On February 13, the Federal Trade Commission sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray summarizing its 2016 debt collection activities for inclusion in the CFPB’s annual report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In its letter, the FTC describes “its aggressive law enforcement activities against abusive, unfair, and deceptive debt collection practices.”  The FTC reported that it filed or resolved 12 cases against 61 defendants, and obtained nearly $70 million in judgments during the year.  The FTC additionally banned 44 companies and individuals from ever working in debt collection again, and secured successful summary judgment decisions in three litigated matters.

The FTC’s debt collection effort is a three-pronged approach focusing on “(1) vigorous law enforcement; (2) education and public outreach; and (3) research and policy initiatives.”

The FTC’s letter highlights its continued regulatory supervision and enforcement activities over the debt collection industry.  We expect the FTC, along with the CFPB, to continue to closely monitor the players in this arena throughout 2017.