Recent enforcement actions against debt buyers by state and federal law enforcement agencies illustrate widespread problems in the debt buyer market that must be addressed. The Federal Trade Commission recommends in its 2013 and 2010 reports that states adopt reform efforts to address these market problems.

Based on its review of enforcement actions, industry data, and the FTC's reports, CRL recommends that to be effective, state reforms must include protections that ensure people are not sued in connection with time-barred debt, debt they do not owe, or for amounts they do not owe. At a minimum, state protections should set standards for adequate information and documentation for collecting a debt, and require additional information and documentation to file a debt collection lawsuit and to obtain a judgment against a consumer.

This report summarizes recent actions by regulators.