On May 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had entered into a consent order with a Texas-based debt collector, stemming from allegations that the debt collector had violated the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Duties of Furnishers of Information to Consumer Reporting Agencies Rule (16 C.F.R. § 660) (Furnisher Rule) by failing to establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of consumer information furnished to consumer reporting agencies. The complaint, filed the day of the announcement in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleged that the debt collector failed to “adopt policies reasonably designed to promote the objective of conducting reasonable investigations of consumer disputes and taking appropriate actions based on the outcome of such investigations”; and failed to address in its policies and procedures such topics as records maintenance, staff training, dispute resolution, and periodic auditing. The complaint further alleged that the debt collector did not have a policy requiring that consumers be told that their complaints had been addressed or resolved. Under the consent order, the debt collector will pay a $72,000 civil money penalty, and will be required to implement policies and procedures that comply with the Furnisher Rule.
Blog Enforcement Watch May 11, 2016