CFPB Says Consumers Are Being Hounded for Debts They Don’t Owe
By Consumers Union on Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Ever been called by a debt collector about a debt that’s not yours? Well if so, you’re not alone. Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its latest report on the debt collection industry, based on over 30,000 complaints received since July 2013, and found that these kinds of abuses are all too common.
According to the CFPB’s report, more than one-third of consumers said they were repeatedly contacted by debt collectors about debts they didn’t owe – because the debt had already been paid, didn’t belong to them, or was the result of identity theft. Roughly one-quarter of consumers also complained that debt collectors used harassing tactics like repeated phone calls and threats of legal action, even after consumers had informed the collectors that the debt didn’t belong to them or they requested more information about the debt.
We’ve been calling out these kinds of abuses for years. Most recently, we urged the CFPB to issue strong rules that will protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices by debt collectors. The agency will likely move forward with new rules sometime next year.
What do you think of debt collectors’ tactics for getting people to pay debts? Tell us in the comments.