The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to hear from you to learn about your experiences with the debt collection industry.

The other day a caller said “I used a document preparer or bankruptcy petition preparer. Certainly they have obligations to keep my social security number confidential?” Unfortunately I had to say “Oh how wrong you are.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “CFPB” issued a public notice and request for comment over a plan to mail surveys to consumers “to learn about their experiences interacting with the debt collection industry”.  The comment period has expired, but you can check out the results at CFPB.gov.

The Bureau predicts that it will have a report on the survey ready for public distribution 6-8 months after the survey process begins.

Think about the information you are giving this stranger: all your financial information, your children’s names, bank accounts and your social security number. You do this without the slightest guarantee that the information will be kept safe.

Specifically, the Bureau is looking for comments on:

  • Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • The accuracy of the Bureau’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used;
  • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and,
  • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
  • It will ask consumers about their preferences for how they would like to be contacted by debt collectors.
  • Their opinions about potential regulatory interventions in debt-collection markets, and
  • about their knowledge of their legal rights regarding debt collections.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “CFPB” is the first government agency that is really looking out for the consumers.  It is important that we protect the CFPB from political attacks of the large banks and other lending institutions (payday loans, etc).  Respond to their request for information, fill out surveys and/or file complaints (where appropriate).

UPDATE: President Trump is attempting to gut CFPB (see articles below).