By Gerri Detweiler
Major changes may be coming to the debt collection industry. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published an announcement asking for comments on issues facing consumers and the industry, while it prepares to develop new rules around debt collection practices.
This is a big deal — perhaps the biggest news since the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act went into law in 1977.
And more importantly, it’s a chance for consumers like you who are dealing with debt collectors to weigh in.
The stories we’ve published about debt collection on the Credit.com blog have been among the most popular with our readers, generating hundreds of questions and comments ranging from readers who don’t owe a penny but can’t stop collection calls coming in for the wrong person, to those who don’t have a penny to spare but are being hauled into court for old debts.
Based on comments from our readers, I picked a few recurring complaints and created a wish list of changes I’d like to see the CFPB address. We plan to share these with regulators, so feel free to weigh in using the comments section below if you have something you’d like to add. And the CFPB also invites you to submit your comments to them as well.
Collection calls for the wrong person
The CFPB says it is concerned that debt collectors may try to collect money for debts from the wrong consumers.
We agree, and believe consumers should be given tools to prevent multiple (and often ongoing) calls for the wrong person. I previously shared how when my daughter got her first cellphone at the age of 11, it rang constantly with calls from collectors trying to reach the person who previously held that number. It’s now some four years later, and the calls persist, albeit less frequently, despite our repeated request to collectors to have them remove her number from their databases.