PIRG Report: Mistaken Identity Tops Debt Collection Complaints

Here.  Excerpts from PIRG's news release:

Debt collectors trying to collect debt from the wrong person were the top source of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to a report released today by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. The report also found that debt collection, the newest category in the database, is already a top source of complaints to the CFPB, outpacing common consumer products such as credit cards and bank accounts.

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Some key findings:

  • The CFPB has helped enable more than 2,700 consumers – 22 percent of complainants – to receive relief as a result of their debt collection complaints. The majority of these consumers received non-monetary relief, such as halting harassing phone calls.
  • The most common problem was debt collectors trying to collect debt from the wrong person (25 percent), followed by repeated phone calls (13 percent). State and federal laws protect consumers from harassing phone calls from debt collectors.
  • Encore Capital Group received the most complaints nationwide.
  • The District of Columbia ranks #1 in complaints per 100,000 residents, followed by Nevada, Florida, and Delaware.
  • About 16 percent of responses received from debt collectors to complaints filed with the CFPB were deemed unsatisfactory by consumers and were subjected to further dispute.
  • Companies varied widely in how frequently they offered relief to complainants. Allied Interstate LLC granted relief to over 97 percent of complainants, while several companies never provided relief.