Collector - June 2017 - 10

FYI

WHY SAMPLE SIZE IS IMPORTANT

1,000,000,000

Consumer contacts made by the
debt collection industry annually.

682

CFPB's survey sample of individuals who
have been contacted by a debt collector.

A Flawed Approach
ACA's white paper disputes the CFPB's survey findings on consumer experiences with debt collection.

I

n January, the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau released the results
of a survey it conducted on consumers'
experiences and preferences related to debt
collection. However, the CFPB's report on
these consumer experiences is empirically
weak, conceptually unclear and overtly
exaggerated, according to new research by
ACA International.
ACA's white paper, An Overview of
the Analytical Flaws and Methodological
Shortcomings of the CFPB's Survey of
Consumer Experiences with Debt Collection,
argues that the CFPB paints an unfair
picture and discredits the legitimate debt
collection industry by relying on flawed and
empirically weak data and by promoting
misleading conclusions.
ACA raises concerns about the number
of consumers contacted for the survey,
arguing that although the CFPB touts its
consumer experience survey data as the "first

10

comprehensive and nationally representative
data," its overall sample of individuals who
have been contacted by a debt collector
is remarkably small, representing only
682 individuals. Despite this significant
limitation, the CFPB continually couches
its findings in relation to all American
consumers with debt collection experience,
which could be construed as incomplete.
"The data obtained by the CFPB through
the consumer survey is insufficient at best
and fundamentally flawed at worst," said Josh
Adams, Ph.D., ACA's director of research.
"As a result, the survey data cannot be used
as the basis to properly inform the bureau's
debt collection rulemaking efforts."
The survey's questionable methodology
was another area of concern. For example,
the CFPB reported finding that more
than one in four consumers contacted
by a debt collector felt threatened. But
the survey failed to ask consumers about

their experience without defining the legal
regulations that govern the interactions.
ACA called attention to these obvious
flaws and concerns nearly three years ago,
but the CFPB proceeded with conducting
the consumer survey on debt collection
experiences despite objections from the
industry.
In light of these flaws and unreliable
findings, ACA's white paper concludes
that the CFPB must conduct further
study and analysis of the debt collection
market before it will be positioned to issue
evidence-based, comprehensive rules to
regulate this complex industry.
ACA's research initiatives aim to collect
more original data about the credit and
collection industry. The goal of this
exclusive research and analysis is to
continue to quantify the ways that debt
collectors help consumers and the overall
economy.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - June 2017

President's Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
In Case of Emergency
Pulling Back the Curtain
ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Calendar
Honor Roll
Seeing Eye to Eye
The Business Battle
Blueprint for Success
Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover1
Collector - June 2017 - Cover2
Collector - June 2017 - 1
Collector - June 2017 - 2
Collector - June 2017 - President's Page
Collector - June 2017 - Industry News
Collector - June 2017 - 5
Collector - June 2017 - 6
Collector - June 2017 - 7
Collector - June 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - June 2017 - 9
Collector - June 2017 - FYI
Collector - June 2017 - 11
Collector - June 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - June 2017 - 13
Collector - June 2017 - In Case of Emergency
Collector - June 2017 - 15
Collector - June 2017 - 16
Collector - June 2017 - 17
Collector - June 2017 - 18
Collector - June 2017 - 19
Collector - June 2017 - Pulling Back the Curtain
Collector - June 2017 - 21
Collector - June 2017 - 22
Collector - June 2017 - 23
Collector - June 2017 - 24
Collector - June 2017 - 25
Collector - June 2017 - ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Collector - June 2017 - 27
Collector - June 2017 - 28
Collector - June 2017 - 29
Collector - June 2017 - 30
Collector - June 2017 - 31
Collector - June 2017 - Calendar
Collector - June 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - June 2017 - Seeing Eye to Eye
Collector - June 2017 - 35
Collector - June 2017 - The Business Battle
Collector - June 2017 - 37
Collector - June 2017 - 38
Collector - June 2017 - 39
Collector - June 2017 - Blueprint for Success
Collector - June 2017 - 41
Collector - June 2017 - Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Collector - June 2017 - 43
Collector - June 2017 - Compliance
Collector - June 2017 - 45
Collector - June 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - June 2017 - 47
Collector - June 2017 - Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover3
Collector - June 2017 - Cover4
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