The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released its first annual report on complaints and enforcement under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). From the FDCPA's enactment in 1977 until last year, the FTC was responsible for the annual report. Dodd-Frank transferred that responsibility to the FDCPA. The CFPB's report is easy to read and informative. The CFPB has begun taking consumer complaints on all sorts of issues, including unfair debt collection. But the FTC continues to take consumer complaints and enforce the FDCPA, and it reports that unfair debt collection continues to be the #1 consumer complaint:
The FTC continues to receive more complaints about the debt collection industry than any other specific industry. Complaints about third-party debt collectors11 and in-house collectors in 2011 together totaled 142,743 complaints and accounted for 27.16% of all complaints the FTC received.
Consumer debt collection complaints are varied, concerning, for instance, the failure of debt collectors to identify themselves, impermissible calls to the alleged debtor's workplace, and revealing the alleged debt to third parties. Here's a chart breaking down the complaints by category: (Click on the chart to enlarge it.)