Debt Collection Market and Selected Policy Issues [Updated May 6, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "The debt collection market helps lenders recoup their losses when a consumer defaults, facilitating the resolution of delinquencies and defaults and making consumer credit and other related markets more efficient. The U.S. debt collection market is large, and it impacts many consumers. As of 2020, there were nearly 7,000 collection agencies in the United States, and the industry's annual revenue was about $13.4 billion. [...] The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA; 15 U.S.C. §§1692-1692p) is the primary federal statute regulating the consumer debt collection market. It generally applies only to debt collectors, not the original lender. Recently, the CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] finalized two new regulations intended to clarify and update provisions in the FDCPA, including how debt collectors may communicate with consumers and what information debt collectors must disclose to consumers. [...] This report first provides an overview of the debt collection market, including consumer experiences during the debt collection process. It then discusses the FDCPA, including the CFPB's recently finalized regulations. Lastly, the report discusses selected policy issues pertaining to debt collection: communication frequency; time-barred and obsolete debt; validation issues; medical debt and credit reporting; and federal, state, and local government debt."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46477
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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