On March 20, 2014, as mandated in the Dodd Frank Act, the CFPB released its annual report to Congress concerning the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  The CFPB reported on more than 30,000 consumer complaints concerning the debt collection market. The three most frequent complaints were collectors forcefully following up with consumers about a debt they do not owe, aggressive communication tactics used by debt collectors, and taking or threatening illegal actions.  

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, “We will not tolerate companies harassing consumers or threatening illegal actions in the debt collection market.  We will continue to work hard to ensure that consumers are treated with dignity and fairness.”

Other 2013 highlights included:

  • In November 2013 the CFPB took the first step toward considering consumer protection rules with an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking , and
  • The CFPB pursued two debt collection enforcement actions in 2013.  The CFPB promises to continue to prevent and deter debt collectors from violating the FDCPA.

Accompanying the report is a letter from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Prior to the Dodd Frank Act’s creation of the CFPB, the FTC reported directly to Congress on debt collection matters.  Now, the FTC partners with the CFPB with regard to FDCPA and the FTC has focused on education, research, and enforcement.  In 2013 the FTC brought or resolved nine debt collection cases, the highest in any year. 

2014 promises much of the same from both the CFPB and FTC, stay tuned…