On July 14, 2016, the FTC announced that, as part of an ongoing crackdown on deceptive collection practices, it reached a settlement with two debt collectors and three companies charged with using illegal collection tactics.
As Enforcement Watch previously covered here, the FTC initially brought the action against the companies in October of 2015 for allegedly taking payments from consumers by “intimidation, lies and other unlawful debt collection tactics,” in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTCA”) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). As part of the settlement, the companies are required to pay a judgment of $4,802,646, and the two individual defendants must pay amounts of $59,207 and $50,562. It also bans the defendants from the debt collection business, prohibits them from misrepresenting material facts about financial-related products and services, and prohibits them from profiting from personal information of consumers without properly disclosing its actions.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered the settlement order on July 11, 2016.