ACA International, the largest association representing collection agencies, commented Tuesday on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s second annual report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Following is a statement from ACA International CEO Pat Morris.

The CFPB’s report to Congress aligns with the priorities of the diverse interest of the ARM industry represented by our association.Consumer debt collectors share the goal that consumers deserve to be treated respectfully and within the boundaries of the FDCPA. 

Consumer protection is important and must be balanced with the ability of third-party debt collectors to recover rightfully-owed consumer debt. Our industry has and will continue to work with the CFPB, federal and state regulators, lawmakers and enforcement authorities to identify reasonable solutions.
Like the CFPB, we agree that the landscape of consumer debt collection looks far different today than it did when the FDCPA was enacted by Congress in 1977. Technology has significantly changed as have consumer behaviors and the business of consumer debt collection.  This has led to the need to examine how existing federal laws under the purview of the CFPB, as well as others, should be modernized to reflect current realities of the 21st century.  
As the CFPB points out, the collection of rightfully owed consumer debt is vital to maintaining a healthy credit-based system.By recovering these assets on behalf of businesses, government and non-profit organizations, consumer debt collectors provide immense benefit to the national, state and local economies. In addition, they are important employers, taxpayers and contributors to the betterment of their communities
Our industry takes consumer complaints seriously and we are heartened by the reduction in debt collection related complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, as referenced in the CFPB’s report. We applaud the exceptional effort of America’s consumer debt collectors in resolving consumer complaints and are working with the CFPB as they move to a resolution-based system. Debt collectors want to work with consumers to resolve complaints and according to the Council of Better Business Bureau’s 2012 report on inquiries and complaint statistics, United States collection agencies resolved 86% of the consumer complaints received in 2012; exceeding the national average of 77% for all industries.

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