In a press release dated Sept. 25, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission announced that a California-based debt collector Archie Donovan will pay $1,000,000 to settle FTC charges that he and two companies that he controls, National Attorney Collection Services, Inc. and National Attorney Services, LLC, violated federal debt collection laws.
The allegations were that the defendants used text messaging to attempt to collect debts, but did not give the required disclosures as mandated by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). They also pretended to be attorneys when they were not, and falsely threatened to sue consumers for not paying their debts and also threatened to garnish their wages.
They also used mailing envelopes showing a large arm shaking money from a consumer who is held upside down. Federal law prohibits debt collectors from disclosing someone's debts publicly or to third parties, because this could endanger a consumer's job or reputation.
If you have been harassed or abused by a debt collector, or if a debt collector has otherwise violated debt collection laws, contact our office in Houston. We sue debt collectors that violate the law. And, if your debts have just become overwhelming, filing a bankruptcy can stop all debt collection activity, including lawsuits and court judgments. You can also file a complaint against misbehaving debt collectors with the FTC and the Texas Attorney General's office. But those agencies typically do not act in individual cases.