Bullet points from Heather Allen’s overview of the FTC’s Debt Buying Study.

  • It’s smaller debt buyers (and re-sellers — i.e., debt buyer to debt buyer), not the larger ones, that are primarily responsible for some of the compliance issues.
  • What factors influenced the price: age, type: substantially more for mortgage; less for medical and utility debt.
  • Sellers draft sales agreement.
  • Debts generally sold “as-is.”
  • Missing or inaccurate data did not provide for a refund from seller.
  • Buyers typically had all the info the FDCPA currently requires. (Emphasis on currently.)
  • Buyers typically receive additional info: name of original creditor, amount of original debt, etc.
  • Did not get dispute or verification history, though.
  • Buyers obtain very few docs about debt at sale.
  • Info that debt buyers conveyed when reselling very similar to what they received. Not removing data; however, they’re not adding to that data.
  • How often do debt buyers verify consumer disputes? They verified about half of all disputed debts.
  • More likely to verify debts from original creditor rather than from other debt buyers. (All self-reported.)
  • Age of debt increases more when it’s debt-buyer-to-debt-buyer.
  • Why do debt buyers not insist on more documents? (Heather asked rhetorically)