March 15 was the deadline for the New York State Department of Financial Services to publish its proposed amendments to its debt collection rule. It didn’t and so they have expired. While the latest version of the proposed amendments has expired, you can bet on DFS releasing an updated version in the coming months.
DFS is certainly aware that the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection proposed to substantially overhaul its debt collection rule last year and did so well after DFS released its first proposal. The two rules don’t always align, and stakeholders raised the issue with both agencies.
On top of that, New York state Sen. Kevin Thomas has introduced legislation to expand the scope of New York’s Consumer Credit Fairness Act to cover all consumer debt, not just the “consumer credit transactions” to which it now applies. If the bill becomes law, it would have made irrelevant certain of DFS’ proposed amendments.
We should expect the new DFS proposal to address the several comments it received. And it makes sense that the agency let the proposed rule amendments expire. By doing so it can digest DCWP’s rule (if it publishes one) and incorporate the expansion of the NYCCFA, should Sen. Thomas’ bill become law.
On April 12, I’ll be speaking on New York debt collection regulation at the 18th annual Credit and Collection News Conference in La Jolla, California. It’s a unique opportunity to explore New York issues impacting the credit and collections industry in detail, both regulatory and litigation, including recent activity from New York Attorney General Letitia James. Other presentations include talks from CFPB and FTC staff and an update on California regulatory affairs. You can register here.