Consumer Finance Insights
November 5, 2015

Ohio AG Announces Enforcement Action Against Regional Debt Collector

On November 4, 2015, the Ohio Attorney General announced that it had filed a civil enforcement action against a regional debt collection company. The lawsuit is part of an ongoing partnership with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other federal agencies to investigate abusive debt collection practices. Enforcement Watch previously reported on the FTC partnership, named “Operation Collection Protection,” here. According to the Ohio Attorney General, the company purchased collection accounts from primary creditors. The company allegedly used “abusive and profane language” in telephone calls to consumers and misrepresented that consumers faced criminal charges or civil lawsuits if they failed to immediately pay the debt. The company also allegedly placed telephone calls to consumers’ employers and family members without obtaining the prior consent of the consumers and in some cases after employers or family members specifically instructed the debt collectors to stop calling. The complaint, which was filed on October 30, 2015, seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the company and its principals from engaging in abusive collection activities, and also seeks civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each violation.