Debt collectors may use Model Form B-1 in Appendix B to Regulation F to comply with the validation information content and form requirements of § 1006.34(c) and (d)(1). The CFPB’s new FAQs on validation information address the following questions:
- What information is required?
- Is there a model validation notice?
- Is use of the model validation notice required?
- Can the model validation notice be changed?
The CFPB’s model validation notice (in both English and Spanish ) contains five categories of validation information: (i) debt collection communication disclosures; (ii) debt-related information; (iii) itemization-related information; (iv) information about consumer protections; and (v) consumer-response information.
The CFPB expects a validation notice to contain all such required information—this is a communication from a debt collector; information about the debt; amount owed and itemization; where consumers can go for information about protections; and a way to respond—in the required format. Debt collectors who use the Bureau’s model validation notice have a “safe harbor” for compliance with the content and format requirements.
The CFPB explicitly states that the final rule “does not require a debt collector to use the model validation notice” and that use of the model notice “is one way to comply to comply [with the content and format requirements in Regulation F.]” It states further that debt collectors who choose “not to use the model validation notice” or who make “changes that are not specified in the Rule,” resulting in a notice that is not substantially similar to the model validation notice, do not necessarily violate the final rule. They will not, however, be able to avail themselves of the safe harbor protection in a lawsuit or a supervisory context. To read more click here.