If your debt has ever gone into collections, then you already know what a harrowing process recovering from that can be. And sometimes unfair debt collection practices can make the process even more difficult.
Now the CFPB is taking action to help you take a stand. The CFPB hopes to reform unfair debt collection practices that can cause borrowers distress and even derail them from the hopes of achieving a reasonable repayment plan. Read on to find out what the CFPB is doing and how you can help.
Your Chance to Take a Stand
As per typical CFPB fashion, the bureau is starting with research from the people most affected by the problem – those who’ve dealt with debt collectors before. The bureau is planning to mail out surveys to gather information on your experience with debt collectors. According to Collections&CreditRisk, the CFPB wants to know “whether consumers have been contacted by collectors and whether they recognized the debt being collected.” More specifically, they want to find out how well people know their legal rights with regard to debt collection and how they feel about their previous interactions with debt collectors. Once the survey is complete and data compiled, the CFPB will use that information when considering future regulations and rule-making on debt collection.
Ultimately, the bureau is interested in improving the quality of information that gets passed along with debt when it’s transferred from the initial lender to the debt collector. They are also hoping to improve “the validation, dispute and verification processes to ensure that consumers are receiving accurate and useful information and have the ability to dispute invalid debts.“
What does that mean to you? It’s an opportunity to voice your opinion on the way debt collectors interact with you. And it means that the CFPB is taking the challenges facing debt collection agencies and borrowers seriously.
What Constitutes an Unfair Debt Collection Practice
When dealing with debt collectors, it’s important to keep in mind what they are and aren’t allowed to do. The more you understand your rights, the better agencies like the CFPB can help you. It’s important to note that not all debt collectors are bad – in fact, some may be very willing to work out a repayment plan that you can handle. But there are some out there who will do things to scare you. Some debt collectors may try to:
- threaten you
- harass you
- share your personal financial information with others
No matter what, threats, misuse of your information, and coercion are not allowed. So if a debt collector tells you that they’ll have your property seized, threaten your physical well-being or that of your loved ones, or threaten to have you arrested, then you need to speak up. You do have the power to fight for your rights and for your financial future!
Image credit: andreypopov