Most Frequent Debt Collection Complaints of 2015

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has released its 2015 report to Congress. The report categorizes consumer complaints, with regard to debt collection, into six classifications. The report also tracks the change in complaint volume for each classification. Below is a summary of the report's findings.

Continued attempts to collect debts not owed

These complaints accounted for 40% (34,500) of complaints in 2015, a 6% increase from 2014. They include consumers who state they did not owe the debt, the debt was paid in full, the debt was a result of identity theft or the debt was discharged in bankruptcy.

Communication tactics

These complaints accounted for 18% (15,200) of complaints in 2015, a 14% decrease from 2014. They include improper telephone communication, debt collector threats to take legal action and using improper, profane and obscene language.

Disclosure verification of debt

These complaints accounted for 15% (12,900) of complaints in 2015, a 10% increase from 2014. They include lack of federally mandated notice and failure to validate the alleged debt owed.

Taking or threatening an illegal action

These complaints accounted for 11% (9,000) of complaints in 2015, an 18% decrease from 2014. They include threats of imprisonment for failure to pay the debt, attempts to sue on debts that were barred by the expiration of the statute of limitations, collecting and attempts to collect exempt funds such as child support or unemployment income and suing in courts outside of where the consumer lives or entered the contract.

False statements or representation

These complaints accounted for 9% (8,100) of complaints in 2015, a 7% decrease from 2014. They include attempts to collect the wrong amountfrom the consumer, debt collectors impersonating attorneys, law enforcement or government officials and alleging the consumer is guilty of a crime for failing to pay the debt.

Improper contact or sharing of information

These complaints accounted for 7% (5,600) of complaints in 2015, a 16% decrease from 2014. They include debt collectors contacting third parties regarding the debt, contacting employers or consumers after being asked not to and debt collectors contacting consumers directly when they are represented by counsel.

The report in its entirety can be found here. If you have been a victim of one of the foregoing violations, you should contact us now for a free consultation.

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