The Washington, D.C. region again outpaces the nation in complaints about debt collection in 2018, according to the latest Complaint Snapshot report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB.
Washington, D.C. ranks first in the nation in debt collection complaints per capita, while Maryland ranks third and Virginia ranks eighth. The D.C. area has registered a total of 96,123 complaints about debt collection since 2011. The Washington, DC area has had three of the top ten jurisdictions for CFPB complaints per capita in every year since the agency began collecting the data.
Debt collection complaints
As of 2016, approximately 8,500 debt collection businesses were in operation in the United States. The CFPB report focuses on debt collection, which has “consistently been among the most-complained-about consumer financial products and services.”
The debt collection industry “affects millions of Americans,” according to the CFPB. No fewer than 26 percent of consumers have a credit report with a debt collector listed. The main types of debts that these collectors report include auto debt, credit card debt, federal student loan and private student loan debt, medical debt, mortgage debt, and payday loan debt.
Consumers complained about debts appearing on their credit reports without prior written notice of the existence of the debt. Other consumers asserted that they wrote to companies but that the companies did not respond. And consumers also complained about debt collector communication tactics, such as frequent and repeated calls, calls before 8AM and after 9PM, and calls after the consumer requested no further telephone contact.
Complaints about debt collection in the D.C. area
Fortunately, the clock has run out on Mick Mulvaney, who has overseen a virtual seppuku at the CFPB. As acting director of the CFPB, Mulvaney fired the agency’s 25-member advisory board just days after some of its members criticized his leadership. The agency has just dropped its investigation into Zillow for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. And Mulvaney has even called for the end of public access to the CFPB’s complaint database.
Mick Mulvaney has gone out of his way
to make sure the [CFPB]
is rendered absolutely useless
when it comes to the goal
of protecting consumers
from predatory financial institutions.
CFPB Doesn’t Want Consumers
to Have Access to Complaints,
Paul Blest, Splinter
If you have a complaint about debt collection in the D.C. area, you owe yourself the duty of reporting it. You know about the CFPB because it sits in your back yard. If you have a debt collection complaint in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, and you’re not sure how to report it, call our office for assistance.