CFPB Pushes Ahead with Debt Collection Reform Agenda

January 12, 2017

On Thursday, January 12, 2017, the CFPB issued a study presenting the findings of its consumer debt collection survey, carried out between December of 2014 and March of 2015. This survey was sent to over 10,000 consumers and responses were gathered from 2,000. Some of the findings presented in this report include:


  • About one-third of consumers were contacted by a creditor or debt collector about a debt in the last 12 months.;
  • Over one-in-four consumers report threatening contact;
  • Three-in-four consumers report that debt collectors did not honor a request to cease contact;
  • More than half of consumers report incorrect contact for at least one debt;
  • Over one-third of consumers report being contacted at inconvenient times;
  • Nearly 40 percent of consumers report a debt collector attempted contact four or more times per week; and
  • One-in-seven consumers contacted about a debt report being sued.


The agency also issued a white paper, detailing potential risks of posting consumers’ personal information in online debt sale forums. The Bureau reviewed 298 debt portfolios in three online debt sale marketplaces between January and August of 2015. The CFPB states most of these portfolios contained sensitive personal information, such as name, address, social security number, and telephone numbers.


Lastly, the CFPB is collecting and reporting “personal debt collection” stories from consumers by way of videos, supposedly to highlight stories about consumers being harassed and abused by debt collectors. The videos can be found here.