Federal Trade Commission - - FTC - - Reports on 2016 Activities to Combat Illegal Debt Collection Practices

Summary Provided to CFPB for Annual Report to Congress

February 15, 2017

Washington, DC - - (February 14, 2017) - - During the past year, the Federal Trade Commission has continued its efforts to stop unlawful debt collection practices, including vigorous law enforcement, education and public outreach, and research and policy initiatives.

The FTC sent a summary of its 2016 work on debt collection practices to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for inclusion in the CFPB’s annual report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The FTC and the CFPB share enforcement responsibilities under the FDCPA. In 2016, the Commission:
  • Filed or resolved 12 cases against 61 defendants, and obtained nearly $70 million in judgments;
  • Banned 44 companies and individuals that engaged in serious and repeated violations of law from ever working in debt collection again; and
  • Secured successful summary judgment decisions in three litigated matters, resulting in orders banning defendants from the debt collection industry.

According to the summary, many of the FTC’s law enforcement actions focused on curbing egregious debt collection practices, including phantom debt collection. Additionally, this past year, two U.S. Courts of Appeals adopted favorable interpretations of the FDCPA in cases in which the FTC and CFPB had filed joint amicus briefs.

The Commission vote approving the report was 2-0.

Information source: Federal Trade Commission