August debt collection complaints and litigation

Minnesota residents might not be aware that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tracks complaints and litigation cases in regard to debt collectors. The amount of complaints declined from July to August, but there has been an increase in consumer litigation cases in the past 12 months.

WebRecon found that there was a 10 percent decrease in complaints in August compared to July, but a representative noted that this could be due to a drop in the data available from the CFPB. Of the 3,432 complaints filed by consumers in August, 92 percent of the complaints were addressed in a timely manner.

Forty six percent of the complaints were filed because consumers believed they did not owe the debt they were contacted about while verification of a debt was the second highest complaint. Many of the complaints were in regards to debt for phone bills or health club memberships, and 18 percent of complaints were about credit card debt while 17 percent were about medical debt.

Cases involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act declined 12.6 percent in August, but year-to-date filings were still increasing. The Fair Credit Reporting Act cases also declined in August but have risen since January, and the amount of cases related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act remained the same. Approximately 805 companies were sued, and some of the suits involved were class action suits.

Whether one believes a mistake has occurred or one is suffering from creditor harassment, there are options when debt collection agencies are violating rules. In some cases, a debtor can stop harassment or collect damages if creditors are making threats or attempting to engage in deceptive practices. Consumers may wish to contact an attorney when dealing with creditors or wondering about options for getting out of debt.

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