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

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

Should have added Portfolio Recovery to those lists. They are the rudest people and with them still trying to recover a debt that is well beyond the Statute of Limitations...Really?

I agree!

Very rude......I have disputed.Need to remove me from their collection List. Thank you.

Portfolio Recovery, don't say their name to me. Paid them off. They resold my debt and I was sued for more money by someone else. My credit was destroyed. I tried to get a loan to help my dog when he got sick, I couldn't. My dog didn't make it.

Had you paid your debt, even by setting up a nominal monthly payment plan, they would not have sold your debt and your credit would not have been destroyed. Have some personal accountability.

Jerk! Good people go through hard times. One shouldn't judge. Everyone that experiences bad times in their financial life are not deadbeats who don't want to take responsibility for their debts.

You are wrong....it happens all the time. Keep all your checks/m.o./whatever you paid them with - faxes, names, numbers - still fooling with one that is over 10 yrs old and I have all paperwork showing everything - just have to fax it now and then.

I did pay them. They even have documentation that i paid them. The debts on my credit reports weren't mine. Oh am I supposed to pay other people's debts too. How about educating yourself and not talking about what you don't know.

What did you come here for? Did you think it was going to be praising predatory lending and illegal collection attempts? Life happens, no one got there on purpose! Take you high horse on over the SEC..

The real question is why did you come here? All you've done is troll the comments. You should be reported and banned. You don't add anything to the conversation. You're a bully.

Dude, really? These scum debt collectors use scare tactics and illegal practices to scare people into paying them, they make these people believe that they have done something wrong, then when they get money from them they will then illegaly sell there debt to another scum collector like themselves to make money off this persons account twice only to have the new scum collector try and collect off the person a second time. Ruining the persons credit. So seriously man, its not these peoples faults. Its these low life scum bag debt collectors who dont follow the law and do things right.

These people sell debts all of the time that is part of the scam and how they ruin people. You obviously wrote this to insight people. Youi have no decency or morale fiber. People are tired of companies taking advantage of them and selling debts often not correct to a predatory company for revenge. They do this everyday. WAKE UP

I realize this thread is from 2015 but I still have to say something about this jerk Buckeye. I am guessing he is one of the "business people" that purchase old debt at pennies on the dollar. I had Portfolio Recovery after me for an ATT phone bill. I had been out of country when the bill came due and although I had them on auto-pay a change in policy blocked the auto-pay. I owed $198 for 2 months worth of service. When I returned to the US I paid the bill and that was that. PFR decided that they should collect on this debt, because at one time or another ATT had posted this. I even went to ATT and asked if I owed them any funds and was told that had I owed them my cell phone service would have been cut off. I finally went to all three Credit Beuros and filed a complaint. 30-45 days later it was taken off of my credit score and almost a year later I received a letter from Portfolio Recovery that they are closing my account.

So DONT say that everyone owes money or debt that these jerks are trying to collect. They go for intimidation tactics which I am sure Buckeye you have used yourself. My Karma take care of you as you age..

Have some personal accountability and don't waste your time on forums making others' lives worse.

buckeye / who ever you know nothing wait till medical bills / lost job / etc happens to you see if you feel this way and remember were human iam anyway we make mistakes buddy

Threaten to sue them under the FDCPA. You don't really need to wait for the FTC to step in. Take thorough notes, record, calls, and send certified letters. Dispute everything!!! Don't take any crap from these scummy debt collectors. If they don't take "no" for an answer, respond with a lawsuit. They will think twice next time.

I have had paid off debt, resold, AND... Been taken to court over it! It was a long time ago, 10+ yrs., but I am glad you informed us of its some fraudulent recurrent behavior. I mostly wanted to say I'm SO sorry for you & your dog. This is heartbreaking! You should inform the Humane Society, ASPCA, etc... Post it on the little bird, social media.

I've officially reported them twice to FTC.

Likewise here. Very rude. Should have added Portfolio Recovery to those lists. They are the rudest people and with them still trying to recover a debt that is well beyond the Statute of Limitations...Really?

Could not agree more!!

Portfolio Recovery is one of the worst. They have a Better Business Bureau rating of F. They buy phantom/ zombie debts for pennies on the dollar, and whatever they recover is pure profit. Most of those debts are far past the statute of limitations, and most are no longer valid. They violate the fair credit collections Practices Act again and again.

You can help law enforcement by reporting to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

"The law is clear: debt collectors can’t use abusive, deceptive, or unfair practices."
Thank you FTC,

Good article having calls from Allied interstate co? Will try to get them to send me a letter of verification

Been getting calls from allied now for about a month, maybe 5-6 calls, looking for a relative who doesn't live here anymore. They don't leave a co name, only a person's name and # to call back; and no creditor name or amount due. Called back 2-3X, you get put on hold, no one picks up, even waiting 5 minutes. Did hear that the co name is Allied though....

These companies don't seem to verify the person they are calling is the "correct person to collect their debt". I keep getting calls from debt collectors but "I am NOT the person they are looking for" maybe the same name but that's where it stops & it takes a while to get that thru to them. I even get that other persons debt collector mail & its embarrassing no wonder they can't collect monies owed they are going after the wrong person. They need to verify that the person they are reaching is the correct person & stop annoying others..

Nana41, I sympathize with you and totally agree. They do need to verify the information they are using. However, they want my social security number in order to verify that I am who I am. I will not give that to these callers, ever. They might engage in a bit of identity theft as well.

collection companies are harassing me for debts one is SCR Recovery p# 501-776-2626. Synchrony Bank. AT&T . The SCR Recovery threatened to take my Social Security or put a lien on my house so I couldn't get a Reverse Mortage to pay my debts.

Pressler&Pressler is a law firm out of NY&NJ that buys old debts and is aggressive and has no problem calling non-stop with threatening tactics. They will report you to credit bureaus but when I faced them in court? The supposed debt was so old,they missed half the required paperwork. They are awful and hide behind their law firm to commit erroneous acts of debt collecting.

I am going thru the same thing with pressler and pressler. They won't accept my offer and are nasty.

Same here they have harassed me for several years now over a check I supposedly bounced at a gas station in upstate New York. Given that I live in Virginia, have never been to New York, and only have a savings account and debit card I'm not sure how I'm supposed to have bounced a check. This "debt" is way past the statute of limitations but they just keep calling and threatening.

Please write an article about "Rachel" & her pals who constantly call from everywhere re: Credit Card Services" and wanting to lower your credit card debt. How do we get rid of them?

they call me all the time. I just hang up on them. Sick and tired of the calls.

They also call me and I have no credit card debt or unpaid loans! I just hang up but it ought to stop.

I block their number on my phone so if they call again they only get two rings and are automatically disconnected

Most debt collectors are so rude. They don't seem to understand that debt can happen to anyone at any time. The debt collectors talk down to people and threaten them.

Fantastic work by the FTC and the courts over the last few years! I have actually benefited by having most spam dry up, almost no scam and phishing, and even telephone scams and harassment calls from pretenders to be the IRS and threatening all kinds of things. KUDOS

PS - I would post more if the reCaptcha were one of th types that were easier to read; this current method keeps more real people out than robots. Please do some more research on how to accomplish a readable captcha.

Put them to shame they have done it to me when they owed me money reversed charges like I owed them when they owed me refund. AT&T Comcast, PA Gas York County Courts.

Can/t post; too many tries to get past this old fashioned and legit poster captcha; it's just unreadable and chases legit people, not bots et al. IMO this must be addressed if you really wish to receive good input.
Also, wiping out entered data because a code is wrong is amateurish and an indication this is likely one of those captcha uses that are easy to crack, which method is all over the web if you know where to look. It really has to be fixed and brought forward to current successful code.

Thank you so much for monitoring this notorious business. It has given me peace of mind to know I have somewhere to turn to.

Interestingly the IRS IS A DEBT COLLECTOR. Any fraud there?

I asked the FTC to inform me if anything is being settled with Jackson Hunter Morris&Knight a debt settlement company.They have $5700.00 of my money.I want it back.They have caused me to have a bad credit rating because they didn't give the money to Capital One

I never pay the collection company.. I pay the creditor,and send a letter to the collection agency
that the bill has been paid,time date and method.

I kept getting calls from Credit Card Services and I told the man to take me off his calling list and do not call this number again. I haven't heard from them since.

I've been getting calls from Harris and Harris, sometimes A. Harris(same company)posing as a law firm for over a year. I put the number on the Do-Not-Call registry and they continue to call. Looked them up on the internet and they are debt collectors for Chicago. Debt collectors can get around the statues of limitations by re-selling the debt and the debt continues to grow. I spent countless hours writing letters to these companies trying to fight the unfair practices, even paid about $1500 to Chase Receivables, the bill was $1600 and when I was almost thru paying them they sold the remaining $100 to another company! I even got bills for another person, doesn't matter. I could go on and on.

"Rachel" and her pals are old scammers who violate the do not call act and pretty much are just out to call people and steal info to use for identity theft. There is a robo call stopper that works with some phone services; that might be worth looking into if you want to get rid of "Rachel". My only issue with robo calls is they often call at obnoxious hours (I work nights).
Just wondering; is it legal for a debt collector to call friends/family of the person who owes? I get phone calls at obnoxious hours from people who say my sister isn't paying her bills...dude, she owes me over $4k, I don't need you waking me up at 5am to tell me she owes you money too!

Under federal law, debt collectors are not allowed to call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or harass othe person who owes the debt, or anyone else they call about the debtor. 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.

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 !!!!

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.

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