On August 28, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a settlement with an Illinois-based debt collection company, resolving allegations that the company engaged in deceptive practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), 12 U.S.C. §§ 5531 and 5536, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692e.
The CFPB alleged that the company, which collects debts from consumers across the country, misrepresented to consumers that they were attorneys when they were not, and also made false threats to consumers of arrest, wage garnishment, and liens if they failed to make payments. The company also allegedly told consumers that their credit would be negatively impacted if they did not make payments even though the company does not report consumer debts to credit-reporting agencies.
The Consent Order requires the company pay a $200,000 civil penalty to the CFPB and at least $36,800 in restitution to consumers. The Consent Order also requires the company to record telephone conversations with consumers going forward in order to prevent future misrepresentations.