The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is delaying a decision on the definition of "large market participant' for the collection industry, Peggy Twohig, assistant director of nonbank supervision for the agency said Thursday at ACA International's Annual Convention.

In February, the CFPB announced a plan to supervise collection agencies with more than $10 million in annual receipts from collection activities (see story). Credit reporting firms with more than $7 million in annual receipts also would be supervised. The two industries were the first identified in the agency's nonbank supervision program, which launched Jan. 5, and the proposal originally was to be finalized by July 21.

The $10 million plan translates to an estimated 175 collection firms, roughly 4% of the market but a group representing an estimated 63% of annual receipts in the market. Collection industry groups believe the $10 million limit should be higher.

Twohig told attendees Thursday that it could be fall until the definition is finalized.

In March, at SourceMedia's National Collections & Credit Risk Conference, John Tonetti, debt collection program manager for the CFPB, said the agency is listening to the concerns of the collection industry.

"We're not doing this in a vacuum," said Tonetti, referring to the agency's oversight plans. "We're not saying, 'You should do this.' We're reaching out and listening - both to consumer advocates but also your industry.

"We're making sure we understand how the [debt collection] industry works. We will be careful to judge the impact of our decisions."

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