These days, most of us can't imagine leaving the house -- let alone the room -- without our smartphones safely tucked away in our hands or pockets. That's because these devices not only grant us immediate access to the internet, email and social media, but also ensure that we are always available to talk or text.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that this evolution in how we communicate hasn't gone unnoticed by certain parties. Indeed, a recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that now more than ever debt collectors are making an obscene amount of calls to consumers -- regardless of whether they've been asked to stop or have inaccurate information.
The CFPB report, released last week, revolves around the 10,800-plus surveys the agency mailed to consumers back in 2014 to 2015, asking them to relay information about their experiences with debt collection agencies.
After examining the roughly 2,000 responses received, the researchers made the following alarming discoveries:
- 75 percent of consumers reported that debt collectors continued to call despite requests that these communications cease
- Over 50 percent of consumers reported that debt collectors continued to call about an unpaid bill or overdue loan payment despite the fact that it was the wrong amount and/or not even money they owed
- Roughly 40 percent of consumers reported receiving four-plus calls per week
- 33 percent of consumers reported receiving calls after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m.
Given these findings -- and the countless others -- showing how debt collection agencies persist with unethical and often illegal practices, one can only hope that the proposed rules introduced by the CFPB this past summer, which would further limit contact between debt collectors and consumers, become a reality.
In the meantime, if you are dealing with relentless creditor harassment or have other consumer protection concerns, please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can protect your best interests and enforce your rights.