LeeAnn Hall’s Statement on CFPB Actions Against Citibank

For Immediate Release
Feb. 23, 2016
Contact: Kathy Mulady,
Communications Director

Statement from LeeAnn Hall on CFPB actions against Citibank

The Alliance for a Just Society released the following statement from executive director LeeAnn Hall following today’s announcement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlining enforcement actions against Citibank for illegal debt sales and debt collection practices:

“We’re encouraged to see the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau take enforcement action to hold Citibank accountable for these illegal activities,” said LeeAnn Hall, Executive director for the Alliance for a Just Society.

“The fact that Citibank was involved in these types of activities, which included falsely inflating interest rates when it sold credit card debt to debt buyers and employing law firms that altered affidavits in debt collection lawsuits, is unfortunately not surprising. In fact, Citibank ranked fourth among all companies for the most debt collection-related complaints in a two-year sample of complaints filed with the CFPB, and received the most complaints of any major bank.

“Our analysis makes it clear that debt collectors routinely engage in unfair, deceptive and abusive practices to maximize their profits.

“Citibank’s activities underscore why we need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to move forward with writing new, strong rules that put a stop to abusive debt collection practices. And, the fact that Citibank is an original creditor, not a third-party collector or debt buyer itself, highlights why the CFPB should not limit new rules to third-party collectors, but should also write rules that prohibit deceptive and abusive collection activities by original creditors.

“We need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to stand up for consumers and write strong rules that end these abusive practices.”

The Alliance released a report last month, Unfair, Deceptive & Abusive: Debt Collectors Profit from Abusive Tactics, that analyzed a two-year sample of 75,000 consumer complaints filed with the CFPB about debt collection practices. Citibank was cited in 1,553 complaints, placing it fourth highest on the list of entities with the most complaints and first among original creditors.

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