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FTC and Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement Partners Announce Nationwide Crackdown Against Abusive Debt Collectors

Staff, Staff | November 04, 2015

Authorities Announce 30 New Actions Targeting Illegal Practices Such as Phony Debt Collection, Threats of Arrest & Wage Garnishment

The Federal Trade Commission and other law enforcement authorities around the country announced the first coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. This nationwide crackdown encompasses 30 new law enforcement actions by federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities against collectors who use illegal tactics such as harassing phone calls and false threats of litigation, arrest, and wage garnishment. The cases announced today bring to 115 the total number of actions taken so far this year by the more than 70 law enforcement partners in the Operation Collection Protection initiative.

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.

“Being in debt is stressful enough for many Americans without also being subjected to intimidation and false threats,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. “Debtors have certain rights and rogue collectors that step outside the law will face the consequences of illegal behavior.”

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