In March of 2016 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released their Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for 2015, which compiles and provides analysis of all the complaints that come into the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network. From that analysis they created a top ten list of industries that received the most complaints. After analyzing more than 3 million complaints the FTC found that debt collections is the top industry; it racked up 29 percent of the total number of complaints.
This was an increase in complaints about debt collection with the FTC bringing a record number of law enforcement actions in 2015. Challenging illegal debt collection practices continued to be a high priority in 2016. While debt collection complaints rose to the top spot among complaint categories, the report noted that this was due in large part to a surge in complaints sent by a data contributor who collects complaints via a mobile app. This change caused a spike in complaints related to unwanted debt collection mobile phone calls.
Since the FTC saw such a large increase in complaints about debt collections, it is safe to assume that they are watching debt collectors closely to ensure no violations. Therefore, it would be a wise move to start 2017 off properly by updating your business on the current regulations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulating agencies, particularly in terms of interaction with consumers. Then ensure all agents and employees are trained on proper procedures when interacting with consumers and collecting debt.
If you would like to learn more about compliance, BillingTree offers Compliance Central, a 24/7 resource for compliance training, tools and news. BillingTree has the latest technology and the best programs in order to help their clients grow their businesses easily, quickly and within full compliance. To learn more about how BillingTree can help you, contact BillingTree or call us at 877-424-5587.