Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Host Roundtable on “Debt Collection & the Latino Community” Tomorrow

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will co-host a joint roundtable tomorrow in Long Beach, California, titled “Debt Collection & the Latino Community.” Participants will examine how debt collection and credit reporting issues affect Latino consumers, especially those with limited English proficiency (LEP).

The roundtable will bring together consumer advocates, industry representatives, state and federal regulators, and academics to exchange information on a range of issues related to debt collection and the Latino community. Opening remarks will be provided by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, CFPB Associate Director for External Affairs Zixta Martinez, and California State Senator Ricardo Lara.

“You have the right to fair treatment by debt collectors, no matter who you are or how well you speak English,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “I’m pleased that the CFPB is joining us to examine how debt collection and credit reporting issues affect the Latino community. The FTC has stepped up its debt collection enforcement efforts, filing 19 cases since 2010, representing over $415 million in judgments, and will continue to conduct vigorous law enforcement where needed on behalf of consumers.”

“Millions of consumers are affected by debt collection, and they deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This roundtable will enable us to better understand how debt collection and credit reporting issues affect Latinos -- especially those with limited English proficiency. We want to hear how we can better protect consumers, bring greater accountability to this industry, and help increase awareness among consumers of their debt collection and credit reporting rights.”

The roundtable is free and open to the public. It will be held at California State University, Long Beach, in the Grand Ballroom at the University Student Union. It will not be held at The Pointe, as originally planned. The address for the University is 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, California, 90840. Directions to the Grand Ballroom are available on the roundtable event page.

The event page also includes links to the roundtable agenda, information about the speakers, and other important information. Pre-registration for the roundtable is not required. Attendees may register at the entrance to the Grand Ballroom tomorrow.

The roundtable also will be webcast. There is no need to register to watch the webcast. Simply go to www.ftc.gov at 9:00 a.m. PST tomorrow and look for the link to the webcast.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. The CFPB works directly with consumers to help them avoid financial problems by giving them the resources they need to better understand consumer financial products and services. The Bureau provides complaint-handling services to consumers in more than 180 languages and to consumers who are deaf, have hearing loss, or have speech disabilities via the Bureau’s toll-free telephone number (855) 411-2372 or online at consumerfinance.gov. The CFPB’s Spanish language website CFPB en Español can be accessed at: www.consumerfinance.gov/es

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs, FTC

Moira Vahey
Office of Communications, CFPB

Thomas Kane
Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC