You are here

A year in debt collection

Share this page

Making a plan is one thing. Sticking to it: quite another. During 2015, the FTC made a plan to address some new and troubling issues in debt collection. Throughout the course of the year, we stuck to that plan – bringing a record number of new cases, banning bad debt collectors, talking with industry, and finding new ways to do outreach.

The FTC gets more complaints against debt collectors than against any other industry. But this year, we hope, we put a dent in the bad practices we hear so much about. During 2015, we not only coordinated the first federal-state-local enforcement initiative against debt collectors – including actions by more than 70 different partners – we also filed 12 new cases against 52 different defendants. And we resolved 9 cases, getting nearly $94 million in judgments.

We added to our list of banned debt collectors in 2015 – and published the list. These are people and companies that – because of serious and repeated violations of the law – have been banned by federal court orders from ever doing business in debt collection again. This has the result of putting these folks out of business, but it’s also a message to law-abiding debt collectors everywhere: don’t do debt collection business with these folks or you may find yourself in hot water.

One of the really important things we did this year was talk with the debt collection industry. The Debt Collection Dialogues kicked off in Buffalo, and then continued in Dallas and Atlanta. At all three, to sold-out houses, we brought together the debt collection industry with the state and federal agencies that regulate them – allowing all perspectives to be heard.

In consumer education, 2015 saw the release of a Spanish-language graphic novel – or fotonovela – about debt collection. It shows how you can deal with questionable debt collection tactics – and people ordered more than 113,000 copies of the publication last year.

But 2016 is another year – and we have more plans. So watch this space to see what else is coming – and to learn how to spot and avoid bad debt collection practices.

Tagged with: debt collection, FTC
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


The Graphic novel looks very good and helpful to people with little to no English, could this be reproduce in other languages as well?

The FTC has additional fotonovelas in Spanish and one in English.

This is Great I do hope they go after Dish Network for the hard time they give people , When these company's go after your credit and post that you still owe them money that is not true and hurts your credit report Why in the world can't someone go after these crooks

Can you please look into the flood of commercials we are experiencing on our cable TV. They just keep popping up and some are invisible so you have no way to turn them off and they just keep talking. Others over what you are trying to read. Surely we are not responsible for advertising for cable, who just hit us with another $5 per month raise. It's time to address this runaway wagon. Thank you.

I am still waiting for the U.S Government to investigate Discovery Bank and it's partner Smith, Debnam,.. for violating the rights of the consumer & U.S. citizens when it comes to Civil Rights violations.

how can i get a goverment lawyer to sue three debt co for harmness ,blackmail ,fraud and more, one is bank of america, i do not owe these com. nothing

You can report a fraudulent debt collector to the FTC at

You can file a complaint about a bank or other financial service company with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Outstanding Job!!!

What about attorney collectors behavior? Are they also under question also?

One of the issues I've repeatedly faced from debt collectors are two-fold:
1. Failing to acknowledge receipt of payment after debt has been paid in full.
2. Failing to send a paid in full notice after repeated requests.

It would be nice to have a clearing house that can serve as proof of transactions.

I would like to know about the attorneys who call as well regarding debt.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis. This FTC article has information about your debt collection rights under the FDCPA.

how long does a debt collection co have to keep persuing me for a debt that's years old !

This FTC article about time-barred debts has information about your rights related to older debts.

Now Trak America, Pallisades & Selip & Styanilou for their buying and selling very old debt. Watch out because some are putting judgements on people for as much as 20 yrs. Not that it is on the up & up.

If you have problems with a debt collector, report them to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

I am just a little fuzzy on the way our government, federal and state, are defending the consumers against "unlawful collection practices"? It all started back a few years ago when Chase bank was found using these practices against former account holders. These account holders were subject to ligation with charges for all of the things that were part of the ligation, court fees, attorneys fees, filing fees, all of the charges that one must except to pay when taken to this extreme. The complaint process that was taken left me with the idea of why did I even file the complaint, no response. After some time, I received a nice letter from Chase refunding me the fess and etc. that I was charged with the ligation due to the "unlawful collection practices" that Chase and the contracted collection agencies did us unlawful practices. I was also given a $400.00 refund for the trouble that I was put through with this action.

Fast forward a year or so, I receive a newsletter from the State Attorney General stating there defeat in having Chase be held accountable for there practice and having them pay for there "unlawful" ways. I was taken back by the award that was handed down, just for the state I reside in $4,000,000.00. I was shocked that this award was so large and when do I get my share? Taken back again, I was informed that the award was not going anywhere but to pay for the time of the attorneys time in the case and the remainder would be used to fight collection practices that should arise in the state in the future. I have never been so disappointed in the whole process and the large award was not just one state, this multi million dollar award was also spread out to the CPB and other federal government offices and the primary account holders whom were the original parties that Chase took this practice against were refunded with the government taking there fair share and again leaving us with that feeling of trust that they will work very hard to help the consumer get there due.

Leave a Comment