FTC Files Complaint for Alleged FDCPA and FTC Act Violations

The regulator’s latest complaint is part of a nationwide enforcement initiative with state and federal law officials focused on bad actors.

10/20/2020 6:30 AM

AdvocacyNewsGovernment
FTC Files Complaint for Alleged FDCPA and FTC Act Violations

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia-Atlanta Division for alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The complaint was the latest action as part of a nationwide law enforcement and outreach initiative organized by the FTC and more than 50 federal and state law enforcement partners on illegal debt collection practices.

The initiative “encompasses more than 50 enforcement actions against debt collectors engaged in these illegal practices brought by the FTC, three federal partners, and partners from 16 states,” according to a Sept. 29, 2020 news release from the FTC. In two new cases, the FTC alleges that companies were trying to collect debts they cannot legally collect such as debt that a consumer does not owe or never owed.

In one of the recent complaints, the FTC alleges an Atlanta-based company, Critical Resolution Mediation LLC, “regularly posed as law enforcement officers, attorneys, mediators, or process servers when calling consumers about supposed unpaid debts,” according to an Oct. 15, 2020 news release from the FTC. Based on the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the FTC alleged the defendants threatened to:

  • Arrest and jail consumers who refused to pay immediately,
  • Garnish consumers’ wages or revoke their drivers’ licenses, or,
  • Lower their credit scores.

In addition, the FTC alleged the defendants violated the law when they:

  • Contacted consumers at their workplaces.
  • Notified their families about the supposed debt.
  • Shared consumers’ personal information.
  • Used profane language with consumers who refused to pay or asserted their right to review information about the purported debts, and
  • Refused to provide information about the alleged debts as required under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Based on the supporting information, the court entered a temporary restraining order in the case on Sept. 30, 2020.

ACA International applauds the FTC’s general efforts to educate consumers and to stop bad actors engaging in the conduct alleged here, making illegal robocalls and engaging in other unfair debt collection practices.

ACA supports law enforcement and regulators’ efforts to stop illegitimate debt collection activity and safeguard consumer rights by removing from the financial marketplace entities violating federal and state laws protecting 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 and offerings 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.

In addition to law enforcement actions, state and local consumer protection agencies across the country are joining the FTC in rolling out new information to help consumers know their rights when it comes to debt collection and what steps to take if they receive a call trying to collect on a debt that they do not recognize. The FTC has also created a new online dashboard accessible by consumers and industry professionals containing information about reports received from consumers, including a breakdown of statistics for each individual state.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

FTC Files Complaint for Alleged FDCPA and FTC Act Violations

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia-Atlanta Division for alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The complaint was the latest action as part of a nationwide law enforcement and outreach initiative organized by the FTC and more than 50 federal and state law enforcement partners on illegal debt collection practices.

The initiative “encompasses more than 50 enforcement actions against debt collectors engaged in these illegal practices brought by the FTC, three federal partners, and partners from 16 states,” according to a Sept. 29, 2020 news release from the FTC. In two new cases, the FTC alleges that companies were trying to collect debts they cannot legally collect such as debt that a consumer does not owe or never owed.

In one of the recent complaints, the FTC alleges an Atlanta-based company, Critical Resolution Mediation LLC, “regularly posed as law enforcement officers, attorneys, mediators, or process servers when calling consumers about supposed unpaid debts,” according to an Oct. 15, 2020 news release from the FTC. Based on the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the FTC alleged the defendants threatened to:

  • Arrest and jail consumers who refused to pay immediately,
  • Garnish consumers’ wages or revoke their drivers’ licenses, or,
  • Lower their credit scores.

In addition, the FTC alleged the defendants violated the law when they:

  • Contacted consumers at their workplaces.
  • Notified their families about the supposed debt.
  • Shared consumers’ personal information.
  • Used profane language with consumers who refused to pay or asserted their right to review information about the purported debts, and
  • Refused to provide information about the alleged debts as required under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Based on the supporting information, the court entered a temporary restraining order in the case on Sept. 30, 2020.

ACA International applauds the FTC’s general efforts to educate consumers and to stop bad actors engaging in the conduct alleged here, making illegal robocalls and engaging in other unfair debt collection practices.

ACA supports law enforcement and regulators’ efforts to stop illegitimate debt collection activity and safeguard consumer rights by removing from the financial marketplace entities violating federal and state laws protecting 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 and offerings 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.

In addition to law enforcement actions, state and local consumer protection agencies across the country are joining the FTC in rolling out new information to help consumers know their rights when it comes to debt collection and what steps to take if they receive a call trying to collect on a debt that they do not recognize. The FTC has also created a new online dashboard accessible by consumers and industry professionals containing information about reports received from consumers, including a breakdown of statistics for each individual state.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Loading...

Loading...

Scroll to Top