FTC racks up charges against unscrupulous debt collector

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If you’re behind in paying your bills, you may be contacted by a debt collector, but that doesn’t mean a collector can treat you unfairly. Under federal law, debt collectors — including collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them — can’t use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices to collect from you. But not all debt collectors play by the rules. Case in point: the U.S. Department of Justice has sued, on behalf of the FTC, Texas-based, Commercial Recovery Systems, Inc., a debt collection company that allegedly impersonated attorneys, law firm staff, judicial employees and mediators, and falsely threatened people with lawsuits, seizure of their property, or wage garnishment. All of these practices are against the law.



It’s important to understand your rights if you’re ever contacted by a debt collector. And if you believe a collector has violated those rights, the FTC wants to hear about it. Your complaint gives us a lead to follow up on, and may stop it from happening to someone else.

If you need help regaining control of your finances, check out the FTC’s free information.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Great work, FTC! Now please put an end to the largest fraud currently preying on the latino community- Herbalife.

This is fine for Texas but what about the other ones like ACS/ACE. They send arrest warrants, court dates, call your work place, sending threats about holding SS/retirement checks and send nasty emails? Are they okay? It scares people especially the elderly.

If you're dealing with a debt collector, you have rights under federal law. We’ve written on this blog about it before and you can also find information about your rights in this article. Debt collectors are prohibited from saying that legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action. In addition, debt collectors may not contact you at work if they’re told (orally or in writing) that you’re not allowed to get calls there.

If you think a debt collector has treated you unfairly or has violated the law, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

I have had all these things happen to me, just to make the arrangements they set up and have them demand more, threaten me on my cell phone and at work until I loose my job, get futher behind and start the process over again. I want to pay off my debt, I want to improve my credit score, but, you are made to feel incompetent and can never get off of the hamster wheel! I would like info on a fair and professional service that helps people like myself get back on track.

If you need help dealing with debt, you can contact a credit counselor. A reputable credit-counseling agency should send you free information about its services without requiring you to give details about your financial situation or pay any money before they provide services.

I was subjected to an unruly collection agency who was collecting a debt I owed to the VA. I tried to pay the debt ($ 4,800) back to the VA, and VA did not give me the chance, just sent it to this agency, which kept boosting the amount up. By the time I had all the information needed to send in this overpayment, I paid out in excess of $ 25,000.

The Illinois cook county is doing something similar to me,I bought a Toyota Camry from my cousin at Miami for about $1,200.00 and I paid $83.00 to transfer the the car in my name.i gave$460.00 to guy to bring the car for me at Evanston area. I Went to the Secretary of State and paid for everything.A year later they sent a bill for $175.00 as a no retailer sale tax use,they failed to told why?I am not a car dealer.They wanted me to have an RUT-50 form for tax exemption something like that.They are wrong one thousand time wrong, but they get power,now they sent me to the collection,because I resold that car for $700.00 to repair an other truck I got to work as an independent contractor at a company located at Arthur Elkton Grove Village.I need somebody to helping me.

What happened to Debt Pro 123? Any charges against them? What will happen to the money we paid them?

I emailed before, after I read this about the agency in Texas. I do not know what to do about this ACS/ACE Collection Agency. I have received arrest warrants, court dates, calls to my part time work, threats about freezing my SS checks, retirement checks and now they are threatening to freeze my bank account. They have already screwed up my banking account by trying to take money out as marriage counselors so now I can only use my debit card at certain places. I spoke to State Police, Sheriff's office and State's Attorney and they just pass me along between them telling me that it's a scam but I need my checks to survive and I am afraid that if I don't give them all the money they want I willhave nothing. They sent me an email the other day about an account from April of 2012 saying that I have not paid on it. I told them that I have bank statements saying they did take the money and they replied that it wasn't them. The company is Cash Net and I told them that it was funny that for every withdraw from my account said Cash Net. I borrowed $2100 total from these companies and have paid back over $3,000. Last month they told me I overpaid $100.00 and they would return it but all of a sudden they found another loan, surprise that I could settle for only $149.00, imagine that. How come some companies can do this but you stop others?

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database and the information you provide could help if there's an investigation. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

Also, the FTC has a lot of information on dealing with debt collectors. This article tells you what they can and can’t do when collecting a debt from you. And here's a sample letter you can use to stop their calls.

Brilliant Idea, FTC join with use

I had an Identity Scam used on me. I was e-mailed a proposal for a pre approved loan in the amount of $5,000 from Cash Express. I immediatly called the company to accept the offer, as I really needed the money. The account Manager answered the phone, and told me he already had my signed application and all of my personal information (how he got it, I don't know....I never applied with that Company before) and my $5,000 was all set to direct deposit into my checking account. But BEFORE this could be done, he needed to deposit an amount (from $2,000-$5,000) into my account...to verify it was in fact me and my account, I needed to first send back that amount to him and ONLY then would he deposit my $5,000. I don't know why I wasn't suspicious at this point! Next thing my bank calls me and says, Did you loose your debit card? I say, No. They then ask, Well you did call us at 8:30 this morning to file a claim for $2,300 to reverse out payments made to your creditors back to May of 2014, didn't you? I said a firm "NO, it CERTAINLY wasn't me!" The bank then told me that the caller pretended to be me...verified all personal information about me. So I rushed to the bank to undo this. The Bank immediatly cancelled my accounts. I filed a report with the FTC, and an Identity Fraud alert at the Credit Breaus. I have all the information, and I want this guy prosecuted! Get this, my phone rang (cell) while I was at the bank. It was Logan from Cash Express. He said, Connie we deposited $2,300 to your bank account and we need you to send us back that money right away. hahaha! told him I was at the BANK now and he did NOT make any DEPOSIT to my account, and I informed him of what he DID do to my account. There was a brief pause, then he said, OK Connie, have a nice day, and he hung up! lol Well, I thought that was the end of that. I was wrong. I got a voice mail today (january 26, 2015) from Logan at Cash Express telling me that he was going to be filing a lawsuit against me. The reason? I defaulted on a signed loan agreement. hahaha, he is funny!

I have dealt with ACS before and I sent them a very nasty email using a few choice words and they responded with they have young family members reading some of their emails and requested that I not use such foul language when responding. I told them that if they keep sending me these bogus threats of arrest in emails, then I will keep responding the way that I do. I haven't heard from them since.

I've been getting calls from a "Mr. Collins" who says he's a process server for a company called McKindley Mediation Group, and he is looking for a certain person. He gives the name of the person, but that person is unknown to me. Mr. Collins's phone calls use Anonymous caller, so his number doesn't show up on the Caller ID. If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer and let it go to voice mail. He has threatened to come to my employer to serve these processes - I'm retired, haha - and to come to my residence. I have notified the local police and county sheriff of this person's calls. I did call the number that he left on the voice mail and requested that they leave me alone. Interestingly enough, I called that number three times and got three different people....definitely a scam.

They WONT help u however if your bill is not protected under the FDCPA. I have been dealing with abuse but because its a business debt (albeit a small one of 100 dollars) no one can help me. REALLY SAD there are no federal regulations to protect me on this.

I have been contacted by a collection agency that is trying to get in touch with my father. My father and I share this same first name (ie. sr. vs. jr.). Because of this, this is not the first time that I get his collection notices. But this last collector is now trying to collect from me for his debt. They have actually threatened to go after the rest of our family. They are using privileged information as a tool to intimidate, even going so far as looking into my PERSONAL files - THIS IS NOT EVEN MY DEBT! Isn't it illegal to look into someone's records when the collection notice belongs to someone else?

Debt collectors may not misrepresent the truth, including threatening legal action that is illegal or that they do not intend to take. For more information, please see the FTC publication, Debt Collection. I also would encourage you to file a complaint with the FTC.

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