On November 8, a federal court in Georgia issued a temporary restraining order against a Georgia-based debt collector, freezing its assets and granting the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) immediate access to its business premises.
The court granted this relief in response to a complaint filed by the FTC alleging that the company falsely told consumers they had committed a crime and faced lawsuits, garnishment, or imprisonment if purported debts were not paid, in violation of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p. Defendants also allegedly contacted consumers’ friends, relatives, and employers about false debts. According to the FTC, Defendants allegedly defrauded consumers of over $3.4 million since early 2015.
The court found good cause to believe that immediate and irreparable damage to its ability to grant relief to consumers would occur unless it granted the restraining order and froze the company’s assets.