CFPB report examines Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) annual report to Congress regarding the implementation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) highlights efforts to protect consumers, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The analysis also noted the CFPB’s collaboration with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in administering the legislation.

According to the report, the agencies worked to stop unlawful debt collection practices while continuing law enforcement, consumer education, and public outreach and policy initiatives.

Last year, the CFPB engaged in four public enforcement actions stemming from alleged FDCPA violations, according to the report, indicating the CFPB resolved two of the cases yielding two judgments ordering nearly $15.2 million in consumer redress and $80,000 in civil money penalties. And two cases remain in active litigation.

Additionally, the report noted the CFPB published content to help consumers financially navigate the COVID-19 pandemic; released a report highlighting servicemembers’ complaint data from 2019; published information about debt collection activity during the pandemic for student loans; and published results of a quantitative online survey of over 8,000 respondents as a means of testing several versions of disclosures to support understanding of time-barred debt and revival informing of the CFPB’s final rules on debt collection.

The CFPB and the FTC share FDCPA enforcement authority and work closely to coordinate efforts protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive, and abusive debt collection practices.

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