OCC Issued Guidance Supports the Sale and Resale
of Debt in a Responsible Manner

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued Risk Management Guidance on August 4, 2014 to national banks and federal savings associations on the application of consumer protection requirements and safe and sound banking practices to consumer debt-sale arrangements with debt buyers.

The OCC-issued guidance clarifies their position on the sale and resale of debt in a responsible manner. The new Risk Management Guidance clarified the OCC’s July 2013 best practices document to explicitly provide that OCC supervised banks can sell debt and that debt buyers acquiring debt from OCC supervised banks can resell debt. Since the issuance of the July 2013 best practices document, the OCC received comments and input from a wide variety of interested parties, including debt buyers and collectors. The OCC carefully considered all of the input in formulating the August 4, 2014 Risk Management Guidance, which is applicable to all OCC-supervised institutions.

DBA International met with the OCC on several occasions and had the opportunity to introduce them to our certification program and best practices. We are confident that DBA-Certified Debt Buyers meet or exceed the expectations outlined in the OCC’s Risk Management Guidance. The OCC specifically stated that “banks should assess the potential debt buyers’ background, experience, and past performance, including consumer complaints.” We are gratified that the metrics outlined in the guidance are consistent with the DBA Certification Program.

On behalf of our members, DBA will continue working with the OCC to ensure the application of consumer protection requirements and safe and sound banking practices as it relates to consumer debt-sale arrangements.

The August 4th OCC bulletin is a statement of policy intended to advise banks about the OCC’s supervisory expectations for structuring debt-sale arrangements. You can read a copy of the bulletin here.

August 5, 2014