Surveys on debt collection disclosures, ‘making ends meet’ planned by consumer bureau

New surveys on consumers’ experiences with debt collection disclosures and on household financial shocks are proposed in notices published recently by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The bureau is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to conduct a web survey of 8,000 individuals as part of its research on debt collection disclosures. Titled “Debt Collection Quantitative Disclosure Testing,” the proposed survey, or information collection, will explore consumer comprehension and decision making in response to debt collection disclosure forms. According to the notice, the survey will oversample respondents who have had experience with debt collection in the past.

The bureau published 60-day and 30-day notices on the proposed debt collection disclosures survey in 2017 but withdrew the second notice and is now republishing it. Public comments are due to the bureau March 6.

Also due March 6 are comments on a proposed “Making Ends Meet” survey (also submitted for OMB approval) on the consumer’s experience related to household financial shocks and how households respond to those shocks, including the use of credit products that do and do not appear in the Consumer Credit Panel (CCP). (The CCP is a proprietary sample dataset from one of the national credit reporting agencies, used as a framework to survey people about their experiences in the consumer credit markets.)

The CFPB says this survey, with an estimated 2,000 respondents, will support the agency’s “household balance sheets” research agenda, which seeks to monitor developments in consumers’ financial situations, related changes in their use of financial products, and the effects that these decisions have on their balance sheets. It will be for general research and “will not directly provide the basis for specific policymaking at the Bureau,” the notice says.

Both notices were published Monday in the Federal Register.

Notice and request for comment; survey on debt collection disclosures

Notice and request for comment; ‘Making Ends Meet’ survey