Lawmakers in Connecticut want to curb "deceptive and abusive collection tactics" being used by banks and third-party collectors.

A report released by Alliance for a Just Society states that debt buyers Encore Capitol Group and PRA Group, GE Capital Retail (now Synchrony Financial), Bank of America and Citibank, top the list of companies with the most debt collection-related complaints from Connecticut residents.

State Representative Matthew Lesser (D-Middletown) joined U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, state Department of Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez, Tom Swan from the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and consumer advocates in a press conference Monday calling for a crackdown on abusive debt collection practices in the state. Details on any sort of stepped up crackdown were lacking at the press conference. More than 26% of Connecticut adults with a credit file have a report of debt in collections.“Connecticut consumers have been bombarded by unfair, deceptive and abusive debt collection practices-unacceptable and outrageous knocks at their doors, calls at all hours of the night, and even confrontations at their places of work. This report is a mandate for action, and I urge the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to use its authority to crack down on these unscrupulous practices,” said Sen. Blumenthal.

Last week, the CFPB reported that the three most complained about financial products were credit reporting, debt collection and mortgages, collectively representing slightly more than two-thirds - 68% - of complaints submitted. The CFPB saw a 1% overall drop in complaint volume between November and December.

The three companies the CFPB received the most complaints about between August and October last year were Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, which isn’t surprising given their size and activity in the market. 

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