Research Report: Unfair Deceptive & Abusive

Debt Collectors Profit from Aggressive Tactics

Debt.CollectorIn November 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking signaling that it would consider whether new rules are warranted to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. The Bureau received over 23,000 comments in response.

As part of this process, the Bureau is also conducting a survey of thousands of consumers to gather input on their experiences with debt collectors as part of its pre-rulemaking process. Pre-rule activities, including the expected convening of a Small Business Advocacy Review panel meeting under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), are anticipated to continue at least through February 2016.

Meanwhile, the CFPB also has been accepting consumer complaints about debt collection practices since July 2013 and began making details of many of these complaints publicly available through its consumer complaint database starting in November 2013. As of August 11, 2015, the database contained records for 74,376 debt collection-related complaints. (This number does not reflect the total number of complaints submitted, as the CFPB excludes many complaints in adherence to its privacy policy.)

This report examines the share of Americans affected by debt collection issues, trends in the debt collection industry, and patterns in the collections-related complaints in the CFPB complaint database. The report contains detailed profiles of the 15 companies with the most debt collection-related complaints filed against them in the CFPB complaint database (these companies include a mix of debt buyers, third-party collection agencies, and original creditors). The report concludes with a series of recommendations for the debt collection rulemaking.


Read the Report Recommendations

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