Debt Collection and Modern Communication Channels Discussed in CFPB Credit Card Market Report

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) published its biennial report on the credit card market. The Bureau's report is intended to focus on the CARD Act's impact on the credit card market. However, the Bureau notes that, due to the passage of time, such correlations are difficult to make. Because of this, future reports will focus more on the credit card market as a whole (while still discussing the CARD Act’s impact where appropriate).

Overall, the Bureau notes that the credit card market continues to grow. Outstanding balances continued to grow, ending 2018 “nominally above” pre-recession levels. The total credit line across all consumer credit cards was $4.3 trillion in 2018. Credit card applications have slightly declined since their peak in 2016.

Late payments and default rates have modestly risen since the prior report, but remain below pre-recession levels. According to the report, “Rates of credit card delinquency and charge-off have declined sharply since their peak during the recession, and remain lower than they were before the recession. Both indicators have increased slightly in recent years.”

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