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Complaints against Debt Collectors on the Rise, Report Reveals
August 31, 2014
More consumers are filing complaints against debt collectors for their allegedly harassing and abusive tactics, according to the findings of a recent report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As this 2014 report found:
- From July through December 2013, the CFPB handled more than 30,000 complaints against debt collectors.
- Throughout 2013, the Federal Trade Commission oversaw more than 204,260 complaints against debt collectors. This exceeded the number of claims against debt collectors filed with the FTC in 2012.
While the reason for the increase in the number of complaints against debt collectors could be attributed to the fact that more of these creditors are using illegal, abusive tactics to try to get people to repay debts, it could also be due to the fact that more consumers are aware of their rights and the fact that they can file complaints against debt collectors.
Most Common Complaints against Debt Collectors
All of the reported complaints against debt collectors in 2013 alleged that, in some way, the debt collectors had violated consumers’ rights by specifically not complying with the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA). According to the CFPB’s 2014 report, the most common complaints were that debt collectors had:
- Continued to try to collect debts that were no longer owed (either because they had already been paid in full or because a person had these debts discharged through bankruptcy)
- Used harassing communication tactics, such as repeatedly calling people to try to get them to repay an allegedly outstanding debt
- Threatened people
- Misrepresenting themselves (such as by lying that they were affiliated with a law practice or a law enforcement agency)
- Lied about the nature of people’s alleged debts.
Filing Complaints against Debt Collectors: The First Step to Stop Creditor Harassment
While the CFPB and the FTC investigate all consumer complaints against debt collectors, they are also the agencies responsible for taking action when it’s found that debt collectors have, in fact, violated consumers’ rights (as detailed in the FDCPA).
People who have been the target of illegal debt collection practices and who want to stop creditor harassment have a few of different options, including:
- Suing abusive creditors
- Filing for bankruptcy – While filing for bankruptcy will immediately stop creditor and debt collector harassment in that it will put an automatic stay in place, it can also stop debt collector harassment in the long term by getting some (if not most) of a person’s debts discharged.
Denver, Colorado Bankruptcy Lawyers at the Law Office of Jon B. Clarke, P.C.
If you are overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado debt relief and bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Office of Jon B. Clarke, P.C. For more than 35 years, Mr. Clarke and his diligent support staff have been providing each of their clients with the personalized debt relief assistance.
To receive a thorough assessment of your case and professional advice regarding your best options for debt relief, call us at (866) 916-3950 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.