WASHINGTON, D.C. — The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has provided the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with an annual summary of the FTC’s activities in the debt collection arena.
The FTC shares enforcement responsibility for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) with the CFPB, which provides an annual report to Congress about debt collection enforcement activities.
The annual report, which was released on Friday, highlights both agencies’ efforts to stop unlawful debt collection practices, including law enforcement, education and public outreach, and policy initiatives. Among the actions taken to combat unfair, deceptive, and otherwise unlawful debt collection practices in 2020, the FTC:
- led Operation Corrupt Collector, a nationwide federal-state law enforcement sweep and outreach initiative targeting phantom debt collection and abusive and threatening debt collection practices;
- filed or resolved 7 cases against 39 defendants, and obtained $26 million in judgments;
- brought the first federal action combatting unlawful “debt parking”;
- banned the operator of a debt collection scheme who engaged in serious and repeated violations of law from ever working in debt collection again;
- deployed educational materials to inform consumers about their rights, and educate debt collectors about their responsibilities, under the FDCPA and FTC Act; and
- supplied 15,755 copies of a fotonovela (graphic novel) on debt collection, developed for Spanish speakers, to raise awareness about scams targeting the Latino community.
The summary also highlighted the FTC’s ongoing partnerships with CFPB and other government agencies to ensure consumers are protected from unlawful debt collection practices.
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