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Challenge

Many people who owe outstanding loans or payments are confused about the process for settling debts, including key details like consumer rights, interest rates, and due dates. In 2020, CFPB reported that debt collection is the consumer finance market with the second-highest amount of complaints.[1] CFPB has been working to improve this process and support consumers by clarifying their rights, simplifying processes, and holding debt collectors accountable. In order to improve consumer treatment and transparency, CFPB wanted to gain consumer insights, redesign forms, and test the effectiveness of the final version of the model validation notice at communicating consumer’s rights and protections and the roles and responsibilities of debt collectors.

[1] https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/R46477.pdf

Process

FMG 1) held discovery workshops, 2) held focus groups with consumers who had been through the debt collection process to get a better understanding of the kinds of issues consumers may have faced with the process and with notices in the past, 3) conducted three rounds of in-depth interviews and cognitive testing, 4) worked with a form designer to incorporate feedback into multiple versions of the draft forms, and 5) held 50 one-on-one assessments to test user comprehension and the effectiveness of the form.

Learn more about FMG AccuForms.

Impact

FMG used a rigorous multi-tiered approach to develop findings and essential research evidence used in CFPB’s final rule to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requirements that will protect consumer rights and facilitate a fair debt collection process, today and in the future.

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Justin Baer

Justin Baer

Vice President, Public Policy Evaluation

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