CFPB also: finalizes supervisory guidance rule, issues FDCPA guide

(Jan. 22, 2021) A new rule codifying that supervisory guidance does not have the force of law, and that enforcement actions are not based on the guidance, was finalized Tuesday by the CFPB, NCUA and two of the three federal banking agencies.

The rule codifies a 2018 interagency statement on the role of supervisory guidance that was intended to clarify the differences between regulations and guidance. The final rule also states that the statement is binding on the agency that adopted it. (The Federal Reserve, as of Thursday, had not yet finalized the rule, but is expected to.)

In their individual final rules, the agencies, noted that supervisory guidance does not create binding, enforceable legal obligations; that each agency does not issue supervisory criticisms for “violations” of or “non-compliance” with supervisory guidance; and describes the appropriate use of supervisory guidance.

In other action this week, the bureau released a small entity compliance guide that summarizes the October 2020 debt collection rule regarding communications between collectors and debtors. (That rule Regulation F to implement most of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s (FDCPA) most substantive provisions.) Those include provisions, the bureau said, that generally restate the FDCPA’s prohibitions and requirements. “Section 2 provides a summary that highlights the October 2020 Final Rule’s key interpretations and clarifications of the FDCPA,” the bureau stated.

The debt collection rule takes effect Nov. 30, 2021, the guide notes. It applies to attempts to communicate, communications, and other conduct by debt collectors occurring on or after that date, regardless of when the underlying debt was incurred.

Debt Collection Rule Small Entity Compliance Guide