As Reform Bill Advances, Watchdog Found Debt Collection Industry Gave Hundreds of Thousands of Reasons for Senators to Sell Out Vulnerable Consumers 

Washington, D.C. — Today, House lawmakers voted to pass the Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act — a package of common-sense bills aimed at protecting American consumers from predatory debt collectors, an industry that has exploited families’ vulnerability more than ever during the pandemic. The bill’s success in the Senate now hinges on the support of lawmakers who have welcomed enormous financial support from the debt collection industry, including over $300,000 alone to Republicans in Senate leadership and members of the Banking Committee, an Accountable.US analysis found. Will these senators put consumers first, or the industry that mistreats them?  

The debt collection industry racks up among the highest number of consumer abuse complaints of any industry and millions of dollars in fines and legal penalties for misconduct. And as Americans faced widespread job losses and threats of eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic with little help from the Trump administration, these companies’ harmful practices only got worse.  

“Leader McConnell and company face a choice: protect consumers from some of the worst practices of shady debt collectors — or look the other way as their industry donors take their harassment of vulnerable families to new lows,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Accountable.US. “Senate lawmakers need to follow the lead of their colleagues in the House and pass this legislation putting consumers first, not the ill-gained profits of their big debt collector friends.” 

U.S. consumers are contacted by debt collectors more than a billion times a year. Too often, the debt collection industry goes after “zombie” debts — ones too old to be legally pursued or that don’t even belong to the person a debt company is targeting.  

For more information on some of the most egregious debt industry actors who have deceived, harassed, and wrongly sued consumers for their own selfish gain, READ THE REPORT HERE.

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