Companies under the jurisdiction of the CFPB received bulletins Wednesday reminding them that debt collectors will be held accountable for unlawful conduct when trying to get a debt paid.
"Many collection firms play by the rules and treat consumers fairly, but those that do not can cause financial harm to consumers and undermine the marketplace," the CFPB said in a press release.
In the first of two bulletins, the CFPB stated that any entity under its jurisdiction, whether a third-party collector or a creditor collecting its own debts, can be held accountable for any unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices in collecting a consumer’s debts.
The second warns companies to avoid deceptive statements concerning the impact of paying a debt on a consumer’s credit score, credit report, or creditworthiness.
"Banks and other creditors may collect their own debt. They also may hire a debt collector or sell the debt to third parties. Those third-party debt buyers may collect the debt themselves or sell it again,” The CFPB added.
The bureau is concerned that some of these statements – like telling consumers that paying a debt would improve their credit score – may be deceptive. The bulletin highlights examples of potentially deceptive claims debt collectors may be making to consumers about their credit reports and credit scores.