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 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 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!

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