On September 7, 2018, the FTC reported that the operators of a Georgia-based debt collection business that allegedly used false claims and threats to get people to pay debts – including debts they did not owe or that the defendants had no authority to collect – have been banned from the debt collection business and from buying or selling debt, under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants’ debt collection business model was based on falsely claiming to consumers that they had committed a crime and would be sued, have their wages garnished, or be put in prison if they did not pay purported debts. In many instances, the defendants collected on debts consumers had already paid or that the defendants otherwise had no authority to collect. They also, according to the FTC, illegally contacted consumers’ employers and other third parties, as well as failed to provide written notices and disclaimers required by law.
The settlement orders also prohibit the defendants from misrepresentations regarding any financial products and services, and from profiting from or failing to properly dispose of customers’ personal information collected as part of the challenged practices.
Each order imposes a $3,462,664 judgment that will be partially suspended, due to the defendants’ inability to pay, when they have surrendered certain assets. In each case, the full judgment will become due immediately if the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.
The FTC vote approving the proposed stipulated orders against Lamar Snow, Global Processing Solutions LLC, Intrinsic Solutions LLC, North Center Collections Inc and Diverse Financial Enterprises Inc., Jahaan McDuffie, Capital Security Investments LLC and American Credit Adjusters LLC, and Glentis Wallace, also known as Glen Wallace, was 5-0. The United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, entered the orders on July 17, 2018.
Default judgment was entered by the Court against the remaining defendants—Advanced Mediation Group, LLC, Apex National Services, LLC, Mirage Distribution, LLC, and Mitchell & Maxwell, LLC—on September 4, 2018.
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