The CFPB recently released the results of its national survey of consumers, revealing dissatisfaction over consumers’ experiences with debt collectors. Most notably, the CFPB found that one in four consumers contacted by debt collectors felt threatened during those contacts.
The CFPB collected data from credit records maintained by one of the nation’s top three credit repositories. It sampled records with 60-day delinquencies to capture consumers who were in collections, and adjusted for differences in the response rates for different types of consumers. The estimates were intended to be representative of U.S. consumers who have credit reports.
The survey results showed that consumers were most often contacted about medical bills, credit card debt, and student loans. One in four consumers reported that they felt threatened by the debt collectors. Forty percent of surveyed consumers requested that the creditor or debt collector cease contact. Of that forty percent, three out of every four consumers reported that they continued to be contacted by the creditor or collector.
In addition, over one third of consumers surveyed reported they were contacted at inconvenient times, and 40 percent reported they were contacted four or more times per week. Fifty-three percent of consumers contacted about a debt in collection during the past year reported that the debt was not theirs, was owed by a family member, or was the wrong amount. One in seven consumers contacted about a debt reported that they were sued.
The CFPB’s report, “Consumer Experiences with Debt Collection: Findings from the CFPB’s Survey of Consumer Views on Debt,” is available here: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201701_cfpb_Debt-Collection-Survey-Report.pdf.