You are here

Another abusive debt collector bites the dust

Share this page

As part of the FTC and New York Attorney General’s crackdown on abusive debt collectors, an operation doing business under several names, including National Check Registry, has agreed to settle charges that it allegedly used a slew of abusive and deceptive tactics to pressure people into making payments on questionable debts.

Calling from their boiler rooms in Buffalo, New York, the National Check Registry enterprise employed a “pay up or else” collection strategy in which they falsely claimed that people had committed check fraud or another crime, says the FTC. The callers also falsely threatened that people would be sued, have their wages garnished, and be arrested unless they made a payment. National Check Registry also routinely failed to provide people with legally-required notices, and charged illegal processing fees. All of these actions are against the law.

The FTC’s settlement order bans the defendants—Joseph C. Bella, III, Diane Bella, Luis A. Shaw, and nine interrelated companies they controlled, including National Check Registry—from engaging in debt collection or assisting others in the industry. The order also prohibits the defendants from making misrepresentations in the marketing, sale, or advertising of any financial-related product or service. In addition, the order enters an $8.3 million judgment against the defendants, which will be suspended after they turn over virtually all of their assets.

Since January 1, 2010, the FTC has banned more than 75 debt collectors from the industry. The case against National Check Registry is one of three joint debt collection law enforcement actions that the FTC and the New York Attorney General’s Office have brought together since 2013.

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


GREAT NEWS, Now lets get to work on High priced Over Charging Health care Insurance COST .

Until there is jail time for these owners and the individual collectors, there will continue to be these illegal chop shops. Legitimate owners don’t allow employees to defraud people. These unlicensed and unregulated shops are nothing more than criminal organizations and the management and employees should be prosecuted as such. The majority of staff that worked for the infamous Tobias Boyland had jobs the following month doing the same thing. These owners change the company name and location every two years to avoid detection. It’s time to up the ante.

I have written several letters to you about Advance Cash Services, ACS and ACE. They are now sending court dates, threatening to freeze my bank account and put a hold on my SS checks. They are now sending emails using your name to threaten me with. I received an email from someone saying that they worked for federal trade commission and I needed to pay. Today I got an email threatening me with IC3, the Internet Crime Commission. They told me that I was going to be in county court on Oct 30 at 10 am. I called and it was not on docket. I have filed a complaint with IC3 this morning, I cannot take much more of this. Our Sheriff says don't worry about it but they are talking about taking my earnings and then I can't survive. This has been going on now for two years. They took almost $5000 out of my bank to repay them but I have also paid almost $3000 in green dot cards and PayPal reload cards. I even paid them $264.00 in September which was to be the last payment and they would sen me confirmation number in 10 days. I waited two weeks emailed them and guess what? They forgot to charge me fees and taxes so now I owe $150 more. Ever time it's close to time for my checks to come in they start up with the threatening emails. They use at least a dozen names and emails but will not give me a written statement as to who I'm paying, how much, when did this all occur?

If somebody tells you they work for the Federal Trade Commission, write down the name. Call FTC headquarters at (202) 326-2222, and ask to speak with the staff person. The callers might be impersonating federal workers.

If they're lying about being from the FTC, they could well be lying about other things.

You know they weren't right about a court date. You checked with your court, and you know there is no case on the docket. It sounds like the callers are lying to you, and trying to scare you into sending more money.

If you don't owe them money, you can stop paying. If they are fake collectors, they don't have legal rights to take your money or stop your checks.

Don't give them money. Don't tell them your bank account number. If they know your account number, call your bank. Ask how to protect your money. You might need a new account number.

If you feel worried about threats, call your local police department.


Great job,Too many of these sleazebags are still around.

I agree the slap on the wrists is nothing.This is white collar crime somehow operating under radar. I'very had creeps trying to resurrect Zombie debt from 1994 this year.

I had went through that and i had to pay before

Thank you sharing this article, and for what you are doing to protect consumers!
Am I allowed to share this article on facebook or twitter?

Yes. Please share this article. Thank you.

Is there lawsuits for these actions of debt collectors?

Have you got around to Nationstar Mortgage Co. yet? They have so many names? they front for Centex Home Equity. They sold our property even after we attempted to send full payments by wire. The refused payment, said it wasn't enough even though it was exact amt. stated on future payment bill.You never know where your mortgage went to. And they end up selling it on the Internet.

I have a company that may be the same that called me, that has called and harassed family members of mine who I am not close to. I recently got the same message from them stating I must call them immediately, there is a warrant out for my arrest, they're sending the sheriff over to my family members house to arrest me, and always claim there is a case number with the courts. After looking the case number up and it doesn't exist, and calling the sheriff and verifying there wasn't something going on I needed to be made aware of, they told me as well they have no warrant and no case for me. They have put my family in a state of panic and I don't know who they are or the debt they are attempting to collect on. I have been working to pay the debts on my credit report so I am certain they are not on there. Doing reverse phone lookups, other experience similar with this company. The numbers I still have are 682-514-6016 ( Level 3 Communications, LLC, TX) and 884-214-2181. Thanks for dealing with this illegal tactics.

Please report the calls to the FTC at The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

I hope you find them all. I had a person call me 25 times in a row at work. I still don't what he was collecting but he said he would come to my house and my work place, that he was an officer of the law and if I didn't pay up I must be ready to face the punishment. He was sitting in a room with other people talking I could hear them in the background.
I asked him to send me a copy of the bill for whatever I owed and he just started yelling I had better pay up. Thank you again for going after people like this.

Dynamic Collections has been using spoofed caller IDs. The ID shows a City and state which would indicate a call from a municipality. They have at least 20 of these numbers. The caller ID is deliberately deceptive.

I have been robed by debt collector's for years i'm glad they go down!

What scumbags. Put them all under the jail.

They are back at it again, it's almost time for my SScheck so they sent me a Legally Prosecuted into the Court House email, they even put the threats in Red Print. They said that I have been blacklisted and my SS number is under investigation. They said they could take my mortgage, my bank account, send letters and court papers to my part time job. They ended the email saying it would come out and papers sent by mail to me for court date Dept 14th, 2015. This was sent by a Marc Jackson. It's funny that every time I ask for them to send me the info in writing about this action such as who is this debt with, I did not sign with an Ace Cash Express or Advanced Cash Services, the original amount and date this transaction . They can't send this but court papers? I'm at the end of my rope.

You can report the emails to the FTC at You can also tell your state and local consumer protection agencies about the calls and emails.

Leave a Comment