WASHINGTON (11/5/15)--Thirty new law enforcement actions involving abusive debt collection practices were announced Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), part of a new nationwide crackdown.
Operation Collection Protection includes is the first coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting debt collectors that use illegal tactics.
According to the FTC, 115 total actions have been taken against debt collectors this year by the agency and more than 70 of its law enforcement partners.
Some of these actions allege that collectors knowingly attempted to collect so-called phantom debts--phony debts that consumers do not actually owe. The illegal practices targeted by authorities also include the failure of some collectors to give consumers legally required disclosures and notices, or to follow state and local licensing requirements.
Wednesday’s actions included announcements of five new enforcement actions against debt collectors allegedly involved in abusive practices.
Those include actions against:
The fifth complaint was filed under seal, and thus cannot be disclosed by the FTC.
With the settlements announced Wednesday, the FTC’s total secured final judgments in seven cases this year have placed 33 defendants under strict federal court orders, secured more than $88 million in judgments and banned 24 defendants from working in debt collection.