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CFPB works to stop harassing phone calls from creditors

Numerous New Jersey residents have experienced the irritation and exasperation associated with debt collection calls. At some point, it becomes every struggling consumer's desire to stop harassing phone calls from creditors. Since July of last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received over 11,000 complaints about debt collectors' practices.

Surprisingly, complaints about harassing phone calls came in second on the list of issues with debt collectors. The number one source of complaints came from consumers who claim they did not owe the debts for which they were being harassed. Rounding out the top three is debt collectors not providing adequate information about the debt presumably owed by the consumer.

Some of the debts collection agents attempted to collect were paid off already. Still other debts were discussed with family members or third parties who had nothing to do with the debt allegedly owed. With the CFPB still in its infancy, adequate protections from these and other debt collection activities are not yet in place. In fact, some 70 percent of the complaints filed with the agency are still unresolved.

It could be some time before the CFPB is able to stop harassing phone calls from creditors. It may be necessary for creditors to contact New Jersey consumers to determine the status of a debt owed to them. However, the harassment designed to push individuals into paying a debt often crosses the line. People who experience financial difficulties already experience a great deal of stress, and debt collectors only add to that stress without offering any solutions or compassion about a person's situation. Debt relief options are available, and each consumer needs to determine which option provides the best possible financial outcome.

Source: CNN Money, Top debt collection complaints, Blake Ellis, Feb. 27, 2014

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