Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released its latest edition of Supervisory Highlights. While debt collection contained one reference, a large portion of the Highlights revolved around the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and credit reporting disputes.
In regards to debt collection, the report focused on the collection of interest. According to the report, “[o]ne or more debt collectors claimed and collected from consumers, interest not authorized by the underlying contracts between the debt collectors and the creditors.” The entity (or entities) in question will conduct a full accounting of the problematic interest collected—including for accounts already resolved accounts—for remediation to consumers.
Another observation in the report—against a creditor, but which is relevant to debt collection—was using false or misleading statements in order to recover an account. Specifically, the Bureau noted that a credit card issuer threatened to repossess a consumer's vehicle or foreclose on a consumer's home while collecting on a credit card account. Such statements, according to the report, could mislead a consumer since the issuer does not repossess vehicles or foreclose on homes for such account, such practices go against its internal policies.
Credit reporting had its fair share of real estate within the report, with many of the observations revolving around disputes. The Bureau’s examiners found the following issues:
- Failing to investigate disputes within the timeframe proscribed by the FCRA, or at times not investigating disputes altogether.
- Failing to report results of dispute investigations to all credit reporting companies.
- Failing to promptly correct previously-furnished information that an investigation found to be inaccurate.
- Failing to mark the account as disputed after receiving a consumer’s dispute.
- Failure to have adequate policies procedures regarding the integrity of the information furnished to the credit bureaus.