March 21, 2019

CFPB releases report on debt collection enforcement

CFPBThe CFPB Wednesday released its annual report to Congress on its enforcement of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The report reveals that the bureau received about 81,500 complaints related to first- and third-party debt collection in 2018, "making debt collection one of the most prevalent topics of consumer complaints."

As a result of the debt collection complaints, the bureau took six public enforcement actions in 2018 arising from FDCPA violations, one of which resulted in a $800,000 civil penalty. Four others are still in active litigation.

The report highlights efforts by the bureau and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop unlawful debt collection practices. It also restates the bureau's intention to issue a proposed rulemaking on debt collection this spring; it was included in their fall rulemaking agenda.

NAFCU has urged the bureau to exempt credit unions from any rules related to first- and third-party debt collection, as they could have a negative impact on the credit union industry and would make it more difficult for credit unions to offer affordable, high quality products to their members.