When consumers complain about debt collectors, what do they complain most about? It remains about the same every year with most complaints involving some type of telephone abuse that violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In the report issued by the CFPB in 2012, the top reasons consumers complained about debt collectors were as follows:
(1) Repeatedly or continuously calling the debtor
(2) Using vulgar or obscene language or making calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
(3) Misrepresenting the amount of the debt or claiming the debtor owed more than he really did
(4) Failing to send the required written notice of the debt
(5) Threatening to have the debtor arrested, garnishing their wages, putting a lien on property when the debt collector doesn't have a right to do so
(6) Revealing the debt to a third party, such as a friend, relative, co-worker or boss
(7) Calling the debtor at work after the collector has been told the debtor can't accept calls at work
The complete report issued by the CFPB can be downloaded from this website in PDF format. Click on the link below entitled "CFPB Annual Report on Debt Collection" to download the report now.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Annual Report on Debt Collector Complaints
In 2011, the primary responsibility for taking complaints against debt collectors was given to the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB as it is usually referred to. Prior to 2011, the Federal Trade Commission or FTC had the primary responsibility of enforcing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and taking consumer complaints against debt collectors, with the FTC issuing a report each year on debt collection matters and complaints.
The CFPB issued its first report in early 2012 on debt collection activities. It found that debt collection complaints had risen from 2011, as they have every year for many years. It is interesting to note that the FTC and now the CFPB receives more complaints about the debt collection industry than any other type of industry, and this is year after year for many years now.
The following table shows the number of complaints consumers have filed against third party debt collection agencies over the last few years.
How to Deal with Debt Collectors
Federal and State Laws Regarding Debt Collection
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau on Debt Collection