American Fair Credit Council Files Formal Complaint with CFPB Ombudsman Regarding Inaccurate and Misleading Complaints Data


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), acting on behalf of the debt settlement service provider industry, has filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This complaint was prompted by the  November 29, 2016 CFPB Complaint Snapshot Report, VOL.17 (the "Snapshot Report"), which incorrectly reported that roughly half of the approximately 4,500 complaints handled by the Bureau in this area were attributable to companies providing debt settlement services.


In contrast to the inaccurate presentation in the Snapshot Report, the CFPB data clearly indicate that less than 1% of the complaints in the "Other Financial Services" category were filed against companies providing debt settlement services. The vast majority of the complaints in the "Other Financial Services" category of the Snapshot Report are, in fact, attributable to companies providing completely different products and services, including student loans, mortgage payment processing, and mortgage financing. More generally, complaints actually attributable to companies providing debt settlement services represent only a minuscule percentage (0.003%) of all complaints ever filed with the CFPB.

As the chief regulator for consumer financial services and products, the CFPB has a singular responsibility to provide accurate data regarding consumer complaints. Consumers make serious financial decisions, many of which can have life-altering consequences, in reliance upon the public statements of the CFPB and, by publishing such factually inaccurate statistics, the CFPB is exposing consumers to unnecessary risk to say nothing of the harm inflicted upon the numerous law abiding businesses whose public images are inappropriately tarnished. The AFCC calls on the CFPB to immediately take steps to correct and update the complaint data contained in the Snapshot Report and to take steps to prevent such inaccurate information from being published in the future.


About The American Fair Credit Council


The American Fair Credit Council(AFCC) is the leading association protecting consumer rights for the debt settlement industry. The AFCC, and its member companies, work to represent the rights of consumers struggling with the overwhelming burden of debt. The AFCC has developed a strict Code of Conduct centered on best practices designed to protect the rights of consumers and requires member companies to follow strict regulatory guidelines for operation. All AFCC members operate on a "No Advance Fee Model" and never charge a fee for services until a consumer's debt has been successfully negotiated.