More consumers had trouble with debt-collection practices in 2020 compared to a year ago, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receiving more than 82,000 complaints.
The Bureau this week submitted its 2021 report to Congress on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In the report, the CFPB stated it received about 82,700 debt collection complaints from consumers, a 10% increase year over year. Of the complaints, 49% were related to “attempts to collect debt not owed,” 20% were for “written notification about debt,” and 10% noted “false statements or representations.”
Consumers often complain about efforts to collect debts they do not recognize, are owed by someone else, or are related to services they did not receive, according to the CFPB. Identify theft claims accounted for 29% of complaints related to non-owed debt in 2020.
Complaints in 2020 also touched on communication tactics, threatening legal action, and threatening to improperly share information.
The Bureau sent about 66% of the complaints to the companies to review and respond, a 16% YoY increase. Companies had responded to 99% of the complaints they received as of March 22. Of those, 85% of complaints were closed with an explanation, and 9% were closed without resulting in monetary relief to the consumer.
Since January 2021, there have been 494 complaints related to managing a vehicle loan or lease; 304 complaints mentioning problems at the end of a loan or lease; 260 complaints of consumers struggling to make payments; 173 complaints from consumers trying to get a loan or lease; and 153 complaints detailing incorrect information on reports, according to public records of consumer complaints to the CFPB.
Nearly every captive and many banks with a substantial auto portfolio were mentioned in the complaints. Most have been closed with explanations as of today.
Auto Finance Risk Summit, the premier event for risk and compliance in auto finance, returns May 11-12, 2021 as a virtual experience. The virtual experience will offer the quality networking and education of past events, all through an online platform. To learn more about the 2021 event and register, visit www.AutoFinanceRiskSummit.com.