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.
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.