As 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.