Poll Reveals Consumers’ Feelings About CFPB, Debt Collection Activities

While the fate of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may rest in the hands of the Supreme Court, consumers of all political affiliations are in favor of the Bureau’s efforts to protect consumers from abusive and fraudulent financial products, according to the results of a poll that was released last Friday.

The poll was commissioned by the Center for Responsible Lending, but was conducted by Lake Research Partners, a Democratic polling firm, and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, a polling company that works with the Republican Party.

Nearly 80% of those that were surveyed — including 86% of Democrats and 75% of Republications — favor the agency and its mission. Only 8% of adults said they opposed the CFPB’s mandate of protecting consumers.

“This poll reveals Americans of all ideological stripes support the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said Charla Rios, deputy director of research at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), in a statement. “People want the CFPB to stop financial discrimination and other unfair practices. Any move to defang this consumer watchdog would be extremely unpopular.”

Overall, 25% of the poll’s respondents have been contacted by a debt collector in the past 12 months about an unpaid debt.

Digging into the specific questions that were asked, 81% of consumers either somewhat or strongly support a measure that would prevent creditors from taking action, such as filing lawsuits against consumers without clear evidence that the consumers actually owe the debts, including 85% of Democrats and 81% of Republicans.

A majority of consumers also support the CFPB taking further action to protect consumers’ credit related to medical debt.

The respondents were also asked questions about Regulation F. Eighty-three percent of respondents supported the CFPB prohibiting debt collectors from harassing consumers through email, text, and social media messages, and 80% said debt collectors should be held accountable for illegally suing or threatening to sue consumers for debts after the deadline to sue has expired.

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