On September 27, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with an Atlanta-based debt collection company and its owners that would ban them from the debt collection industry.
The FTC had originally filed suit in 2020, after which the court issued an ex parte temporary restraining order prohibiting the company from doing business. The complaint, filed in September 2020, alleged violations of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), and of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692–1692p, for “deceptive and abusive debt-collection practices, including attempts to harass consumers into paying debts they do not owe.” The complaint alleged that defendants pretended to be attorneys or law enforcement officers and used “threats or fear to persuade consumers into paying phantom debts that [were] no longer owed or were never owed.”
Under the settlement, defendants are banned from debt collection and debt brokering activities and will pay $266,258.95 in monetary relief to the FTC. The total monetary judgment of $3,010,123.65 was partially suspended given defendants’ inability to pay.
Blog Enforcement Watch September 27, 2021