A call to collect, loaded with lies
The law is clear: debt collectors can’t use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices. Debt collectors who cross that line will end up in trouble with the FTC. That’s what happened to RTB Enterprises, Inc., a Houston company that collected debt as “Allied Data Corporation.” According to the FTC, collectors for Allied called people and pretended to be lawyers, made false threats to sue, and told lies to get people to pay unnecessary fees. Now Allied and its owner are the ones in court.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Allied’s collectors called people and claimed they worked with attorneys in departments — including a “Litigation Department” and “Legal Department” — that didn’t exist. Collectors were even more abusive when they made calls in Spanish, sometimes claiming to be lawyers, sometimes claiming they were preparing to sue.
Allied’s collectors were trained to extract information from consumers by offering them help through a “Hard-Ship Program,” but the “program,” like the “Litigation Department,” didn’t exist, according to the FTC. The training script was clear: every consumer “qualified” for the program if they gave detailed personal and financial information Allied could use against them later.
When consumers made payments, collectors insisted they pay an added $15 “transaction” or $10 “convenience” fee, saying the fees were required and unavoidable. The truth? The fees weren’t required, but they were lucrative. In two years, Allied cleared $1.3 million in profit from those fees.
You have rights when you deal with debt collectors. If you believe a collector has violated your rights, complain to the FTC. Your complaint gives us a lead to follow, and may stop a collector from mistreating someone else. Got a minute? Watch our short video about Dealing with Debt Collectors.