From the Summary: "When a consumer defaults on a debt, a third-party debt collector often collects the debt obligation rather than the lender to whom the debt is originally owed. The debt collection market helps lenders recoup their losses when a consumer defaults, generally making consumer credit and other related markets more efficient. When lenders can effectively recoup their losses, they may be more willing to lend to consumers at lower initial loan costs, leading to more access to credit for consumers. The U.S. debt collection market is large, and the debt collection process impacts many American consumers. As of 2019, there are over 7,000 collection agencies in the United States, and the industry's annual revenue is about $12.7 billion. According to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) survey, approximately one-third of consumers with a credit bureau file reported being contacted by at least one creditor or debt collector trying to collect on one or more debts in the previous year."
CRS Report for Congress, R46477
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/