News & Resources

Debt collections on the rise

Feb 09, 2011 Kyle Duncan

Debt collection is on the rise, according to a new study by the East Bay Community Law Center, although many collectors are doing so despite a lack of proof for many of the claims. The report, titled Past Due: Why Debt Collection Practices and the Debt Buying Industry Need Reform Now, found that consumers are receiving more lawsuits from debt collectors and that consumers do not receive timely notice that there is a claim out against them. Other times, consumers do not have accurate proof of the exact amount on their claims. Study authors urge states to provide adequate protection for consumers through tougher legislation. The website My Bank Tracker explains that debt collectors bought up nearly $110 billion in debt in 2005, an increase from $6 billion in 1993. This increase in debt is partially due to the growing number of Americans struggling through economic hardships in the last few years. This growth is also due to the fact that debt collectors "often target individuals without legal representation that do not know their rights," says the site. Federal Trade Commission officials received more complaints about debt collectors in 2009 from consumers than from any other industry, explains the website.