National SOC Month

Consumer Complaint Numbers Continue Streak of Decrease

  • Written by Collection Advisor

According to American Banker magazine, the Better Business Bureau reports complaints against debt collectors are down.

Debt collectors outperform other industries in complaint resolution. Debt collection dropped to fifth place in complaints behind cell phone service, telephone service, cable television and auto dealers. The 13% decrease in complaints from 2015 to 2016 continues a 8.5% decrease from 2014 to 2015, and an 11% decrease from 2013 to 2014.

Altogether, it’s a substantial decrease in complaints over the last four years, especially considering there are over a billion customer contacts by collectors in a year resulting in just under 17,000 complaints to the Better Business Bureau in 2016.

ACA International analysis shows the total number of debt collection complaints received by the CFPB represents .06% of all Americans estimated to have a debt in collection.

The CFPB handled approximately 84,500 debt collection complaints in 2017, 3,500 less than in 2016. Only 0.005% of consumers who had contact with the debt collection industry during this time actually lodged complaints.

In comparison, America is quite lenient with consumers in debt. China maintains the Judgment Defaulter’s List of individuals who have failed to satisfy judgments against them. More than 3 million names were on this list already by the end of 2015. Being added to this list means more than just public shaming. It prevents those listed from flying in a plain, riding a high-speed train and sending children to paid schools. By mid-2016, about 5 million people had been preventing from buying these services in China as a result of being on the list.