After Jan. 2, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will exercise new authority over about 175 of the nation's largest collection agencies. Investigators from the regulator will carry out on-site inspections to verify that the firms are adhering to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The added oversight comes after thousands of consumers have complained of aggressive and threatening telephone messages from debt collectors. In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission received 150,000 consumer grievances tied to the industry. As an example, it cites one case where a Florida woman, late in paying a $200 phone bill, received calls at all hours of the night. Some were insulting, including a message left that she should change her surname to "Debtor." "Millions of consumers are affected by debt collection, and we want to make sure they are treated fairly," said CFPB director Richard Cordray.