The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Dec. 27 released a monthly complaint snapshot highlighting consumer complaints about debt collection.
The report shows that “consumers continue to report being harassed about debts they already repaid or debts they do not owe,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a news release. “The bureau will continue to work to ensure that consumers are not being wrongly pursued by debt collectors.”
Some of the report’s finding include:
• 39% of complaints submitted about debt collection had to do with consumers reporting being contacted about debts that they no longer owed. Many consumers complained they were never provided documentation to verify the debt, even after submitting requests for verification.
• Consumers complained their accounts were forwarded to third-party collectors without receiving any prior notice from the original debt holder about an outstanding balance.
• Many consumers complained 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 employers.
As of Dec. 1, 2016, the CFPB had handled approximately 285,000 debt collection complaints since the bureau began accepting complaints in 2011. Over that period, debt collection has been the most-complained-about financial product or service by more than 100,000 complaints compared to the next most-complained-about product, according to the release.
The CFPB report also highlighted trends in complaints from Arizona and the Phoenix metro area. Consumers in Arizona most often submitted complaints about debt collection.
Debt collection complaints accounted for 29% of the complaints submitted to the bureau by consumers from Arizona, according to the release, compared with 27% of all complaints nationally. Complaints related to mortgages accounted for 25% of all complaints submitted by consumers from Arizona, nearly identical to the 24% rate at which consumers nationally submit mortgage complaints to the CFPB, the release stated.
The full report can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201612_cfpb_MonthlyComplaintReport.pdf.