Partners bring more than 100 debt collection enforcement actions

When you get more complaints about debt collection than about any other industry, what do you do? If you’re the FTC, you partner with more than 70 federal, state and local government agencies to bring down the hammer on illegal debt collection. And you collectively bring 115 law enforcement actions, including three brand new cases announced today by the FTC, bringing to 11 the number of cases the FTC has filed against 52 defendants so far this year. That’s more than in any year in FTC history.

Operation Collection Protection Infographic

Operation Collection
Protection Infographic

Why all this activity? Well, debt is huge in the US: nearly 30 million Americans have an account in collection, and debt collectors make as many as 1 billion (with a ‘b’) contacts with people. Many of those contacts are legit – real businesses following the law, trying to collect real debt. But the case numbers here show that some debt collection is more than not legit – it’s flat-out illegal.

Take cases like Delaware Solutions and BAM Financial – announced today – and National Check Registry and K.I.P., LLC – both with final orders that were announced by the FTC today. In these cases, debt collectors threatened and harassed consumers about debts that, sometimes, they didn’t even owe. These debt collectors pretended to be government officials, and some threatened people with jail if they didn’t pay. None of these, of course, are good business practices for the debt collection industry – much less legal.

Which is why this unprecedented group of federal agencies, attorneys general, and state regulators joined together to fight these practices. With the scope of debt and debt collection, these practices affect every community, regardless of language or ethnicity. And all of these cases, from all of these partners, are just the beginning. So watch this space for more law enforcement actions against debt collectors who break the law. Read on to learn more about how to spot bogus debt collection – and your rights. And tell us if you spot questionable debt collection practices. Every report matters.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

A lot of income is protected from garnishment like unemployment certain annuities, social security child support in Ohio Disbility any income below 250 a week there are more

I was getting calls from Client Services several times a day . They would ask for people not at my address or people I've never heard from . They seemed to be phishing . They at times were abusive . They seemed to have stopped calling after filling several complaints

good now lets do something about this high Cost Health Insurance rip-off

yes!! Pressler&Pressler out of New Jersey is the worst. I go to Supreme Court AGAIN next week,. This will be the third time!!! They bought a supposed debt of mine but don't have proof of any agreed upon payments. They are ruthless. They send you a "Bible" of all their documents, yet provide no real proof that any of it is valid!! They are a third party collection which I believe is illegal. they don't have my name or address correct on any of the submitted docs and are NEVER prepared for court even with the massive book of "debt" they say you owe. Real scheisters!!!

I'd like to see the whole debt-collection industry shut down. There has to be a better way.
I've personally been harassed by them for many years and I don't have any debts, just a common last name. For those who do have debts in collection, the experience must be terrible.
I've had to learn a new vocabulary to understand their jargon. I've had to spend many hours studying debt-collection law in order to defend myself. I've had to start checking each and every one of my own personal accounts each and every day in order to make sure I don't have anything of my own in arrears.
I'm nothing more than an innocent bystander whose life has been radically altered by the debt-collection industry.

I submitted a complaint to you all some time ago concerning a threatening debt collector contacting me about debts that didn't belong to me, and I'm so happy to see that you all take these complaints seriously.

Hope this includes collectors for medical bills!

Good job, hopefully Capital One will stop selling paid debts off to Portfolio Recovery and the harassment stops!

Not a debt collection doing the calling...just asking for help but to no avail.. :(

Default on a student loan...better believe im gonna collect one way or the other

Yeah, and break the law doing it...better believe you'll go down, one way or another!

In the past couple of months I have received threatening calls left on my voicemail for someone else. The messages were very detailed and threatening. I have saved the messages. A couple of the calls were from a Natalie Goldman, representing Reliant Regional Services 420 McKinnely St. #11-441 Corona, CA 92879 323-375-8488. She left a very detailed message and it was threatening with a time frame to return the call. I called and got her information and told her I would be reporting her. She has not called back since. In the past couple of weeks I have received calls from a couple of other organizations. Jennifer Saunders representing Alternative Dispute Resolutions 716-210-6466. The caller id location is Pendleton, NY. She left a couple of very detailed and very threatening voicemail's with a time frame to respond. I tried calling the number and only got through to a voicemail. Also, a man by the name of Jake Robinson called twice this week leaving very detailed and threatening messages. This mornings call came in at 7:20am. The number he called from is 613-318-3183 out of Bancroft, ON, Canada. The number he left to call back is 855-225-8543. I looked up the number and it is a company called ACS Incorporation Collection. A BBB report came up in the google search and they have had many complaints about this company. The number that the BBB has is 303-261-8949. They have reported that they are unable to locate this company. These companies are getting out of control.

These are useful details for a complaint. Please report the calls to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I been getting calls from someone saying to be Department of Affairs saying I received a payday loan back in 2011 and I know I never received or applied for any type of payday loans. They keep threathening me about going to court, getting a summons and calling my job to have my checks garnished. These people called my sister and now they have my email. How can I stop these people they say I owe them 775 dollars but if it go to court then I will owe them 6100 dollars. They say I got a payday loan on the internet and they from Ace cash. I don't understand how I owe these people when I never applied for a loan and telling me I will go to jail for fraud. I just dont know what to do.

It's against the law for a debt collector to threaten you.

If they call you again, tell them to send you a written "validation notice" about the debt debt.  The law says a legitimate debt collector has to send you a notice that includes:

  • the amount of the debt
  • the name of the creditor you owe
  • your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

If you know you didn't take a loan, and the callers won't give you the validation notice, you don't have to keep talking to them.

When you don't let people collect on debts, I the consumer pay more for absolutely everything I buy. Why is important for you to protect the debtors more than the honest customers? Do you hate honest people? Then stop letting debtors walk off with our money so easily.

The FTC and state attorneys general took action against companies engaged in illegal debt collection. The actions were against companies that:

  • threatened and harassed consumers about debts, including debts people did not owe 
  • pretended to be government officials
  • threatened people with jail if they didn’t pay.

None of these behaviors are good business practices for the debt collection industry.

Hey Bubba, how're you doing today? Noone is saying that debt collection isn't allowed, just that there are ground rules that collectors have to follow. I agree that debtors should pay up, even if it's only monthly payments, but that doesn't mean collectors should get to be threatening and abusive

Im a victim last payment in may i asked to cancel my acct and refund of 2 years $350 a month now no response. Im devestated.

The only ones who make money are the lawyers the creditor companies retain. That money isn't refunded to consumers. It goes right into their greedy pockets! Give me a break. Someone is always making money off of someone's misery!!!

get calls from west indies people, with foreign accent, theathening, calling on my cell phone, work, even states ss# is on hold, there is no way your social security can be put on hold, also if you have a warrant for an arrest, you will not be notified or email to let you know, you are sopeana and arrested...be ware these are scammers, hey get a way with this, they are hungry for money, never, never verify your personnel, or bank information...

Why does the FTC: NOT assimilate the stromg Federal Fines Adjustment Act expanded FINES to put REAL teeth into CFPB & CFPA protections to actually dissuade and discourage predatory 3rd 'NOT-a[ny]- party' theft by deception debt collections firms and home theft scams to prey upon Least Sophisticated A D A American Migrants and so called "Refugees."

What about regular creditors? I know they have different regulations but is it okay for them to call you at work after you have sent them letters in writing telling them you are not allowed personal calls at work? They would call me and if I didn't answer tell other employees that if I didn't call them back they were coming to my job. They would call our operator and tell them I had better call them back even though she would tell them no personal calls were allowed. These people would call the day the loan was due and even if you told them when you were going to make your payment they would still call you everyday. I had heard them talk to other customers the same way when I had been in their office to make a payment. I know they are not collectors but there should be laws against this kind of harassment as well.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to debt collectors: that include collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.

Even if the FDCPA doesn't apply to the person or company that's calling you, there may be other laws that apply. You could contact your state Attorney General’s office  or state and local consumer protection agencies and explain what's going on. There are other ideas about how to complain about a business in this FTC article about solving consumer problems.

I know como law firm in St. Paul mn has been keeping funds over payments on garnishments for years. They hide it in paid file under the name catherine mcintosh

How do you file a complaint against Mid-Michigan collection agency this company is completely out of control !! I have about 30 collections in the amount of $20.00 each on my credit report from them. I have contacted them on several occasions to ask them to give me the opportunity to pay my Doctors visit co-pay before placing it on my credit report. And they won't do it it has effected my score drastically !! What can be done about the constant harassing calls and verbally abusive language ?

These FTC articles tell more about your rights when it comes to debt collectors — and how you can regain control of your finances.

order all 3 reports AND innovis, dispute as being non-compliant to your attempts. and credit decisions like cc, loan, home, auto normally do not take medical bills into account

I was a collector myself for 19yrs, the things ive been told from 2 different places (aside from the co's iv informed of my id theft!)1 is "courier svcs-no caller it, asking when ill be home so they can "serve" me (u don't get asked...it just happens! and the co that hired them is premier something for a cc I never had, claim they have proof of past pyms-collectors barely get any info, and gave me a "rockingham county case # !...no mini-Miranda of course, and multiple calls per day even when given a verbal dnc (do not contact), these are blatant fdcpa violations, another was for my Cumberland farms card went missing, there was $400.+ charged within a 24hr period...did I mention disabled??? and now they are trying to put me in check systems, ive even got a release from my bank stating I'm in the clear and not at fault!!! even knowing what I do of collections, it seems the laws get tougher on the collectors-the worse they get!!!

Thank you very much. ..

Can I get recourse from 2 cases back in 1994-1997? It was over a hospital bill I paid in cash. The end of the year I tossed the paperwork. About 6 months later I get a collection bill saying the hospital was being audited and my bill came up as unpaid. It was $300 or so. So after letters and phone calls I finally paid it, AGAIN! With a money order. Well after a year and a half I throw it out, thinking everything is fine and yep you guessed it. The company that DoD the audit on the hospital is now being audited and my bill comes up as being unpaid. How? Almost 2 years after paying it a second time and 4 years after paying it the first time? I ended up having to pay it AGAIN! But they agreed to half because of "the situation". Was I a mark? First, they see "paid by cash" and the second time they see "money order". Who keeps those 2 receipts? I've always felt like I was taken. There wasn't help back then like now, and the internet wasn't what it is now. Was the hospital liable? They said it was out of their hands because of the audits.

You can report a problem with a debt collector to the FTC at 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.

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