According to a 2018 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Americans have filed nearly 1.5 million complaints with that agency, including more than 400,000 debt collection complaints. While those complaints span 7 years, the frequency of consumer complaints has increased since the CFPB began accepting reports in 2011. Currently, the Bureau receives about 30,000 complaints each month.
The CFPB also accepts complaints relating to a wide range of consumer financial protection issues. However, complaints received cluster into a few areas. Nearly ¾ of all complaints relate to one of the following areas:
- Credit reports and other consumer reporting
- Debt collection
- Mortgage loans
In some cases, these areas overlap. For example, a consumer may have a complaint about debt collection practices associated with the collection of a mortgage loan, or a debt collector may be falsely erroneously reporting a debt to credit reporting agencies.
Credit Reporting Complaints
Complaints relating to credit reports and other consumer reporting make up more than 1/3 of all complaints, with a 2018 average of more than 11,000 per month. Credit reporting is also one of the fastest growing complaint categories: the number of complaints increased by 129% from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018. While changes in the complaint process did account for some increase in the general volume of complaints, many other categories saw declines from 2017 to 2018.
The Most Common Debt Collection Complaints
39% of debt collection complaints lodged with the CFPB relate to debt collectors pursuing collection of debts that the consumers say they do not owe. Lack of or insufficient written notice of the debt and communication tactics tied for second, with about 17% of complaints each.
Complaints involving failure to provide written notice frequently came from consumers whose first notice of the collection account was finding an entry on their credit reports. Many of those consumers, as well as those who had some direct notice from the debt collector, reported writing to request additional information under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and receiving no response.
Most Common Types of Consumer Debt
Only about half of those complaining about debt collection practices provided information about the type of debt involved. The other half either described the debt as “other” or responded, “I don’t know.” Among those who did provide more detailed information, medical debt and credit card debt were the most common.
Get Help with Debt Collection and Credit Reporting Problems
Filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps the agency identify and crack down on dishonest debt collectors, credit reporting agencies that don’t fulfill their legal obligations, and those who furnish false information to credit reporting agencies or fail to use due care in reporting. However, complaining to the government isn’t a consumer’s only option.
Consumer protection statutes such as the FDCPA and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provide direct remedies for consumers whose rights have been violated. If you are having difficulty with a debt collector or having trouble removing inaccurate items from your credit report, talk to an experienced consumer financial protection attorney. You may be entitled to financial compensation in addition to other remedies.
You can schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Barshay Sanders right now. Just call 855-219-0273 or fill out the contact form on this site to get started.