The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday warned about the risks of the online debt sales, alleging that sensitive personal and financial information is available in some instances to any visitor to a debt marketplace website.
The CFPB released a survey of consumers' experiences with debt collectors and a report on the risks of online debt sales. The survey found that 27% of consumers contacted by debt collectors feel threatened and 40% of consumers said debt collectors continued to contact them despite being asked to stop.
In July, the CFPB released a plan to overhaul the debt collection industry, including limiting collection attempts to six per week and requiring confirmation of a debt before a collector contacts a consumer.
But the bureau held off on issuing a plan at that time to regulate banks, credit card companies and other first-party creditors that are not subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
“The survey today casts light on troubling problems in the debt collection industry,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a press release. “More than one-in-four consumers report feeling threatened by a debt collector, and a majority of those contacted about debt say the calls persist even after requests to stop."
The CFPB receives more consumer complaints about debt collection than any other financial product or service.