More consumers are falling behind in their bills. 6.6% of all credit cards are more than 30 days late, and delinquencies tracked by the American Bankers Association are the highest since it began tracking them in 1974.
The rise in defaults—which is really not news, at this point—will inevitably lead to an increase in debt collection activity, including abuse and harassment, and even more bankruptcies, which are already on the rise (despite a slight dip in June).
In other words, the need for stronger consumer protections is greater than ever. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act must be strengthened and updated, and Congress should approve the President’s plan for a Consumer Financial Products Administration (CFPA).