CFPB eyes credit reporting and debt collecting

CFPB eyes credit reporting and debt collecting The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is once again stepping up efforts to help consumers avoid predatory practices related to credit card debt, this time by focusing on debt collections agencies and credit reporting bureaus.

The CFPB recently issued a proposal that would allow it to oversee some of the "larger participants" in the debt collections and credit reporting industries as part of its efforts to expand its regulatory efforts to nonbanks. Under the rule, the CFPB would regulate about 180 debt collections agencies, based on their collecting more than $10 million in receipts per year, and 30 credit reporting agencies, which have $7 million in annual receipts.

However, the CFPB is also required to define exactly what constitutes a "larger participant" by July 21, 2012, with an official rule, the report said. The current proposal will be opened to public comment for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

Better protection from questionable lending, reporting and collections practices may help consumers to get a better handle on their debt consolidation efforts and get their finances back under control.