Debt Collection Agents Harassing Military Families

debtThere are many people who end up having huge problems with companies and individuals involved in debt collecting. However, according to a recent report debt collection is the top consumer complaint amongst service members and their families. It was found that compared to the general public, members of the services were twice as likely to make a complaint relating to debt collection. The data comes from a recent report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The data showed that close to fifty percent of complaints that were made were in relation to companies trying to collect money that was not even owed or trying to collect incorrect sums of money. Last year the CFPB is said to have received over 270,000 complaints from service members and their families in relation to issues such as these.

Getting out of debt is a priority

The Financial Behaviors Index from First Command showed that when it came to middle class military families, nearly one third said that getting out of debt was their top priority for the coming year. The next most popular goal amongst these families was to work on improving credit scores.

With regards to complaints from military members and their families, there has been an increase year on year since 2011 according to the CFPB. There was an increase of 13 percent when it came to complaints in 2015 and close to fifty percent of these complaints was in relation to debt collection issues. One major type of debt that service members tend to make relates to medical debt, which made up close to 13 percent of total complaints about debt from service members and veterans.

Another type of debt that has resulted in a large proportion of complaints is mortgage debt, which made up 14 percent of debt complaints. Credit reporting made up around 11 percent of complaints from military members and their families with 75 percent relating to incorrect information on credit files. This can be particularly damaging for service members because it can affect the security clearance they need for their jobs.

Other complaints made by members of the military included fraud and identity theft. These are issues that can be particularly difficult for service members to deal with, as they are unable to properly deal with such issues when they are deployed, which puts them at increased risk.