A consumer advocacy is calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “step up” and stop debt collectors from “going after” consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. Frontier Group joins a growing number of advocacy organizations that are seeking to have debt collection prohibited while the country manages its respond to COVID-19.
Supporting its position that collectors are subjecting consumers to “harassment” and “stress” during the pandemic is the fact that more than 4,000 complaints about debt collection have been filed with the CFPB since March 1, according to the advocacy group. The group used two narratives that consumers included with their complaints to illustrate how collectors are continuing to issue court summonses and call people who are out of work because of coronavirus.
What the report did not tell you was, that if you look at the CFPB’s complaint database, you would see that nearly 6,000 complaints were filed by consumers against debt collectors in the six week period before March 1, which is 50% more than the number that have been filed since then.
“The CFPB has authority to take powerful steps to stop debt collection harassment and abuse,” writes Gideon Weissman in the report. “Yet thus far during the crisis, the CFPB has chosen to sit on the sidelines, on both debt collection and other areas of concern to consumers.”
Consumer advocacy organizations are ramping up their efforts to have debt collection prohibited during the pandemic. And those efforts are resulting in bills — in Ohio, South Carolina, and New Jersey, to name just three states, regulations — in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Nevada, and guidance — in Wisconsin, and Illinois, that are making it more complicated for collectors to know what is allowed and not allowed.