Are You Compliant With July’s New Debt Collections Industry Regulations?


This past July brought several new debt collection industry regulations. From text carriers announcing new requirements to Colorado’s new Data Privacy Act, we have compiled some of the new debt collections industry regulations you must be aware of.

Text Message Carriers Make Changes

Major text message carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have announced new policies requiring companies to register their 10-digit telephone numbers (10 DLC) used for SMS and MMS messages to U.S. consumers to an approved campaign under their respective brands. Twilio, a provider of communication platforms for businesses, announced that any SMS or MMS messages sent from unregistered phone numbers will face gradual increases in message blocking, culminating in a total block of all unregistered U.S.-bound messages by August 31, 2023. Additionally, AT&T and T-Mobile are raising the per-message rates for unregistered numbers, with potential further measures such as increased filtering or blocking for persistent non-compliance.

In parallel, Verizon is increasing its per-message fees by 223% from July 1, 2023, as a part of a push to encourage 10 DLC registration. The carrier estimated that 80% of texts would be registered through The Campaign Registration (TCR) by the end of May and expects all traffic to be registered by June 30. However, the process for approval by third-party entities is causing considerable delays for customers, a situation Twilio states it is striving to alleviate.

Despite these changes, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has shown no interest in regulating the private efforts of these carriers to enforce registration and vetting of 10 DLC. Michael Pryor, a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, highlights that the wireless industry, through the trade association CTIA, has long implemented its own rules and best practices around texting services. As the industry migrates towards commercial texting services using 10 DLC, these best practices recommend that providers blocking texts adopt redress mechanisms and notify senders of blocked messages. These associations also continue to advocate with the FCC against the blocking of legitimate text messages.

Read more on this from ACA International.

Changes To Washington’s Robocall And Credit Repair Laws

New debt collections industry regulations were also rolled out in the state of Washington in July. Two key pieces of legislation, one concerning telephone communications and the other relating to credit repair companies, took effect in Washington state on July 23, 2023. The Robocall Spam Protection Act, or Washington State House Bill 1051, aims to regulate robocalls and prevent misleading or harmful telephone communications targeting Washington residents. The law, which includes a provision to extend liability to those aiding or abetting the origination of robocalls, incorporates an exemption for persons licensed under state code RCW 19.16.110, regulating collection agencies. The Washington Collectors Association (WCA) played a crucial role in shaping the bill, ensuring it would not inadvertently impact the accounts receivable management industry.

The second piece of legislation targets credit repair companies, seeking to enhance consumer transparency and protection. This law adds several prohibited acts to the Credit Services Organization Act. It stipulates the circumstances under which consumer reporting agencies, creditors, or collection agencies are not required to interact with a credit services organization.

Moreover, the law mandates that credit services organizations redact certain personal consumer information in written communications and obtain explicit written approval from consumers before using their signatures for credit repair services. It also requires these organizations to inform consumers of their right to file complaints with the Attorney General. Both of these legislative measures received significant input and support from the WCA and will be implemented in the state in late July.

Learn more about these changes here.

Colorado’s Privacy Act Is In Effect

July 1, 2023 saw the rollout of the Colorado Privacy Act, which includes personal data privacy rights for consumers that affect numerous industries, including debt collection.

These new consumer rights include:

  • The ability to opt-out from the sale or use of their personal data for targeted advertising and certain types of profiling.
  • The authority to know if their personal data is being gathered.
  • The permission to access certain collected personal data about them.
  • The entitlement to correct their personal data.
  • The power to erase their personal data.
  • The privilege to download their personal data and move it from one platform to another in a format that enables transfer.

What businesses need to comply with this new law? It is applicable to organizations that operate within Colorado or focus on Colorado residents, and within a calendar year, either gather data from over 100,000 individuals or generate revenue or other benefits from the sale of personal data, and process the personal data of more than 25,000 individuals. These affected entities will need to adhere to new obligations, such as notifying consumers about:

  • The kinds of data they gather or process.
  • The reasons behind collecting this data.
  • The type of data they share with third parties and the classes of these third parties.
  • The process for consumers to access, correct, delete, download, and transmit their personal data.
  • If they sell any personal data or process it for targeted advertising, as well as the process for consumers to opt out of having their data sold or used for targeted ads.

If your business is struggling to keep up with the constant changes in regulatory compliance, TEC Services Group offers both professional and analytics services to ensure compliance with even the newest laws. Don’t risk the penalties associated with non-compliance. Call us to talk about your needs: 941.375.0300.


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