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The FTC’s new Hall of Shame — Banned Debt Collectors

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There’s the “A List,” and then there’s the “D List.” I know which one I don’t want to be on.

Now the FTC has its own version of the “D” List — its list of banned debt collectors.

Consumer complaints to the FTC about abusive debt collectors have more than doubled over the past seven years, coming in second only to identity theft, which has held the top spot for more than 14 years.

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. Some are fined, punished, promise to comply with the law going forward, and are monitored by the FTC to make sure they do. But the behavior of other debt collectors gone bad is so egregious that the FTC asks the courts to permanently ban them from participating in the debt collection business. You can learn about the lawsuits that resulted in the bans, including press releases and links to the legal complaints, by visiting the FTC’s list of banned debt collectors.

As this list highlights, the FTC has been cracking down on illegal debt collection practices. In 2014, the FTC:

  • filed 10 new cases against 56 new defendants;
  • resolved nine cases and secured nearly $140 million in judgments; and
  • banned 47 companies and individuals from the debt collection business.

Since January 1, 2010, the FTC has sued over 180 companies and individuals who broke the law, banning 63 from the industry, and securing more than $220 million in judgments.

It’s important to understand your rights if you’re 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, and may stop a collector from mistreating someone else. Got a minute? Watch our short video about Dealing with Debt Collectors.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I have had my phone number for over 13 years and am still getting calls for someone who evidently had that number before. I have diligently picked up the phone or called the numbers back to inform them with this information and am always promised that my number will be removed. Consistently the calls start up again. I am so tired of this.

i just got a call from a states attorney and they said the state dept has charges on me and at 4pm today they will file a warrent for me if i don't pat 10% of $15,000 , 1,021.91? or i could turn myself in to the jail at 4 to avoid any embarrasement, and so i started to ask more questions about who was doing this and could i call the states dept or district attorney, and he got short with me and said it was up to me either pay or go to jail, it was over a cash advance i had in 2012, and they said theyve been sending me mail at an address i had over 7 years ago? what should i do

Sounds like a scam. File a complaint with the FTC and your state's attorney general. DO NOT PAY WITHOUT CREDIBLE VERIFICATION. I believe this was one of the scams the FTC sent out alerts for.

Call the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, toll-free 855 411-2372 (2372 spells CFPB on phone keys). I really get the feeling it is a scam. You might want to look-up and call the state attorney general to see if they are really calling you. A threat is a no-no.

It's a scam.

Definatley a scam - do not pay !!!!

Definitely a scam.

PAY YOUR BILLS PEOPLE!

Things happen. People become disabled. People lose good paying jobs and end up working at a minimum wage job. There are life changes that people can not forsee nor change. I hope this never happens to you. Try to be merciful toward others.

Leasure sounds like a shill. Begone!

I took a small loan out at local Check n Go place here in town, I lost my job a couple weeks later and couldn't afford to pay the loan back a few month later I started to get in call from a collection agency tell me there a process servering company and there going to serve me with with papers if I don't pay up today. So I called Check N Go and they said they sold my account to United Debt Holdings ( UDH ) I google them and Craig Manseth is named president of the firm who bought my debt CNG, then CNG gave me there number and I called UDH and a Lady picked up and was rude and told me i better pay my bill and she gave me a 1888 number and I googled that it was connected to a 716 number with a po box address no website nothing felt like I was calling in a boiler room type of operations. They asked me for my case number and to verify my last 4 of my SSI number once i verified my account they started in with there pitch if I dont pay $50 today the process server is going to find me and server me court paper and said I have to show up to court the following week. Any suggestions what do I do with this agency pretending to be legal process servers?

Report them, it's illegal to say those things.

On the 12th of January,I made a phone call to the Milford,CT.,Walgreen's about refilling my mothers Tramadol.One minute after hanging up,I got a call from"Northland Pharmacy"-(607)795-4626-a man with a very strong Indian accent,asking for Michael.I said this is he.The man then told me that MY 50mg Tramadol is ready and he just needs my credit card number to complete the transaction.I insulted him and hung up.I have been trying,unsuccessfully,for 3 weeks to reach Walgreen's headquarters.I don't believe in coincidences,so I'm thinking either my phone or Walgreen's phones are compromised by this scam artist.I googled the above telephone number and have learned that the same number has been associated with calls to people saying their computers have viruses,also calls about TimeShare property rentals have come from the same number.I wish Walgreen's would get ahold of me so we can discuss this,or maybe the FTC.I'm very concerned and don't know what to do about this.

Sounds like Walgreens's system is compromised - definately a scam. contact the Federal Trade commisssion

I would join

I filed a complaint last year about a collector calling my office who I told not to contact me at work 2 days in a row. She demanded to speak with my boss and then called my boss' office telling him that I was rude to her on the phone. He told her that I cannot take personal calls at work. Then, just last week, I started getting calls from a man from a blocked number at my work saying he was a process server with the county and that he is bringing my court summons to my office and my supervisor must be there. I told him that my boss works in another city and asked what this is regarding. He told me to stop the summons I had to contact a 1-855 number. I told him not to call me at work. He called the next day with the same threats. I told him not to call my work again. He called the day after that (when I was out of the office) and told all of this court nonsense to my co-worker. My co-worker called me at home and I used my roommate's phone to call them and it turns out it is a collector from the same payday loan place the first complaint was about over a year ago! They threatened to garnish my wages for over $1500 if I did not pay them $150 now. I told the man that I have 50 cents to my name and am late on my rent as it is (due to my roommate not paying their half). He said that they will take my paycheck and sue me and hung up before I could get an address to send them a letter telling them not to call my office.

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal law. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law. The FTC's Debt Collection article has information about your rights. For example, collectors may not contact you at work if they’re told (orally or in writing) that you’re not allowed to get calls there.

Portfolio Recovery debt collections should also be on the list. They have harassed me for years! Even on debts that have been 'forgiven'. I am a 63 yr old disabled widow and their constant insults into my privacy have caused me an increase in my depression and anxiety along with my physical ailments. They are terrible people.

 This article has information about your rights when you're dealing with debt collectors. There are limits on what debt collectors can do when they contact you. They can't harass you; for example, they can't curse at you or threaten to hurt you. Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law

How about enforcing the Do Not Call law????? If the phone can send me a bill when I make a call, why can't the FTC send a fine when someone ELSE makes a call to my number?? I've been on the list for YEARS and my phone rings 2-3 times a day with junk. Each call gets a complaint filed but it makes no difference.

I wud bet u all here have the greatest solutions. Perhaps u can share some additional insights.. $$$

Has anyone got a call from NRIS? said they were affiliated with rtf h advance America. Woukdnt give me any info, just wanted to know my intent, if I wanted to pay. Phone # is 800-215-1106

Ive been getting calls from them threatening fraud and legal action but when intry to call back no one answers it says all agents are busy and goes to vm

recovery portfolio is completely a scam. I fell for them once and paid off a debt that I thought they were talking about. Then I received another letter from them saying the bill was still owed and that it hadn't been paid. They kept sending letters but kept reducing the debt. It was a scam . They have found old accounts that may or not still be owed

Direct TV....I paid the full 24 months of Service. Honored my agreement. Now They turned me over to collections for A 13th payment ......reason given, I didn't Call and cancel contract even though it Was paid.I called & they sent. Return Equipment Box. I owe them nothing!Just trying to get another months service.

Now....dish TV has been a night mare....Purchased a 2 year plan @ 52.00 approx Per month. I went out of state for health Issues. They were given my mailing Address to bill me. I called to cancel Their 3 month free movie deal & also Tell them I had not received my hard Copy bill. I was told they would mail me another copy Of. They DID NOT.. They ( DISH) Without any of my permission had auto Withdrawed 3 months @ $60-67.00 & Charged me a huge fee because they Said I DID NOT NOTIFY them at 3 months So I owed them 3 months & a large fee For equipment usage......I have called & Write to them......my bank account was Over drafted 125.00 on top of usage fees. After spending up to 3 hours on the phone..Several times & being passed from rep, to Supervisor to President level ........ ALWAYS DISCONNECTED AS SOON AS PHONE TRANSFER WAS DONE.
Problem was, When I called to order service, I called A number on the flyer I received! That Same # was called to cancel movies at 3 months. The mans name was Rudy. He was a third party installer!!!! He said He called Dish & straightened the amount Out & I sent him copies of over draft fees. He said he would get my account back to Ard 52.00 & a new start. 0 balance.I Agreed. Next thing I know I'm getting Numerous calls from Dish with threats that They didn't even deal or talk to sub contractors Or whomever I purchased the package From . They said they only handle billing AKA..$$$. After another round of numerous Calls directly to Dish.....they did not credit The large amount off even after I had Equipment usage down sized. So, they Threatened charging me for keeping Their equipment & breaking their contract.
The flyer and # I called for installation was Of NO INTEREST TO DISH! I said, you Are misleading people, & told them to Send a box to return equipment, however,Myself being 100% disabled which was Discussed at beginning....I needed a tech To come and dis mantle the system & Pick it up as I can't climb, live alone & Would have to have a ladder. I also told Them to honor my original quoted price & Remove me from my credit history. To DATE: I told them on my last 2 hr wait & disconnect that I was calling BBB &
FTC. They sent me another bill & their Equipment has set in my house with no service & no box or technician sent to assist me! Lied & mislead totally! It has been over A year or longer since I wrote them, sent More copies of overdraft fees & a copy Of their equipment contract. I have been Turned over to collections & once again has Affected my credit history! Can you please Help me get 3 months of auto pay they Took & a tech to pick up equipment. I thought this Rudy guy that I called to Install would have all taken care of as
Told ...NOT! Thank you so much. I can't Get any cooperation from Dish TV, as Third party or sub contractor communication Is not their problem! only $$$$. Appreciate Your service.

keep getting calls from Harris and Harris I don't have any unpaid debts at all. They have a robot calling leaves messages several times every week.

I do as well and also have no debt. Very annoying.

They stopped robo calling me after years & now they just called today - Sept 26, 2015. I'll never return their calls. I also reported them to the BBB, where seemed like tehy somehow had a good rating. And they actually replied & dissed my complaint since I would NOT provide them with any contact info.

I would love to see a copy of that letter.

Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. 800 SW 39th Street Renton, WA 98057 Called my home phone today and PRIVATE NAME with a Portland, Oregon phone number of 503-820-0291 showed on caller id. That number belongs to Gold Locksmith in Portland. Since spoofing is against Federal law, I am reporting them and then I'm suing them for $10K. They should definitely be on this list!!

To file a complaint with the FTC, go to ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

The MAIN COLLECTION AGENCY THAT SHOULD BE ON HER IS PORTFOLIO RECOVERY AND National Recovery Associates!! Both are by far the worst, they told me that my daughter is going to jail!! ( my daughter passed away 2 years ago) I told PR & NRA that and to call my attorney for further information, the response from both were " dig her up" !! btw my late daughter had not one outstanding bill owed from anyone!! they call my job my home etc.. no letters nothing!! Please help

Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We can't address complaints that you discuss in the blog comments.

I received an email from Chris Matthews from Cash USA stating I owe a total of $1210 for a payday loan I had in 2006. Wants me to money gram them the money by the 28th of April. I called the actual creditor and only owe $372 I am calling the legal office tomorrow to find out if this is legit but the collection department said I can set up arrangements. I hope this is a scam uggh so frustrated.

This company tried to scam me for $75 on a speeding ticket that I never received. The ticket claim by H&H ltd was fake. If anyone else runs into this from them lookup if you have a ticket through the DMV. They are scam artists.

Apparently, most of the people on this site owe money, but I am talking about phony scammers, and perhaps even terrorists here. They demand money immediately, or else. I have read about people receiving phony summons, among other things. Nowadays, you never know who is who, and cannot trust anyone anyway. They can even go as far as contacting family members, and neighbors, to make them appear legitimate, I believe. Or perhaps real Collection Agencies do not even do that, and I have been incorrectly informed by another website.

Recovery Portfolio should be disbanded and all earnings returned to "victims" of their "illegal" actions. I know they do illegal actions for they have done it to me twice now, "Sewer Service" winning by default , never once getting a notice of a court date, one I had reversed, now I have another. I informed the court of the CFPB ruling in 2015 against RPA and informed the court the debt collector had to show all "original documentation" per the CFPB ruling, but as usual they have not. Was told by a "lawyer" representing Recovery Portfolio , "they had every right " to pursue action and not give me any "original documentation" i.e. Original signed contract, billing statements, amount paid to the original debtor etc. With out those documents they really have no case "legally", but continue to winning by default in Sewer Service". It would be the same if I went out on the street, bought a debt from a unknown individual for $10.00 then sued a person for their debt to another for thousands of dollars with no " proof " of anything and win. This is legal?

No. Get an attorney. Going thru similar issue. I let you know results. Not looking good for collector at all. File complaint with ftc.

It feels good to know that consumers have rights.

Legal Debt Processing Services aka Lionstone Holdings Group aka Red Cedar Associates aka Woodcrest Holdings Group aka NORTHWIND associates aka Chebat Portfolio Management in Buffalo, N.Y. When do these guys get added to this list?

Jimmy Chebat operates out of 1800 and 1807 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo using MULTIPLE company names in order to prevent REAL legal consequences. They acquire payday loan debt from National Credit Adjusters in Hutchinson, KS and defraud consumers using fear tactics to collect on said debt. Titus Glenn Tallchief and Kristi Clark of Buffalo, N.Y. run the show for Jimmy Chebat.

Stop these shady crooks.

If you want to report a scam, please go to FTC.gov/complaint. You can provide information about the company, what it promised, and what you got. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

Received many phone calls from 281-694-4523 to my cell & work phone numbers. They claim to be from FRS & Associates trying to collect a debt or legal action will take place & to call them back at 855-668-3551. Its always a recorded message (robocall). From an article from the Federal Trade Commission, its a scam. See below article: dfi.wa.gov /consumer /alerts

Got s call on cell phone from s private number. Was told that they are serving me papers for a civil suit. They gave me a number. Called it and said they were baumann and associates LLC. I owed 2100.00 from s credit card in 1997. I file bankruptcy in 1998 and this was discharged. They said this card by HSBC Bank was exempt from bankruptcy and that they had up to 20 years to collect. Paid 100.00 over phone and was to pay 130.00 a month. Then realized I was being scammed and frauded. Had to close account. Sent FTC and am filing police report. Baumann is owned by Mathew flamenco

I have had several procedures done at Presence Health. I am getting one (1) statement with three (3) different account numbers on this statement. The statement only gives a code to enter on their website to pay the statement, however, it doesn't allow for you to specify which account to apply the money to. So, I have been getting calls from Harris and Harris to my cell, to my work number and my parents home phone to collect payment on my Presence Health account. Which account? they can't tell me. Which department? they can't tell me. How do I call to find out which service is looking for payment? I am trying to pay my debt on a payment plan, but according to Harris and Harris it is not good enough. Presence cannot accept my payments?????? because this has been sent to collections, yet they had no problem accepting my payment at Presence yesterday.

I settled with a company over a large debt some 8 years ago, was released from that debt then 5 years later began getting letters from yet another debt collection agency about the same debt - they're nice enough to write once a year trying to collect. I put them on my Christmas card list

I always tell the scammers to send someone and I will pay cash. I'm not really going to pay cash to some lying scumbag, I just want to get my hands on them. I will find out who they work for, and go visit them.

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