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Debt Collection Statistics

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Approximately 28 percent of people in the U.S. with a credit file have some debt being collected by a third-party service. Unfortunately, not all of these third-party collectors are reputable. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), harassing consumers to collect a debt is illegal, as it violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In 2018, the FTC “secured permanent bans against 32 companies and individuals who engaged in serious and repeated violations of law, barring them from ever working in the debt collection industry again.”

To prevent abuse of power by debt collection agencies and individuals, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 and a report is published on it every year. All of the stats here are from 2018, the year of the most recent report.

So, how did things turn out for consumers facing collections in 2018?

Here are the stats…


General debt collection statistics

Number of complaints consumers filed against debt collectors in 2018 – 81,500

Biggest collections industries by revenue in 2018:

Types of complaints received by the CFPB in 2018

Attempts to collect debt not owed – 40%

            Of that 40%…

Written notification about debt – 20%

            Of that 20%…

Communication tactics – 13%

            Of that 13%…

Took or threatened to take negative or legal action – 13%

            Of that 13%…

False statements or representations – 10%

            Of that 10%…

Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly – 3%

            Of that 3%…

Company responses to consumer complaints

Total Complaints Sent to Companies for Response – 51,700

Struggling with unlawful or abusive collections?

Despite reports the economy is on the upswing, some consumers are still hanging by a string, and struggling to recover. If you feel you’re being harassed by debt collectors in any way, don’t be shy about filing a complaint. The CFPB has added five action letter templates to its complaint database to help you correspond with your creditors.

And if you’re facing abuse or threats, fight back today! Call or complete the form to request help to end collector harassment now.

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All statistics from:


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