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Biggest Complaints About Creditors According to the FTC


As an American consumer with debt, you face the unfortunate reality of creditors trying to pursue that debt. Creditors and debt collectors are supposed to follow the guidelines of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), but many still attempt to sidestep it to harass consumers into paying up.

How often is creditor harassment happening? And, what are the most common forms of it? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tasked with keeping track of creditor transgressions, enforcing the FDCPA, and listening to consumer complaints about creditor harassment.

According to FTC 2018 complaint records, the top 5 complaints received about creditor harassment were:

  • False debts: Nearly 40% of the 84,000+ complaints filed to the FTC about creditors involved attempts to collect on a false or incorrect debt. If the debt collector does not have precise information about your debt, then you can challenge it outright.
  • No notice: More than 20% of complaints said attempts to collect the debt were not accompanied with written notifications, which are mandatory.
  • Constant communications: Roughly 13% of FTC complaints about debt collectors reported harassment in the form of constant or inappropriate communications. This category includes creditors who call multiple times a day, to workplaces, or outside of acceptable call hours.
  • Legal threats: Approximately 10% of complaints alleged the debt collection agency wrongfully threatened the consumer with legal action, such as saying they would be sued or go to jail. Debt collection lawsuits typically need a court’s approval before they can be filed.
  • Public threats: Close to 5% of consumers who reported a debt collection agency to the FTC said they were threatened by public action, like sharing the information regarding their debt with friends, family members, and coworkers.

Would you like to know more about how the FTC tracks consumer harassment? You can click here to visit the official FTC Complaint Assistant website. If you need to take action right away against a harassing creditor, call (312) 313-1613 and connect with Atlas Consumer Law in Chicago. We help consumers throughout Illinois not only shut down harassment, but also countersue for damages. You might be entitled to damages, too! Contact us today.