The regulator’s latest complaint prevents bad actors from contacting consumers for debt collection purposes as well as buying and selling debt.
12/15/2021 1:00 P.M.
2.5 minute read
The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday it reached a settlement in a case resulting in a ban on the defendants’ operations in the debt collection industry.
“A group of phantom debt collectors will be permanently banned from the debt collection industry and required to surrender the contents of numerous bank and investment accounts under the terms of a settlement,” according to a news release from the FTC.
The FTC’s complaint against National Landmark Logistics, filed in July 2020, “alleged that the defendants in the case used robocalls to leave deceptive messages claiming consumers faced imminent legal action—lawsuits or even arrest—for unpaid debts,” according to the news release. “When consumers returned the calls, the defendants falsely claimed to be from a mediation or law firm, again threatened legal action, and used consumers’ personal information to convince consumers the threats were real.”
Under the terms of the settlement, National Landmark Logistics LLC; National Landmark Service of United Recovery, LLC; Silverlake Landmark Recovery Group, LLC; and Jean Cellent will be permanently banned from debt collection of any kind.
“They will also be banned from buying or selling debt, and from making any misrepresentations to consumers about any goods or services—including from claiming that they are lawyers or represent a law firm,” according to the FTC.
The defendants also face a monetary judgment of $12,098,760, which is partially suspended due to an inability to pay.
National Landmark Logistics and other defendants in this case were part of a settlement in March 2021, ACA International previously reported.
When there are admissible facts evidencing egregious conduct, ACA supports law enforcement and regulators’ efforts to target bad actors, stop illegitimate debt collection activity and safeguard consumers’ rights by removing known violators from the financial marketplace.
“Fraudulent and illegal actors should be distinguished from ACA member debt collectors that work hard to comply with a variety of consumer protection laws and regulations and work compassionately with consumers to resolve legally owed debts,” said Leah Dempsey, ACA’s vice president and senior counsel of federal advocacy. “ACA appreciates when the FTC rightfully focuses efforts on those seeking to defraud consumers.”
ACA will continue to work with the FTC and other regulators to help them understand the complex issues that legitimate debt collectors face. ACA takes pride in its frequent and varied industry compliance educational services in support of the overwhelming majority of legitimate debt collectors who operate lawfully, take consumer protection seriously and play a unique and much-needed role in our credit-based economy.
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