American consumers now have not one, but two federal agencies they can call upon for help dealing with abusive debt collectors.
The Federal Trade Commission has brought several cases against problem debt collectors over the past couple of years. And the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has started publishing rules debt collectors have to follow to conduct business fairly.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB was set up to be the first federal agency solely focused on making consumers get a fair shake from financial firms. The agency has pulled many non-traditional financial providers into its purview, such as debt collectors. Recently the CFPB created five form letters consumers can use when dealing with debt collectors to make sure they are treated fairly.
Click here to read about the CFPB's jurisdiction over debt collectors.
Click here to submit a debt collector complaint to the CFPB.
Click here for downloadable form letters that help you instruct a debt collector not to contact you anymore, to request proof that a debt is really yours and more.
The Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is the nation's traditional consumer watchdog and has enforced the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for years. In fact, debt collectors are the industry consumers complain about most to the FTC.
Click here to file an FTC complaint about a problem debt collector.
You can read the agency's advice about debt collectors here.