” Debt Collector’s Tend To Favour Going After African American’s Rather Than White’s”

#AceDebtNews says according to HUFFPOST  a  new survey finds that African-Americans are much more likely than whites to be called by debt collectors, despite both groups reporting relatively equal levels of debt and repayment rates.

Just take a look at this chart:

DEBT-COLLECTORS

Think tank Demos and the NAACP Economic Department collaborated to survey moderate-income American households with some credit card debt for the study. Black Americans weren’t any more likely than whites to be late on a payment, the survey found, and they were also no more likely than whites to declare bankruptcy or get evicted.

So what gives? It’s not clear exactly why debt collectors seem to be going after one race more than the other, but the study’s findings could be the result of one unfortunate reality: Black Americans tend to have lower credit scores than white Americans, research has shown. And that gap got wider as a result of the financial crisis — sub-prime lenders were more likely to target African-Americans during the housing boom. Those loans, with higher interest rates, were more likely to default. The result: credit scores that could be marred “decades,” as the Washington Post pointed out in 2012.

“African-American households are more likely to have been called by bill collectors because they are more likely to have blemishes on their credit history that would send debts to collection agencies,” Catherine Ruetschlin, an author of the Demos report, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

The economic recovery hasn’t been kind to African-Americans: The unemployment rate for blacks (12.5 percent) is more than double that of whites (6.2 percent), according to the most recent jobs report. In fact, the jobless rate for blacks now is much higher than the overall unemployment rate in October 2009 (10 percent), the highest it got in the aftermath of the recession.

“Those disadvantages mean that African-Americans are more likely to face financial insecurity and have poor credit scores as a result,” Ruetschlin wrote.

Blacks also have a harder time than whites getting a home loan. They earn less than their white peers. They’re much more likely to live in poverty and less likely to have health insurance.

Mark Schiffman, a spokesperson for ACA International, a trade association of third-party debt collectors, defended his industry as “color-blind.” “They [the third-party agencies] don’t get into the ethnic information,” he told HuffPost. “Their job is to collect the debt, not give out the credit.”

Adam Christian Debt Management Services

#DRAP

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OFT has opened formal investigations into several payday lenders over aggressive debt collection practices.

A shop window advertising payday loans.

A shop window advertising payday loans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The OFT has opened formal investigations into several payday lenders over aggressive debt collection practices. It is also today writing to all 240 payday lenders highlighting its emerging concerns over poor practices in the sector.

These actions are set out in a progress report published today as part of the OFT’s compliance review of the payday lending sector. It highlights concerns about:

  • the adequacy of checks made by some lenders on whether loans will be affordable for borrowers
  • the proportion of loans that are not repaid on time
  • the frequency with which some lenders roll over or refinance loans
  • the lack of forbearance shown by some lenders when borrowers get into financial difficulty
  • debt collection practices.

The OFT is continuing to gather and analyse information about the activities of payday lenders as its compliance review progresses. It also expects to warn the majority of the 50 firms inspected, which account for the majority of loans, that they risk enforcement action if they do not improve specific practices and procedures which came to light when they were inspected. The OFT will require those lenders it warns to provide it with independent audits to verify that they have improved their practices and procedures to comply with legal obligations and expected standards.

The emerging findings are based on information from a wide range of sources, including:

  • a ‘sweep’ of the websites of 50 payday lenders
  • a programme of inspections of over 50 individual lenders
  • 686 consumer complaints
  • a mystery shopper exercise involving 156 online and high street lenders
  • 1,036 responses to a survey of businesses, trade associations and consumer bodies.

They have uncovered evidence that some payday lenders are acting in ways that are so serious, that they have already opened formal investigations against them. It is also clear they have said, that across the sector, lenders need to improve their business practices or risk enforcement action.

‘Their report shows that a large number of payday loans are not repaid on time. I would urge anyone thinking about taking out a payday loan to make sure they fully understand the costs involved so they can be sure they can afford to repay it.

‘Their revised guidance makes it absolutely clear to lenders what they expect from them when using continuous payment authority to recover debts and that we will not accept its misuse.’

The Consumer Credit Act 1974 requires most businesses offering credit, lending money or involved in activities relating to credit or hire, such as debt collectors, to be licensed by the OFT. The OFT produces guidance to clarify its expectations of those companies and individuals that hold a consumer credit licence. Failure to have regard to OFT guidance can call into consideration the business’ fitness to hold a consumer credit licence.

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Consumers Rights & Fair Debt Collection

Vintage Ad #1,807: The Dapper Debt Collector

Vintage Ad #1,807: The Dapper Debt Collector (Photo credit: jbcurio)

The Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting consumers’ ability to protect their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by suing debt collectors.

The amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to overturn a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  In this case, a consumer, Olivea Marx, sued a debt collector, General Revenue Corporation, that had contacted her employer to get information about her employment status.  Marx believed that the debt collector’s conduct had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but she lost the case.  The Tenth Circuit ruled that Marx was responsible for paying more than $4,500 to cover the debt collector’s litigation costs, even though she had brought the case in good faith.

The amicus brief argues that the Tenth Circuit’s decision was inconsistent with the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which specifies that consumers who win lawsuits against debt collectors may recover their litigation costs from the defendants, but that consumers who lose these cases must pay defendants’ litigation costs only if the consumers sued in bad faith or for purposes of harassment.  Theamicus brief also argues that these provisions of the Act advance Congress’ intent to help consumers deter abusive debt collection practices by bringing private enforcement actions in good faith.  By contrast, the Tenth Circuit’s ruling would create a disincentive to prosecute private enforcement actions, the brief states.

https://twitter.com/AceDebtNews/status/239717719447064577 

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