A debt collection round-up

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We ended 2015 by announcing Operation Collection Protection, a massive, nationwide enforcement initiative, targeting illegal debt collection practices at the federal, state, and local levels. Since then, the FTC and its partners have been busy bringing more actions against debt collectors who are unlicensed, deceptive or abusive. As Operation Collection Protection comes to a close, here’s a look back at what was accomplished.

During 2015-16, the FTC and our 70 law enforcement and regulatory partners brought more than 165 actions against illegal debt collectors. For our part, the FTC went after 20 unlawful debt collection enterprises. We added 44 collectors to the banned debt collectors list in 2016 alone, and won three important summary judgements. Judges award summary judgements when the facts of a case aren’t in dispute. In these cases, the facts included collectors lying about the consequences of not paying a debt (they threatened lawsuits, arrest, seized property), illegally peppering people with deceptive emails and text messages, and pretending to be from the government. In all three cases – Commercial Recovery Systems, The Primary Group, and Federal Check Processing – they were banned from the industry.

The FTC’s state partners also kept going after debt collectors who break the laws. For example, the Ohio Attorney General sued Rotech Holdings over bad collection practices – and that company is now banned from collecting debts in Ohio and has to pay $34,900. In Massachusetts, the state Attorney General got a settlement making Family Dermatology of Pennsylvania write off $1 million in supposed debts and repay Massachusetts consumers who paid money they didn’t owe. And the New York Department of Financial Services got an order that means National Credit Adjusters – which had collected on illegal payday loans – has to refund nearly $725,000 to 3,000 New Yorkers, discharge $2.26 million in debts, and pay the state $200,000.

While Operation Collection Protection is winding down, work against illegal debt collection continues, as does coordination among law enforcement partners from the operation. And we still want to hear from you. If you spot a debt collector breaking the law – making threats or harassing calls, tell the FTC. Every story helps us investigate and stop illegal debt collection.

Tagged with: debt collection
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I want to find out what sort of Debt Collectors are Financial Recoveries. They are trying to spoil my credit and not telling me what bill they are talking about. My attorney also told them that we will start making the payment in instalments but first we want to know what bills they are talking about. They said they will mail me the bill but no bill has reached me. I even called up the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital - New Brunswick and told them to send me the details of all bills that are not paid but till today they have not sent me any info. Please help me as I do not want to ruin my debt. Thank you

Can child support dept take half of my SSDI check in Texas even though my kids are grown men now I can't work or live on half my check

You can contact the child support enforcement agencies in your home state and the state where the child support order was initiated.

Good Deal Now look in to (Dish Network) , They can mess up your Credit report , Even if you don't have (Dish Network) , But they say you owe them Money .

FTC: I wish you would publisize (did i spell it wrong?) this in all the newspapers across America so that this information will reach many who do not know about your website(or know how illegal it is to be harassed/threatened by creditors(whether they are fraudulent or real). Please use the media to spread this to unsuspecting consumers!

You can share FTC information for free -- link to it, tell people about it or copy it and paste it a newsletter. Or, paste the link to this blog post into a social media site: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/debt-collection-round

need you help on all.

I wish they would do something with Advance Cash Services which go by ACS and Ace. They have sent arrest warrants, court dates, threatened to have big bad police come put handcuffs on me to arrest me, stop my SS and pension checks and are still threatening with court. I have at least 500 emails from them, answered back and they say, " since you have failed to respond,...", gotten at least five a day from five different people and all with different totals that I owe. I have asked for a date as to when this transaction took place and they tell me that after I pay they will tell me. I have sent numerous complaints to FTC, IC3 and our states DLLR who says that they have no license to operate in MD. First they said I will have to go to court in our local courthouse and when I said bring it on and I'll bring the Sheriff, a good friend, I know the judge and all the court officers so now they say it will be in Florida. This is driving this senior citizen crazy and nobody will help.

If you know about a debt collector that is breaking the law by making threats or harassing calls, please tell the FTC. The information you provide goes into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. Every story helps us investigate and stop illegal debt collection.

i need to know in 2010 the irs sent me a pay them back bill for some credit cards I defaulted on like 5 to 10 years before. is there some thing going on where private groups are paying our credit cards off then charging the consumer on their taxes, and saying it was income for that year.

If you get a letter from the real IRS, it should have the address and name of an IRS staff person you can talk to. There are a lot of scammers who pretend to be the IRS, and try to get your personal information, or get your money by pretending to be IRS. Be extra careful anytime someone says they are from IRS.

If you want to see if someone really paid your credit card bills, get a free copy of your credit report. Go to annualcreditreport.com. This article explains how to get your free report, and how to analyze the report. The article tells what to do if there are mistakes on your report.

If someone says they paid off your credit cards, the pay-off should show up on your credit report. Before you give anybody money, check out your credit report, and make sure you are talking to the real IRS.

Debt collectors have been known to misrepresent the age of a debt in order to place it on your credit report and keep it there. I've had a problem with an old AT&T Mobile debt, beyond the statute of limitations, that continues to appear on my credit report because the debt collector shows date of last activity as recent when in fact no activity at all has taken place in more than six years. This crooked tactic should be illegal for debt collectors/debt buyers.

Nice that's good to know and hear thanks to the Federal Trade commission doing their jobs and letting the people know

Michael u It has to com with my interest first and foremost the what I my going to talk let court go ahead to see what is happening, I am talking to IRS the real one

glad your organization exists. great work identifying and taking action banning these predators, intimidating seniors and others great work1

This is a good first step, but stopping the problem at the source would yield better protection for the consumer. The FTC or other regulatory agency needs to stop the release of private consumer information by the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA) without a verified purpose. While the Big 3 agencies are less of an issue, most consumers don't realize there are somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen "sub-prime" or second tier CRAs that accumulate consumer information, often times from the Big 3 or from banks, sometimes fraudulently, then market (sell) the obtained consumer information as a "lead generation" service. The practice of releasing consumer information for anything other than verified creditworthiness checks by any party, including the receiving party must have felony statutes and significant compensatory fines behind it to have a better chance to protect the consumer.

There are tribal lenders that hide behind "tribal sovereignty" where they claim Federal & State laws don't apply to them who obtain consumer information either legitimately or through false pretense and sell that collected information under the guise of lead generation.

This all feeds into the phony collection scams, because they have received your information in a way that has nothing to do with a valid loan. This is also one way personal information, including unlisted phone numbers end up getting published on the internet by data aggregators. They purchase credit information from entities that also provide "lead generation".

Sadly, it is harder for a consumer to get a copy of their own credit report than it is for second tier CRAs to obtain the information from those same agencies. Another step to better protect consumers personal credit files is the information should be locked by default (by law), with the consumer having the option to allow their file to be unlocked if they so choose. That is the opposite of how the law currently works to "protect" consumers.

I am trying to pay off a credit card debt that is time-barred (statute of limitations has tolled). The creditor tells me that they are not allowed to provide me with a receipt or anything in writing indicating that the full amount has been paid off. Is this correct? If so, what type of documentation am I entitled to?

This article about time barred debts may have some information you can use.

I'm writing you today because I'm in need of a "dedicated-devote investigator to find out the author of a fraud/scam who's hiding behind google images pictures. Please HELP . Thanks.

my wife has a credit judgement filed in our courthouse almost 10 years ago. does such a judgement remain on her record forever, or 7 years or 10 years or what? how do you remove it if it runs out of time to still be recorded in the courthouse.

This FTC article about free credit reports explains that a credit reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years. Information about an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, which­ever is longer.

You can order a free copy of your credit report at  annualcreditreport.com. The free credit reports article explains how to contact the credit reporting company if you see errors on your report.

I’ve been working on repairing sine 2013. I started with a secured credit card with 300.00 limit now I have it unsecured with 2100.00 limit. As time went collections disappeared as the time frame for it expired. Att/Directv was the last one but when I signed up for AT&T Access(cheap internet for the disabled and others)Internet one of THEIR agreements was too remove or show settled,but the collectors are reporting them with new dates. In short they disappear for a month or so then show up again with a new date and sometime a new company(I understand that these scum agencies sell to each other) to me this is illegal and very stressful for someone that’s been disabled for close too 20 years. I want too sue the you know what out of them bc I do live on a very limited income and I have to use my credit to make ends meet. Anyway thanks for letting me VENT!

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