In a recently released report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) noted that Indiana consumers’ complaints about debt collectors increased more (on a percentage basis) for the period from December 2015 to February 2016 compared to the same period last year than in any other state – by a large margin. Indiana experienced a 38% increase in debt collection complaints compared to a year ago while the next highest increase was Arizona with 27%. Interestingly, however, Indiana’s per capita complaint rate remained one of the lowest in the nation. The CFPB’s report does not provide an interpretation of the data, and I don’t have an interpretation or even a theory about the cause of this increase in complaints. But it is certainly worth taking note when Indiana leads every other state in something.
The CFPB’s report also tells us who the American public is complaining about, and which debt collectors are doing better and which are doing worse. Encore Capital Group (Midland Funding LLC and Midland Credit Management, Inc.) led the list of the most complained-about debt collectors. Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc., Enhanced Recovery Company, LLC and Transworld Systems, Inc. rounded out the top four most complained-about debt collectors. Southwest Credit Systems, L.P., Transworld Systems Inc. and Focus Holding Company led the list of debt collectors who generated more complaints (on a percentage basis) from October to December of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier. On the other hand, Allied Interstate LLC, CCS Financial Services, Inc. and Resurgent Capital Services L.P. saw the largest percentage decrease in complaints compared to the October to December period a year earlier.
The report notes, not surprisingly, that the CFPB receives more complaints about debt collectors that any other area, including mortgage lenders, credit reporting agencies and credit card companies.