New York Financial Services Regulator Uses New Authority To Propose Debt Collection Regulations

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On July 25, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) proposed new regulations related to third-party debt collection in that state. The proposal is the DFS’ first use of the statutory “gap authority” that allows it to regulate and enforce rules against previously unregulated providers of financial products and services. The proposed regulations (i) establish initial disclosures that incorporate federal requirements and require collectors to provide details about the nature of the debt; (ii) set new disclosure requirements for time-barred debt; (iii) require collectors to provide specified verification of disputed debts; (iv) require collectors to provide written confirmation of a debt settlement; and (v) allow consumers to communicate with collectors via email. The DFS will accept comments on the proposal for 45 day following publication in the state register.