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CFPB Offers New Ways To Combat Harmful Debt Collection Practices

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 6:39 PM
 From  CFPB.GOV: (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
Today [7/10/13], in addition to two bulletins putting companies on notice about harmful debt collection practices, we’re also releasing new tools for consumers: Action letters for consumers to consider using in corresponding with debt collectors and debt collection complaints.

Many collection firms play by the rules and treat consumers fairly, but those that do not can cause financial harm to consumers and undermine the financial marketplace. Banks and other creditors may collect their own debt. They also may sell off debt to third parties. Those third-party debt buyers may collect the debt themselves or sell it off again for collection. Any entity that is subject to the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 is legally required to refrain from committing unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices that would violate the Act.

Action letters

We’ve published five action letters that consumers can consider using when replying to debt collectors. These letters cay help consumers get valuable information about claims being made against them or protect themselves from inappropriate or unwanted collection activities.

The letter templates address situations where the consumer:
  • Needs more information on the debt
  • Wants to dispute the debt and for the debt collector to prove responsibility or stop communication
  • Wants to restrict how and when a debt collector can contact them
  • Has hired a lawyer
  • Wants the debt collector to stop any and all contact
In addition, the CFPB has started taking complaints about debt collection problems related to any consumer debt, including credit card debt, mortgages, auto loans, medical bills, and student loans.

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