The Federal Trade Commission today issued a press release announcing that at their request, a U.S. district court had halted a debt collection operation that had been charged with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by misrepresenting that they were with the government, falsely accusing consumers of committing check fraud, and threatening consumers with arrest.
Our law office in Houston has been receiving quite a few calls from consumers over the past few years, complaining of the antics of some of these "renegade" or "off the reservation" debt collectors. Thanks to the FTC for taking action. The press release states that the court order halts the illegal conduct, freezes the operation's property, and appoints a temporary receiver over the business, until a later hearing.
“These debt collectors took deception to new lows,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “They bullied consumers, falsely accused them of crimes, and pretended to be government officials. Stopping their illegal activity is a real victory for consumers.”
Running the scheme since at least May of 2010, the defendants Mark Briandi and William Moses acted as though they were representatives of the government by using company names that suggested a government affiliation or national operations, such as Federal Recoveries, LLC, Federal Check Processing, Inc, Federal Processing Services, Inc., Nationwide Check Processing, and State Check Processing, Inc.
The defendants threatened consumers with dire consequences – such as lawsuits, arrest and imprisonment or seizure of assets – unless consumers paid the debt immediately.
But if you have been served with an actual lawsuit or other court process for debt, call our Houston law office at 713-772-8037 and make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys.