The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a federal agency that is primarily responsible for protecting consumers regarding financial products and services.
On January 2, 2013, the CFPB became authorized to oversee debt collection agencies that have more than $10 million in annual receipts from consumer debt collections. This covers over 60% of the debt collection companies in the United States
This action could influence New Laws Affecting Credit Cards in 2013 by regulating how debt collection is conducted.
Here are some of the topics that the CFPB will be investigating.
- The CFPB will evaluate whether debt collectors are identifying themselves appropriately and disclosing the correct debt amount. The goal is to ensure that debt collectors are upfront and clear with consumers.
- The CFPB will be looking at where debt collectors get their data and if that data is accurate, thus relieving consumers of being pursued for debts that they have already paid or never owed in the first place.
- The CFPB will assess dispute resolution processes and decide if disputes are resolved in a timely manner or if there are violations of the federal consumer financial law. They will also be assessing if the debt collection agencies have mechanisms in place for consumer complaints.
- The CFPB will be examining the behavior of debt collectors and seeing if consumers have been harassed or deceived. This includes using obscene language while speaking with the consumer, harassing the consumer with repeated, ongoing phone calls. threatening imprisonment of consumers who owe money, or threatening to tell the consumer’s employer about the debt.
Unsure about what your rights are? The CFPB has published FAQ’s about Debt Collection which will help answer some of your questions about debt collection.
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