CFPB report sheds light on illegal debt collection practices

Late last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report citing illegal practices among some American debt collectors and so-called payday lenders. Upon release of this report, the CFPB also announced that it had privately reprimanded numerous payday lenders for failure to adhere to fair debt collection practices. The agency revealed that some lenders had been making false threats, initiating abusive phone calls and improperly disclosing personal information about consumers in their attempts to collect payment.

The CFPB generally alerts businesses to concerns raised by consumers and, when appropriate, directs those businesses to alter their behavior. However, in more serious cases the CFPB may investigate businesses, may opt to fine them and may publicly sanction those debt collectors, creditors and payday lenders which refuse to abide by federal consumer protection laws.

In the agency’s most recent report, it noted that some payday lending companies, credit reporting businesses and debt collection operations are riddled with systematic flaws in regards to consumer protection and respect issues. As a result, if you have been harassed by any of these organizations, please understand that you are not alone.

Many Americans are unaware of the fact that the federal consumer protection laws prohibit debt collectors and payday lenders from behaving in certain manners. However, the law does prohibit these businesses from treating consumers in specific ways. If it feels like you are being unduly harassed by a creditor or a payday lender, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney who may be able to help you stop the harassment.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “ U.S. Regulator Cites Problems Among Payday Lenders, Debt Collectors,” Alan Zibel, May 22, 2014

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