Recently the OCC released a Risk Management Bulletin to banks about sales of debt to 3rd parties. There were several guidance points they stressed. We at Bayview take these statements very seriously. We want to express our reflections of was discussed as it pertains to us at Bayview and the industry as a whole.
When reading the bulletin is seems that the OCC is using rhetoric to cast a negative light on the debt sales industry as a whole. Understandably in our industry there are people who place profits before compliance and consumers wellbeing. This is not the status quo. Here at Bayview we take extensive steps to make sure that the data we are buying is well maintained, secure, and not the breeding ground for a violation with the CFPB. We do this not only in the name of self-‐preservation, but in the full understanding that placing the consumer first, makes sense across the board. The consumer is the life blood of this industry, without them there is no industry. We have a wide-‐ranging set of protocols to protect the information of the consumer and the integrity of the data. This protects us in the long run because when we adhere to this set of protocols we avoid spending time and resources on compliance issues and more on what we do best, selling debt.
The bulletin is not all negative though, there were several things of note to talk about as well. The OCC has several bullet points that are worthy of mention about information that should be included in every debt sale transaction.
• A copy of the signed contract or other documents that provide evidence of the relevant consumer’s liability for the debt in question.
• Copies of all, or the last 12 (whichever is fewer), account statements.
• All account numbers used by the bank (and, if appropriate, its predecessors) to identify the debt at issue.
• An itemized account of all amounts claimed to be owed in connection with the debt to be sold, including loan principal, interest, and all fees.
• The name of the issuing bank and, if appropriate, the store or brand name.
• The date, source, and amount of the debtor’s last payment and the dates of default and amount owed.
• Information about all unresolved disputes and fraud claims made by the debtor. Information about collection efforts (both internal and third-‐party efforts, such as by law firms) made through the date of sale.
• The debtor’s name, address, and Social Security number.
This is a wonderful recommendation from the OCC. There are some agencies who think that this information as it relates to a consumers account is supplementary, and if requested, the debt buyer should pay an additional premium for the cost of that portfolio. This information is necessary for the safety and security of the consumer profile and account, as well as the integrity of the portfolio itself. It is only when we as an industry shift from the thinking that this information is optional in a portfolio and make it the new standard for portfolio data, do we move closer to a seamless working relationship with the financial institutions, the CFPB, the consumer, and the industry as a whole.
Furthermore, making sure that accounts are being checked for fraudulent activity, inaccuracies, and inappropriate content strengthens the portfolio and the reliability of the seller. We agree that banks and financial institutions needs to incorporate better compliance practices when it comes to portfolio data, but it is even more imperative for debt sellers to incorporate these policies into their day to day operations. Doing this reduces the number of CFPB complaints, and builds upon the bulletins from the CFPB about better business practices and responsible conduct within the debt sales industry.
Finally, we here at Bayview want to stress the importance for all in our industry to keep up with these bulletins and take very seriously the guidance being given from the OCC and CFPB. In the end it is not an “Us vs. Them” scenario. Implementing the necessary compliance standards and ensuring the integrity of the portfolio data is only the beginning.
CEO Bayview Solutions, LLC
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To get started with your Debt Purchase from Bayview RMC please take a moment to provide us your company information so we can get you registered as an approved debt buyer. After we receive your information please allow us 24 hours to send you an electronic Non Disclosure Agreement to be signed electronically. Electronic signature is fast, simple, efficient, save time and resources. We will send you an e-mail through DocUsign on-line. You can sign our NDA either on your computer, your tablet or smart phone.