1 in 4 Americans Feel Threatened When Contacted by a Debt Collector, Survey Says


1 in 4 Americans Feel Threatened When Contacted by a Debt Collector, Survey Says
  1. 1 in 4 Americans Feel Threatened When Contacted by a Debt Collector, Survey Says
    credit.com
    More than a quarter (27%) of consumers who’ve interacted with debt collectors said they felt threatened by the most recent creditor or collector who contacted them, according to a new survey from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). That may not sound surprising, given debt collectors don’t have a reputation for being friendly, but it’s... Read More The post 1 in 4 Americans Feel Threatened When Contacted by a Debt Collector, Survey Says appeared first on…
    Personal Finance
January 12, 2017 • 3 min read by Christine DiGangi 0 Comments

More than a quarter (27%) of consumers who’ve interacted with debt collectors said they felt threatened by the most recent creditor or collector who contacted them, according to a new survey from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).

That may not sound surprising, given debt collectors don’t have a reputation for being friendly, but it’s a noteworthy discovery. It’s illegal for debt collectors to harass or verbally abuse consumers.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector cannot “harass, oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt.” That includes things like threatening to hurt or arrest you, using obscene or profane language or using repeated phone calls to annoy you. They’re also not allowed to lie to consumers. The CFPB’s survey results indicate those rules often aren’t being followed.

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A bit more on that data: It’s based on survey responses from 2,132 consumers the bureau contacted between December 2014 and March 2015. Of those respondents, 32% (682 people) said they had been contacted by a creditor or debt collector about paying a debt within the last year. The results are weighed to represent “the broader population of consumers with credit records.”

It’s worth noting that consumers saying they felt threatened doesn’t mean the collector they talked to broke the law. Still, 27% is a high occurrence rate of potentially illegal behavior. Additionally, reports of threatening debt collectors wasn’t the only issue raised by survey respondents: About 40% of consumers who’d been contacted about debts in collection said they asked a collector or creditor to stop contacting them and, of those consumers, about 75% said the collector continued to contact them anyway. Legally, a debt collector must stop…

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