Consumers on the receiving end of debt collection calls may soon have more protections under proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules unveiled Thursday.
Roughly 1 in 3 consumers has been contacted in the past year by a creditor or collector trying to recover a debt, according to the CFPB. Despite existing laws, complaints about debt collection account for a quarter of all the grievances the agency has received to date — more than any other industry.
"We continue to hear about serious problems with debt collection — debiting accounts without authorization, calling at all hours of the day or night, threats of arrest or criminal prosecution, or threats of physical harm to consumers and even their pets," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement.
Under the proposed regulations, debt collectors would need to undertake additional due diligence to make sure they are collecting on a legitimate debt. (A third of consumers contacted about a debt report that collectors had the wrong amount, according to the CFPB.)