FTC halts abusive debt collection operation

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You have the right to be treated fairly by debt collectors. Under federal law, they can’t use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices to collect from you. But not all debt collectors play by the rules. In fact, at the FTC’s request, a federal court recently halted operations and froze the assets of a Georgia-based debt collection business that according to the FTC’s complaint used lies, threats and intimidation to collect more than $3.4 million from consumers since January 2015.

Here’s a taste of the defendant’s illegal tactics as alleged by the FTC:

  • They falsely told consumers across the nation they had committed a crime, like check fraud, and unless they paid the alleged debt, they could face arrest, lawsuits, wage garnishment — even jail.
  • They harassed consumers, even after given evidence that the debts had been paid off.
  • They illegally contacted family, friends, and employers about the consumers’ debts.
  • They failed to give consumers required notices and disclosures, like a written validation notice, which has to include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor owed, and the consumer rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If you get a call about a debt you don’t recognize, or don’t think you owe, here’s what you can do:

  • Find out who you’re dealing with. Ask for the collector’s name, the company’s name, and its address and phone number.
  • Ask for a written “validation notice.” It tells you how much money you owe, the name of the creditor, and what to do if you don’t think you owe the money.
  • Do your own detective work. Reach out to the company the collector says is the original creditor. They might help you figure out if the debt is legitimate — and if this collector has the right to collect the debt.

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.

Tagged with: debt collection, FTC
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I have 7500.00 are over in pay day lone an one bank let over 2000.00 taken out of my account less then 4hr.an i have a 500.00 limit can you help or tell someone who can I hope you can thanks any if you can't let me know something if you can.

I am making a complaint from a company I do not know. They may be a collection company who is assigned one of my old debts. Their telephone number is 315 888 0607. They are stating that they are the IRS. They state that I am going to be arrested and placed in prison for debt fraud. I do owe some back taxes, however, I do not believe the IRS wants to incarcerate an employed citizen who is paying payroll taxes yearly.!

I received the same call three times, with threats . The number was 936-398-6001. Corrigan, Tx

It's a SCAM. The IRS doesn't make debt calls. They send letters only.

Why don't you identify them? They don't deserve protection. And others might have also been scammed that are unaware of this.

If you click on the words "federal court recently halted operations" in the blog post, you'll be connected to the press release and details about the related cases involving Global Processing Solutions, Advanced Mediation Group, Lamar Snow, Jahaan McDuffie, and Glentis Wallace.

I was trying too apply for a grant, several agency has replied back. How can you know if they are legal. One of them that responded is Susan @ approximately education. com.

I just clicked on your "What a short video about Dealing with Debt Collectors" above and was taken to a page of yours that says, "ACCESS DENIED You are not authorized to access this page." Geesh c'mon FTC, you are looking out for us, stop freaking people out and get your IT team in gear!

Sorry you had that problem. Please try again; the link and video are working now.

The video page still shows the access denied error.

I keep receiving emails that say I have a large sum of money waiting to be deposited into my account. They all claim to be from either world banks (JP Morgan, Natwest Bank of London (UK) United Bank of America etc.) one even said something about someone at the bank being selfish and trying to deposit the money in there own account and "I was however lucky that we the management of the United Nation International Monetary Fund detected their evil plans and therefore call for the submission of your payment fill"
These emails are also signed from people claiming to be director of the Bank of America, and one from the director of DHL. Another email was from someone saying he/she was an attorney. I know these are all fraud,who do I report this to?
Thank you for your help,
Jessie J. (Texas)

These are useful details for to report to the FTC. Please report this  at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

GeeFranklin, those calls are scams. These are international con-artists. The IRS will send correspondence before making any calls.

It's a scam. Ignore them, the IRS does not operate like that.

I'm a retired Internal Revenue Agent and got the scam call from this number saying I was going to be arrested. IGNORE THRSE CALLS!

I received a call and actually believed this person because i had not received my return yet, which I still have not (I file every year with turbo tax and I printed out my tax return from last year and when I just went to the government website, it states they do not have a record of my return, yet im literally holding a copy of it in my hand, i also just called turbo tax and they are stating they can't find any record but yet again, I'm holding it in my hand... so now im concerned!) So now I get this call, them saying that im going to bee arrested by the IRS (remember, i didn't get my check, so if course it makes you wonder did i file wrong, which i know ive always done every completely legal) they tell me I have to goto CVS or something and im thinking for western union (this is so embarrassing that i ALMOST fell for this) but i go to the store and they tell me I'm going to be arrested and he needed to stay on the phone with me, so he did also ask me questions, not my social but honestly, I don't remember exactly what he did, he definitely asked if I was on Facebook, acting as if he's making small talk with me and of course I acknowledged that i was, so I get to CVS and then he says that i need to purchase 5 x $100 iTunes cards, so of course now I know this was a scam, I'm so embarrassed, because other people heard me speaking to this man, so i hung up on him and everyone standing next to me said that i was being scammed amd were going to stop me from talking to this person... it's humiliating and im am extremely intelligent woman..I have my masters and my own private contracting business and I do very well so now going back to the part about my taxes, that was really what got me to believe this, so now I dont know what to do. I lost my social security card with my license. So my question is, how do I protect myself because it's obvious they have my information? When I entered my info into Equifax, it stated that my info was one that was effected. I'm so concerned now, how do I protect myself???

Get information about what to do when your information has been lost or stolen at IdentityTheft.gov.

Go to the page and scroll down. You'll see a sentence saying  What To Do If Your Info Is Lost or Stolen

Us bank fine fraudulent foreclosure against my property in 2009. And for the last 8 years me and my family have suffered hardship. Due to this fraud. I like to have this matter full investigated this is why I'm bringing a to you attention. Thank you

This page is for blog comments. This is not where you report problems.

You can report problems you had with a business to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can report problems you had with a bank to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Hi i use to use payday loans but they are illegal in new york state
now i have someone calling me saying i owe 300 and if i dont pay it will be 600 and they will br fileing through the county clerks office and will be servrd at my job
now i did pay only 100 dollars and they would only accept green dot or debit card payment but they wont tell me who the creditor is or fax me info about this debit til the debit is paid
sounds fishy they say they are preventive services

If some says they are a debt collector, but they threaten you and try to scare you into paying right away, the could be a fake debt collecttor. If you think someone might be a fake debt collector, ask him for his name, company, street address, and telephone number. Tell him you won't discuss any debt until you get a written "validation notice." The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Read more about how to deal with a fake debt collector.

If a caller refuses to give you all of this information, do not pay! Paying a fake debt collector will not always make them go away. They may make up another debt to try to get more money from you.

2011 TO PRESENT PAYMENTS GARNISHMENT FROM MY SSDI FOR TWO BASE CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT, ON GOING IT WAS PAY OFF THE FIRST YEAR BALANCE TOTAL ON BOTH WAS 3500 AND 3000. REPORTED THEM STOLEN never got new cards, but the card numbers don't match Treasury reported account. With changing 19% read the paid off reports on credit report, after my 2010 bankruptcy case discharged.

These so-called FAKE Zombie debt collectors just seem too laugh in in the government face' cause the fees are the punishment isn't harsh enough..!!!

Everyone please heed this warning!!!!!!! I have had so many fraud complaints this year it's almost unbelievable. You are a person, human, mother, father, sister , brother etc... Of someone who is on the other end of the line. To all of you, you have been "trained" on collection practice and how to detect lies and fraudsters. Remember 1 thing, YOUR company taught you that. You may think you are 100% right in what you are doing. But all I ask you is this. Make belive the person you are speaking to is your mother. For any of a million reasons she can't pay a bill right now. Is your mother now the scum of the earth for doing so? You have been yrained- brainwashed into thinking these people are loosers, liars, drug users alcoholic, is your mother any of those? If what you are taught makes you think even a little, it's wrong and a lie. 90% of who you are dealing with are great upstanding people that currently have an issue. They won't bother telling you because you threaten first, ask later. You automatically just assured that bill will NEVER be paid. Now the average consumer dosnt understand much on the legal end or who and what debt collection really is. But I can be certain that from this point forward you have turned them off to ANY AND ALL FUTURE DEBT OBLIGATIONS! It is human nature to take first impressions and experiences and apply them to all facets of their life dealing in that topic. Hence, you are accomplishing the opposite of the goal. Unfortunately "sometimes" your tactics work, but at what cost? You scared a person with unknown burdens or medical problems to death, and may have just taken the last few $$ for Christmas gifts for their kids. This is the reality you don't see. All I ask is just look inside yourself before working for one of these companies....are you the same person you were before starting? Same beliefs? Same morals? If you answer even a tiny "no" to any of those I suggest you look in the mirror and ask if your ok with yourself now. Better yet, make private contact with an individual in a bad position for moment and ask how they got there. I guarentee you will gain an entirely new perspective on what you did to consumers, and for what? Your personally not making that money back, you didn't lend it or have risk in it. The company you work for has a muti-billion dollar portfolio of these same type of people. Ask why it's so important to collect $50, 100 or a 1000?. If you have billions did it injure your company? NO. But you DEFINATLY injured the consumer on the other end of the phone. Have you noticed suicide rates are up in the thousands of percentile? No lie. Spend 10minutes on Google looking at REASEARCH papers, not news, not companies, not government studies. Genuine research. You will thank me at some point. If you don't now, you will one day be the one on the other end of the phone.

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