CALLS from a debt collector, 30 to 40 times a day. Embarrassing calls about a payday loan debt to friends and family. And ruined credit, incurred through thousands of dollars in credit card debt that a consumer didn’t actually owe.
Such stories are some of the many complaints submitted by the public to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which says that grievances against debt collectors are the most common type of complaint it receives.
About a quarter of consumers who had been contacted by a debt collector said they felt threatened, according to a national survey that the bureau published on Thursday. Nearly 40 percent of consumers contacted reported that a collector called four or more times a week, and more than half reported being contacted about a debt that was incorrect in some way — for example, the amount was wrong, or they weren’t the person who owed the money.
Generally, debt collectors are prohibited by law from harassing or abusing consumers. But the bureau is weighing a proposal to set more detailed rules for third-party collectors, like placing specific limits on the number of calls