CFPB Releases Latest Consumer Reporting Surveillance Data …

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CFPB Releases Latest Benchmarks on Consumer Reporting Accuracy, Debt Collection and Forgiveness of Government Services Loans

In its last Benchmark ReportThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shares the findings of its oversight work, “highlighting legal violations identified during the Bureau’s 2020 audits,” according to its Press release

The report includes findings that led to public enforcement action that required more than $ 124 million in damages and monetary fines. It covers, among others, car maintenance, mortgages, student loan servicing and debt collection. In addition, the report provides an overview of company-specific remedial measures for 2020 and outlines the evolution of the oversight program.

Important findings from the Oversight Key Indicators Report can be drawn from the debt collection issues noted:

Make sure your customer data comes from trusted suppliers

CFPB experts found that “consumer information companies accept information from companies that provide consumer data, even though there were enough indications that these providers were unreliable,” the CFPB said in a press release. These actions violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Provide consumers with accurate public service loan forgiveness information

CFPB experts found problems in the way student loan officers informed consumers about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. For example, experts found that service providers led consumers to believe that they could not access PSLF if they had old loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), even if they could access PSLF. PSLF by consolidating FFELP loans into direct loans.

Don’t Place Banned Calls on Consumer Jobs

Experts found that some debt collectors interacted with consumers in their workplaces after they learned or should have learned that consumer employers prohibit such communication in violation of Section 805 (a) (3) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The experts also found that debt collectors communicated with consumers in the workplace during business hours, when debt collectors knew or should have known that calls during business hours were inconvenient for consumers.

In addition, section 804 (1) of the FDCPA states that when communicating with third parties to obtain location information for a consumer, a debt collector may only disclose the name of his employer if explicitly requested. The experts noted that some debt collectors identified their employers when communicating with third parties who did not directly request it.

Termination of communication after a written request or refusal to pay

The experts reported that one consumer used a sample form to send a written statement to the debt collector stating that the debt arose as a result of identity theft, asking the collector to stop further communication, and asking the collector to provide confirmation along with the information. concerning the contested account. After receiving this form, the collector continued to try to collect the debt from the consumer in violation of Section 805 (c) of the FDCPA.

Be mindful of the vocabulary regarding consumers’ inability to pay

The experts found that when consumers stated that they could not agree on payments, some debt collectors emphasized twice or more to each consumer that the collector would place a mark in the accounting system stating that the consumer was refusing to pay. The experts determined that the natural consequence of these statements was harassment or harassment of consumers in violation of Section 806 of the FDCPA.

Provide accurate credit information

The experts found that the debt collectors knew or should have known that the debts were disputed, originated from identity theft, and did not belong to the respective consumers. However, in these circumstances, the collectors threatened to inform the consumer reporting companies (CRCs) that the consumer was in debt if it was not paid. The collectors then reported the debt to the CRC and did not report that the consumer was contesting the debt.

The experts found that several debt collectors misrepresented to consumers the impact that paying off their debts would have on their credit profiles, in violation of Section 807 (10). For example, one debt collector told a consumer that debt would no longer “affect” his credit profile after payment was made, which was a lie.

Send full verification notifications

The examiners found that the debt collectors violated Section 809 (a) by sending due diligence notices that lacked some of the required information. This error occurred due to changes to the template that were not verified by company personnel. In response to these findings, collectors are improving oversight of the new letter templates by their board and management.

Read the full bureau report here

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