• Consumer Protection Law and Advocacy — Chicago, IL

Debt Collection

Debt Collector Harassment

Debt collectors using deceptive practices must refund consumers

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced this week that they have taken action against two large debt buyers for deceptive practices against consumers. Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates allegedly pressured consumers to pay unsubstantiated or out-of-date debts with false statements and churned out lawsuits using robo-signed court documents. The two companies must now refund consumers $61 million and pay penalties of $18 million. Encore Capital was found to have harassed consumers with repeated or continuous calls with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass them into paying.

“Encore and Portfolio Recovery Associates threatened and deceived consumers to collect on debts they should have known were inaccurate or had other problems,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Now, the two biggest debt buyers in the market must refund millions and overhaul their practices. We will continue to take action to protect consumers from illegal and obnoxious debt collection practices.”

Unfortunately, these actions are all too common among debt buyers. If you’ve been the victim of harassing robo calls or deceptive practices from debt collectors, we offer a free consultation to seek legal help.