The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) have released a report on their actions to battle illegal debt collection practices. The 2017 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) notes law enforcement, education and public outreach, and policy initiatives as efforts made by the agencies to combat these illegal practices.

“The FTC will remain vigilant in our efforts to monitor this industry and stop unlawful conduct that harms both consumers and legitimate businesses,” said FTC Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen, “and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, including the CFPB, on this important issue.”

Protecting Consumers and Businesses

The FTC obtained more than $64 million in judgments from filing or resolving 10 cases against 42 defendants in 2017. Further, they banned 13 companies and individuals—who seriously or repeatedly violated the law—from working in debt collection.

In 2017, the Bureau’s efforts to combat illegal debt collection included uncovering actions deemed to violate the FDCPA after supervisory examinations and conducting non-public investigations of companies to determine if they engaged in practices violating the FDCPA or Consumer Financial Protection Act. Specifically, they handled 84,500 debt collection complaints and resolved an FDCPA enforcement case that resulted in consumer relief and a payment to the civil penalty fund.

The FTC and the Bureau are continuing to work together to protect both consumers and businesses by monitoring the debt collection industry and aiming to put a stop to unlawful conduct.

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