Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes a look at debt collection

About 30 million consumers, nearly one out of every ten Americans, are subject to debt collection activities, for amounts that average about $1,500 apiece, according to an annual report released March 20, by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In the report, the bureau highlights the number of complaints received in various debt collection practice categories from 2008 through 2012.

Although the numbers of complaints received have decreased since 2008, last year the bureau said consumers top three complaints from debt collectors were:

  1. receiving calls where the debt collector falsely represented their character, the amount of the debt or the status of the debt;
  2. When debt collectors call a consumer repeatedly or continuously;
  3. And falsely threatening suit or illegal or unintended act if the consumer failed to pay.

Other types of complaints listed in the report deal with debt collectors calling consumers as early as 8 a.m. or as late as 9 p.m. or later, using obscene or profane language, and using or threatening the use of violence.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the federal agency responsible for regulating consumer protection with regards to financial products and services across the country. The bureau began operation in July 2011.

To view the full report, click here.

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