Nov 4 The US government has shut down four debt collection companies that used abusive tactics, in a few cases to pursue people who owed nothing, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday. The group cited 115 actions this year. You can learn more about what rights you have under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act in this Credit.com article. The illegal practices targeted by authorities also include the failure of a few collectors to give consumers legally required disclosures and notices, or to follow state and local licensing requirements.
“Being in debt is stressful enough for many Americans without also being subjected to intimidation and false threats”, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said.
If you believe you have been contacted by a debt collector who may be violating the law, you can contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office at ago.nebraska.gov under the Public Protection tab, or call us at 800-727-6432.
“Operation Collection Protection” represents a significant change in how state and federal enforcement agencies address the problem of illegal debt collection.
The FTC said in its release that there was a fifth case filed under seal that it could not discuss.
BAM Financial: The FTC has alleged that the defendants extracted payments from consumers through intimidation, lies and other unlawful tactics.
Attorney General Doug Peterson and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office wish to remind consumers that our office is able to assist in situations of unfair debt collection practices through our consumer mediation services. Another consumer was told if that if she didn’t pay, she would not be allowed to see her children.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 4-0.
The Delaware Department of Justice has joined a national coalition committed to working to crack down on illegal debt collection. The defendants also unlawfully disclosed consumers’ debts to third parties in an attempt to embarrass the consumers into paying them. The firm’s operations have been halted by a temporary restraining order issued by a New York federal court. Many consumers paid the couple’s now-defunct Aurora-based collection company, KIP, simply because they wanted to end the harassment, according to authorities.
Collectors at BAM Financial, which was accused of lying to and intimidating consumers, allegedly bought and tried to collect debt by posing as attorneys or process servers and telling people that they faced arrest or wage garnishment if they didn’t pay up.
“They threatened to garnish consumers’ wages, suspend or revoke their driver’s licenses, have them arrested or imprisoned, or sue those who did not pay”. Despite being provided with evidence from consumers proving that the obligations were not real, the company continued to try to collect on them by posing as lawyers and process servers, as well as by falsely threatening arrest, the agency said.