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CFPB Releases December Complaint Report on Debt Collection

Wed 04 Jan, 2017  /  by   /   Client Alerts

01/04/17 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its December complaint snapshot highlighting consumer complaints about debt collection.

Since the Bureau began accepting complaints in 2011, debt collection has been the most-complained-about financial product or service by over 100,000 complaints compared to the next most-complained-about product.

As of December 1, 2016, the Bureau had handled approximately 285,000 debt collection complaints. The report shows that over a third—39 percent—of complaints submitted about debt collection had to do with consumers reporting being contacted about debts that they no longer owed. Consumers complained that their accounts were forwarded to third-party collectors without receiving any prior notice from the original debt holder about an outstanding balance, and that they are subject to frequent daily calls by debt collectors both at home and at work, even after informing the collector that contact at work was prohibited by their employer.

For November 2016, debt collection was the most-complained-about financial product or service. Of the approximately 23,000 complaints handled in November, there were 6,730 complaints about debt collection. The second most-complained-about consumer product was credit reporting, which accounted for 4,138 complaints. The third most-complained-about financial product or service was mortgages, accounting for 3,954 complaints.

In a year-to-year comparison examining the three-month time period of September to November, prepaid product complaints showed the greatest decrease—59 percent—of any product or service. The Bureau received 183 prepaid product complaints between September and November 2016, while it received 444 complaints during the same time period in 2015.

CFPB Press Release, Complaint Report.