Created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has been a critical ally for consumers in the financial marketplace. Over its history the CFPB has secured $12 billion in relief for wronged consumers, provided recourse to consumers facing problems with financial companies, and taken action against companies that break the law.
The Trump administration, however, has worked to undermine the effectiveness of the CFPB, retreating from critical investigative work and seeking to slash the CFPB’s budget and limit its ability to protect consumers. The CFPB has also reduced the usefulness of its research on consumer financial complaints. Its latest such report, spotlighting debt collection complaints, does not include the names of companies that receive the most complaints for abusive debt collection practices.
An analysis of CFPB consumer complaint data fills in the gaps of the bureau’s report, telling the story the Trump administration won’t about the problems consumers face with debt collection agencies across America.
Encore Capital Group is the most complained-about debt collection company.
Georgia leads all states in debt collection complaints per capita.
With a Senate-confirmed consumer champion at its helm, the CFPB can be a powerful ally for American consumers, giving consumers recourse when they are wronged and helping to create a fair marketplace for financial services.
Under the Trump administration, the CFPB’s future has been put at risk, and its ongoing efforts to protect consumers have been severely hampered. To ensure American consumers are protected in the financial marketplace, the president should swiftly nominate a consumer champion to the director position of the CFPB. Policymakers should oppose attempts to defund or defang the CFPB, even if recommended by its acting director.
To fulfill its mission of protecting consumers, the CFPB should:
Figure ES-1. Encore Capital Is the Most Complained-About Company in 32 States