Document and Entity Information - shares
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2019
May 01, 2019
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]    
Document Type 10-Q  
Amendment Flag false  
Document Period End Date Mar. 31, 2019  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2019  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q1  
Trading Symbol ECPG  
Entity Registrant Name ENCORE CAPITAL GROUP INC  
Entity Central Index Key 0001084961  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer  
Emerging Growth Company false  
Small Business false  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   30,966,649