Debt Collection Complaint Average Continues to Decline

chartAs an ethical and professional company within the debt collection industry, we here at CCS were very pleased to see that, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumer debt collection complaints have declined over the last six months. This is great news for the industry; what is not so great is the manner in which the CFPB reports on the data they collect.

As detailed in this article, ACA International (The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals) is very concerned about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s flawed consumer complaint handling process. Some examples:

  • Since 2012, the CFPB has been sharing individual-level complaint data on their website.
  • In 2015, they began providing consumers with the option to include “complaint narratives” for publication in the Consumer Complaint Database.
  • CFPB’s monthly complaint reports now include a list of the “most-complained-about-companies” based on raw number of complaints.

There is a serious problem with this. These lists provide no information to put the complaint data in context. For instance, it is a fact that the more consumer contacts a business or industry makes, the more consumer complaints it will receive, regardless of the quality of those contacts. This raw data can mislead consumers, and paints an unfair portrait of the debt collection industry.

However, despite these biases, the latest CFPB monthly complaint snapshot showed a three-month decline in debt collection complaints: April to June 2016 is down 3 percent compared to April to June 2015, and likewise for March to May 2016 versus March to May 2015. It is interesting to note that the three-month average of credit card complaints, on the other hand, increased by 9 percent.

We here at CCS will continue to be in the vanguard of debt collection companies that provide an excellent service to our clients, while adhering to our pledge to treat consumers with dignity and respect.

CCS Attends CFPB Field Hearing

A CFPB debt collection field hearing was held in Sacramento on July 28, 2016On July 28, our own Rodney Meeks, CEO of Credit Consulting Services, attended a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) debt collection field hearing in Sacramento in an effort to humanize the collection industry and put a face on companies like CCS. He talked about our employees, our relationships with our clients, and our involvement in the community, in an effort to enlighten the CFPB on the true nature of legitimate collection agencies. The CFPB is expected to release an outline of proposals under consideration for debt collection rulemaking.

The CFPB is a government agency created in 2008 to “protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices by banks, lenders, and other financial companies.” On the face of it, this is a good thing. A market works best when all sides are informed and compliant. Even the CFPB acknowledges that debt collection serves an important role in the proper functioning of consumer credit markets. As stated on their website “If people owe money that they borrowed they are obligated to pay the money back and they should do so.” Sadly, the entire debt collection industry has been demonized because of the unscrupulous activities of a few, and the sheer volume of consumer complaints over those activities, warranted or not. These activities are not representative of the debt collection industry as a hole.

Professional debt collectors usually live and work in the communities where they conduct business. They work directly with clients and consumers to resolve unpaid accounts. Credit Consulting Services is one of those companies. We strive to provide excellent customer service for our clients and still maintain good consumer relationships. It is the cornerstone of our business. We attempted to paint a picture of this reality for the CFPB in an effort to insure that their rule making not tie the hands of legitimate debt collectors all over the country.

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