On April 24, 2017, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that a federal court ordered the president of a debt collection company to pay $2 million in civil penalties under the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). A Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that the company and the president participated in deceptive acts and practices in violation of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), and multiple provisions of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692l, by falsely representing themselves as attorneys and improperly threatening debtors with legal actions, such as lawsuits, garnishments, bank levies, and seizures. The action was brought as part of the FTC’s Operation Collection Protection.
The company was previously banned from the debt collection business by a permanent injunction in April 2016, and another company executive was prohibited from engaging in debt collection through a September 2016 settlement with the FTC.