"...Phantom and Abusive Debt Collection..."

October 6, 2020 Business Consumers Money

“FTC, State, and Federal Law Enforcement Partners Announce Nationwide Crackdown on Phantom and Abusive Debt Collection.”

The Federal Trade Commission, along with more than 50 federal and state law enforcement partners, today announced a nationwide law enforcement and outreach initiative to protect consumers from phantom debt collection and abusive and threatening debt collection practices.

This crackdown encompasses more than 50 enforcement actions against debt collectors engaged in these illegal practices brought by the FTC, three federal partners, and partners from 16 states.

The initiative, called Operation Corrupt Collector, includes five FTC law enforcement actions, including two newly announced cases and settlements in three prior actions. The two new FTC cases allege that companies were trying to collect debts they cannot legally collect or that a consumer does not owe—a practice known as phantom debt collection.

The operation also includes two cases filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three criminal cases brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. States reporting actions as part of the operation include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington.

“For many years, we’ve been working with our law enforcement partners to crack down on illegal and abusive debt collectors,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “At a time when many are under financial stress, our coordinated actions today show that we’re continuing the fight against collectors who threaten people and try to collect debts they don’t owe.”

READ more at: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2020/09/ftc-state-federal-law-enforcement-partners-announce-nationwide?utm_source=govdelivery

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