The CFPB just released its 2015 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Report. This informative annual report helps consumer attorneys see the trends in debt collection practices. It also provides evidence on exactly how consumers are being impacted by collectors. Notably, collection efforts on student loan debts have significantly increased in the last year and advocates will need to address the massive number of student loan debtors experiencing economic hardships. The CFPB continues to see debt collection as the leading source of consumer complaints, which is guiding the Bureau’s rulemaking efforts. According to Director Cordray:
[T]the Bureau is making progress on developing the first comprehensive federal regulations covering debt collection. In developing these rules, we are considering provisions to protect consumers from problematic practices of some collectors as well as to reflect technological changes in the debt collection industry.
Interestingly, the most common type of debt collection complaint continues to be collectors trying to collect debts the consumer states is not owed. “The vast majority of consumers submitting complaints about continued attempts to collect a debt report that the debt is not their debt (64%) or that the debt was paid (26%), while the remaining percentage of consumers report that the debt resulted from identity theft (6%) or the debt was discharged in bankruptcy (4%).”
The full report is available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201503_cfpb-fair-debt-collection-practices-act.pdf.