Uncle Sam Wants YOU to Report Deceptive Debt Collectors

What consumers need to know when faced with abusive debt collectors.

ByABC News
August 7, 2013, 5:32 PM

Aug. 7, 2013 — -- 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.

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.