Complaints against collection agencies have dropped nearly 20% in two years and debt collectors in 2015 earned a higher complaint resolution rate than the all-industry rate, according to the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Consumers complained more about cellular telephone service and supplies, telephone communications, television – cable, CATV and satellite and auto dealers, according to the BBB’s 2015 Complaint and Inquiry Statistics report.
Debt collectors received 19,277 consumer complaints nationwide in 2015, a small fraction of the one billion contacts made by debt collectors with consumers each year, the BBB data shows.
The report shows that 84% of complaints received by debt collectors in 2015 were resolved. In contrast, the average resolution rate for all industries surveyed by the BBB was 79% in 2015. ACA International, the largest industry representing collection agencies, applauded the news. "Our industry is often subjected to unfair negative perceptions," said Patrick J. Morris, CEO of ACA International. "Year-over-year trends such as this continue to show that debt collectors are trained financial services professionals working constantly to help consumers get back their financial footing while at the same time keeping our credit-based economy strong." Third-party debt collectors returned nearly $45 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013, according to ACA. That translates to an average savings of $389 for every household that did not have to pay more for goods and services to offset other consumers' debts. Along with those economic benefits, third-party debt collectors are involved in their local communities as civic leaders, employers, volunteers, philanthropists and taxpayers, ACA officials added.