oversight and corrective action procedures
• Program for handling consumer complaints
• Compliance audits at both internal and external levels
• Compliant portal website and a publicly available complaint database
• Materials, resources, and tools for conducting updates as necessary
• Complaint system for external parties besides consumers, such as for the CFPB or the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Policies, Procedures and Instructions
A bank collection software collection agency must have clear instructions and procedures in place for employees to do their jobs effectively, and to do so within the bounds of the law. To help businesses to understand the differences between policies, procedures, and instructions, the Collection Boot Camp panel offered an overview of each of these business practices.
How your organization operates in general. This typically is applicable to all employees and normally isn’t restricted to just the debt collection side of the business.
Business practices should be aligned with Professional Practice Management System (PPMS) or with other departmental practices that are a part of the organization.
Step-by-step directions for completing a task within a process, which would be debt collection specific unlike the company policy.
When creating these elements in way that is compliant with debt collection standards, it’s wise to start with your current system, as this can be a helpful foundation for a complete and current compliance system.
If an issue occurs that your system can’t currently handle, then it’s time to invent a new rule. Inform employees of this rule immediately to hasten its adoption. One way to make this possible is a shareable document storage and viewing platform, such as those provided by CastIMS, Resulv.com, and Google Docs.
This training will largely revolve around corrective actions and agent call surveilling. Employees should be evaluated and punished for non-conformity using uniform standards that apply to all employees, such as using a scoresheet.