U.S. News & World Report published a commentary piece on debt collection practices on Monday. The article takes a look at recent attention on the collection industry, largely a result of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ramping up oversight efforts.

The piece does not cast the industry in a favorable light.

The theme is that new rules are necessary to end abusive collection practices and that the collection industry deserves the added scrutiny it's received since the Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFPB rule-making as well as enforcement power over collections.

The article was co-written by Rebecca Thiess, a policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, and Ellen M. Taverna, the Legislative Director at the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

The article states that millions of Americans have experienced harassing phone calls, payment demands for money that's not owed and illegal threats of troubling consequences such as prison.

"These abuses are disturbingly common – in fact, they’re built into the way a great many debt collectors do business," states the article.

The article cites recent news concerning collection complaints from the CFPB and Federal Trade Commission, which highlighted enforcement actions.  

The article includes horror stories that are common in mainstream media articles on collections and states that collection problems have a long history made much worse by the recent combination of aggressive lending and widespread economic problems.

"Household debt nearly doubled in the half-decade before the financial crisis of 2008; the reckless lending and deceptive loans of those years contributed to a sharp rise in payment delinquency, which was accompanied by an explosion of new debt buyers and a deterioration of industry practices," according to the article.

For the full article, click here. 

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