The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an independent agency
in the U.S. government that oversees the rules and regulations for consumer
protection. The agency is able to regulate banks, lenders, mortgage services,
debt collectors, and other financial companies.
Each year, the CFPB releases a report to Congress about the state of the
debt collection industry. Recently, the CFPB submitted its
fifth annual report summarizing its collection activities and its efforts to enforce the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
In this report, the CFPB covered four main themes. First, the CFPB commented
on how technology has changed since the FDCPA was first passed in 1977.
The agency recognized that debt collectors were using new technology that
wasn’t contemplated at the time, and that the law may need to catch
up in order to police newer debt collection tactics.
Second, the CFPB noted that it had received feedback from consumer groups
and industry members asking for clarification on when, where, and how
debt collectors could communicate with consumers. The agency plans to
address these concerns over the next coming year.
Third, the CFPB reported that consumer groups, debt collectors, and state
Attorneys General have requested that more information should be documented
when a debt is sold, so that both consumers and debt collectors are better
able to verify their debts.
Finally, the agency addressed issues with first-party debt collection efforts.
Much of the FDCPA applies only to debt collectors, and does not apply
to the company that is directly owed the debt. First-party debt collection
has become a large business, and many consumers are being harassed by
companies that do not have to follow the FDCPA. The CFPB recommended research
into how the law can be adjusted to provide better protection.
The CFPB plans to address these issues and more before their next annual
report is due to Congress. Hopefully, the agency will be able to make
progress against illegal debt collection practices and can help protect
consumers from harassment and abuse.
If you have been targeted by debt collectors who engage in harassing, threatening,
or abuse behavior against you, you can fight back. At Loan Lawyers, our
attorneys help people like you file claims against companies that violate
the FDCPA, and will work to get you damages from the companies that break the law.
For your free consultation with Loan Lawyers, contact us today by calling
(888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).