I was doing some checking on a debt collector that left a voice mail for one of my clients. In the voice mail, the debt collector threatened to turn this matter over to the DA for a bench warrant. (That is an obvious violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Rosenthal Act.) So I googled the debt collector.
In this case, the debt collector is Four Star Resolution, LLC. Of course, they are also known as FourStar Resolution, LLC, 4Star Resolution LLC and 4 Star Resolution, LLC. So we will figure out which name is the right name. But I went to the Better Businsess Bureau website. And I found this warning:
"BBB has seen a major increase in collection agencies starting business in the Upstate New York area over the past several years. In an effort to keep consumers informed about which collection agencies are operating in accordance with federal and state law, we have asked for specific information from all collection agencies located in our service area, including proof of licensing, bonding, and or registration required by NY state or other governments where the business is located, as well as proof of licensing required by any state in which the business operates. This collection agency has not responded to our requests. BBB advises consumers to be aware of their rights in regard to collections. This includes New York States law prohibiting any collection agency from collecting on Payday loans in the State of New York. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines prohibited behavior when attempting to collect a debt, and outlines specific rights for consumers. There are penalties for agencies found in violation of the Act. BBB advises consumers to become familiar with their rights under the Act, which can be found at the link below: http://upstateny.bbb.org/storage/75/documents/debtcollection.html To file a complaint with BBB click the link below: https://www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started"
This is the first time I have seen this. But it is interesting that there is a warning about debt collectors starting up in Upstate New York. Apparently, its a hot bed for debt collectors. I am dealing with three debt collectors up there who have warnings by the BBB.
If you get a call from a debt collector, take notes on what they say. If they leave a voice mail and you think its a violation of the law, save the voice mail. Do not give out your information to anyone. And if you have heard from Four Star Resolution, talk to an attorney. Based on the voice mail I heard and their lack of willingness to discuss it with me, it concerns me.
I previously gave you 5 mistakes to avoid with your credit. So as people are ramping up their holiday shopping, I thought I would share with you 5 more mistakes to avoid with your credit. The difference between good credit and bad credit can be thousands of dollars. So here are 5 more mistakes to avoid with your credit:
1. Requesting a credit limit reduction. You may believe that you have too much credit and that you are better off with a credit limit reduction for existing credit cards. In fact, the only significant effect a limit reduction has on your credit score is a negative effect on your debt ratio.
2. Utilizing the first credit counseling service you hear about. Most credit counseling services cannot advise you all of your options, such as bankruptcy. And, quite often, the ones that advertise the most are the ones that you should avoid. Use the FTC’s advice (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/fiscal.htm) and find a reputable credit counseling service in your area. If you are going to use one, call several of them and ask the questions from the FTC page to find ones that seem legitimate, then check with the Better Business Bureau before moving forward. Then call an attorney to find out the rest of your rights before you hire anyone!
3. Declaring bankruptcy too quickly. Many people go forward with bankruptcy because they believe it is the only way out. Instead of taking such a drastic measure, seek counseling first and make sure to consider all of your options, including negotiations with your creditors.
4. Practicing credit card arbitrage. This can seriously damage your credit score if you do not know what you are doing. Stay away unless you know exactly what you are doing. One mistake and your credit score could easily be demolished.
5. Never checking your credit report. Most people who behave well with their credit just assume that their credit is fine, but sometimes incorrect things can show up on your report. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ to get a free report once per year. You may catch mistakes or even identity theft.
The best thing you can do is to take ownership of your credit. Avoiding these mistakes can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. It will also make your life so much less stressful!
This comes to you from the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau:
We want to hear about your debt collection experience—weigh in now.
Since we began taking debt collection complaints a few months ago, companies have responded to more than 5,000 debt collection complaints. We see that this is an important issue for consumers and today we’re adding these complaints about debt collection to our public Consumer Complaint Database.
We’re also taking the first steps to gather information to determine what rules would be appropriate to protect consumers who are subject to debt collection. We’re issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) today —and what that means is that we are considering issuing rules for the debt collection industry, but first we want to hear from you so we can learn more about the debt collection system. We’d like to hear about your experience with debt collectors and how they should act when they try to recover debts.
Getting input from the public – you – is an important part of the process. Debt collection is a complicated topic, with many consumer protection concerns. We are issuing an ANPR in order to ask a number of questions about different aspects of the industry and the consumer experience. The ANPR will be published in the Federal Register, where anyone can submit comments to respond to the questions. We’re particularly interested in learning about the accuracy of information in the debt collection industry, whether consumers are aware of the debt and their rights, and whether consumers are being treated fairly.
Although the public can submit comments formally in response to the notice at regulations.gov, we want to make it easier for consumers and small businesses to tell us what they think about debt collection practices. To do that, we’ve partnered with RegulationRoom.org, operated by the Cornell University’s eRulemaking Initiative, where you can provide your comments in an interactive and intuitive way.
RegulationRoom.org is not a government website. It’s operated by law students and staff at Cornell Law School, with the goal of making it easy for people to submit comments to government agencies. They are working on removing barriers to public participation, and we are excited to be partnering with them again.
The staff at RegulationRoom.org realizes that most people are generally unfamiliar with the formal commenting process at Regulations.gov (the official government site). So they present information, conduct a conversation, and then collect views until the forum closes about a week before the end of the comment period, so that their team can assemble all the feedback into an official comment. Those who have participated get one more chance to react to the summary before it is submitted formally to the CFPB through regulations.gov. And, like all other formal comments, we will read and consider them as we consider consumer protection rules for the debt collection market.
Explore the data
Adding debt collection complaints will take the number of complaints in the Consumer Complaint Database to more than 155,000. When you look at the data for debt collection complaints, you can even see what type of debt is involved (auto loan, credit card, medical, student loan, mortgage, etc).
Dig in and explore this new frontier of information, and remember – if you think you’ve found something interesting in the consumer complaint data, we definitely want to hear about it! We encourage the public, including consumers, analysts, data scientists, civic hackers, and companies that serve consumers to analyze, augment, and build on the information in the database to develop ways for consumers to use the complaint data or mash it up with other public data sets to reveal potential trends.
KSL-5 out of Utah is reporting on debt collectors using social media to track down debtors. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone. Debt collectors will use whatever technology they can to try to get as much information about you as they can. The more they know about you, the easier they can collect money.
According to KSL, "Some [debt collectors] even create a fake account and try to "friend" a debtor. If the request is accepted, a debt collector can learn all sorts of things about a debtor such as his or her job, their hobbies and even their friends." They will then be able to see everything about you.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, what most people call the FDCPA, is the law that regulates debt collectors. It was written in 1977. That was before the internet and well before Facebook. The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau is looking at updating the FDCPA.
For now, here are some tips:
1. Do not accept a friend request from someone you do not know.
2. Mark your settings to private.
3. Do not talk to a debt collector. If you do not hire an attorney, send them a debt validation letter and tell them that any communication must be in writing.
I wrote before about Regional Arbitation Services. You can read it here and here. I sued them twice and have two defaults against them. I will soon be turning those into judgments. In the meantime, I received a call from a potential client yesterday.
He calls me up with a familiar story. Someone calls him and claims he is going to jail. They say that he owes money to someone. Then he gets a call from his mom. She is told that he is going to be arrested. He then finds out his boss got a call with the same story.
He calls my office. It turns out that he was getting calls from a company called FS Mediation Group. There is nothing about this group that involves mediation. They are not mediators. They do not mediate disputes. They do, however, share the same address with Regional Arbitration Services. Yep, the same story coming from the same place.
The moral of the story: Be wary if you get a call from FS Mediation Group, RAS, Regional Arbitration Services, or any other entity claiming that you are going to get arrested. Get their name and number and then call an attorney.
Today in my mail came a letter dated October 22, 2013 from GGG Partners in Atlanta, GA. The letter states "On October 20, 2013, Brachfeld Law Group, PC ("Brachfeld") determined that it was in the best interests of all stakeholders to liquidate the current business operations."
Okay, so what does that mean in English? Brachfeld Law Group apparently is going out of business. They sent me this letter since I have a client who is owed money from them. They are asking anyone who claims they are owed money to write to GGG by December 31, 2013 and tell them the total amount owed.
At this time, I will keep researching this and determine what this may mean. You are not REQUIRED to take any offer Brachfeld makes to you, if they owe you money.
In the "not so surprising" news category, a new report rips the debt collection industry. This report, however, goes a step further. The report suggests that states are not doing enough to help struggling consumers. The report from the NCLC, states that the best states are only earning a B+ grade while some states get a D-.
The gist of this 44 page report is that the debt collection industry is not doing anything to help consumers. Rather, the industry forces consumers into poverty by not working with them, by emptying out bank accounts, by forcing families to lose their only means of transportation. And, this report is right.
I understand that when someone gets behind on their debts, a debt collector can help a small business, or even a big business, collect their money. The most successful debt collectors should be working with consumers to set up a payment plan that works for everyone. However, at least twice a week, I get a call from someone who goes to get money from the bank and finds out that a levy was executed on their account and they have never even been served with a lawsuit. How do I know this? Because when we get the proof of service, its at the wrong address or for the wrong person.
The 2nd part of the report findings is also correct. States need to do more to proteect consumers and enforce their laws. Too many times, a debt collector can find a loophole to get out of their legal obligations. These loopholes need to be closed.
Don't despair, fine consumers of the world. There is help out there. Just make sure you find someone who knows this area of law and can assist you.
Last week's post received such a response that I thought I would share more concerns about payday loans. These short term loans look like a good solution for some people, but for over 90% of the population, they are a trap. A better option is to go to your bank or credit union and get a loan that way.
But, since people continue to get these short term loans, I thought I would share more concerns about these payday loans:
1. Aggressive litigation. High risk lenders are more willing to take on aggressive litigation tactics. These tactics can include “sewer serves” where the process server may not serve the borrower personally, litigation in an improper location, like in a county different from one where the borrower lives, or suing for an amount that they may not be entitled to collect. These tactics make it important that you talk to an attorney as soon as you get behind.
2. Attempting to get money from your bank account. Consumers have reported that these high risk lenders may try to deposit post dated checks prematurely or they may try to collect money from your bank account even without your authorization. These tactics, while generally not legal, may be authorized by your loan agreement. You need to read this agreement carefully and you should advise them in writing that they are not allowed to do this.
3. Fees on top of fees. Especially for consumers who end up rolling one loan into another, high risk lenders may add fees on top of fees on top of fees. For example, if the first loan cost you $45 for a $300 loan, and you cannot pay it back on the due date, you may end up paying another $45 in fees plus fees on the $90 in fees. The loan agreement will spell out these fees and terms.
4. Consider your alternatives. According to the FTC, you should consider alternatives to these loans. These alternatives include shopping carefully for credit, asking your creditors for more time to pay your bills, contacting credit counseling agencies or an attorney, and if you must borrow money, borrow only as much as you can afford to repay with your next paycheck.
Sadly, I have seen the first three all this month and we are not even half way through the month. Lenders have tried to ACH, or electronically remove money, from accounts without authorization, have filed lawsuits in the wrong venue, or location, and have added fees on top of fees.
Before you get a payday loan, consider these concerns and talk to your family about other options that may be available for you.
I just helped a woman with a payday loan. The interest rate was 180%. Her payments were going to total over $9,000 in this loan from California Check Cashing, LLC. Her $2500 loan was going to cost her $10,000 when she was done repaying it. We got the matter resolved for substantially less.
This situation reminded me that many people are unsure what to do if they find themselves with one of these short term or high interest loans. So here are some things to think about when you are considering one of these loans.
1. Getting stuck in the “debt cycle.” According to some studies, 91% of users of “payday loans” and other high risk loans are people who are borrowing five or more times. Only 1% of users are people who take out one loan for an emergency. You can quickly get stuck in a cycle of borrowing to pay off your existing loans.
2. High interest rates. Some of these lenders charge 90% interest for a loan to be repaid over several years. However, that can be on the loan end. Some lenders have charged interest rates that are 100% and higher. Compare this to a cash advance on a credit card at 25% or 30% and it is substantially more expensive.
3. Lack of regulation of collection practices. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) only applies to third party debt collectors. Since most of these high risk lenders handle their own collections work, they are not subject to the FDCPA. Thus, the borrower will not have he same protections he or she may have with other types of loans.
4. Aggressive collection practices. Without the protection of the FDCPA, high risk lenders are free to use more aggressive collection techniques. For example, they may try contacting coworkers or third parties to obtain information on the borrower. They may also not advise borrowers of the right to have a debt validated or other protections available to a borrower.
Remember, if you need a loan, talk to your bank or credit union first. A short term, high rate loan should be your last option. But if you take one out, talk to an attorney if you cannot make the payments. Do not call the lender until you know your rights.
Here is the opening paragraph: "A debt collector is paying $1 million to settle charges that it illegally revealed consumers' debts by mailing them dunning notices in an envelope featuring a large arm shaking money from an upside down man, and using text messaging to collect debts unlawfully." But you really need to read the article, and more importantly, look at the picture on the envelope.
I have never dealt with National Attorney Collection Services or National Attorney Services, the two entities involved in this. But this envelope is over the top. I can't believe anyone sent this out and thought "hmmm.......this does not offend anyone." It offends me, and I wouldn't qualify as the least sophisticated consumer. The envelope is a clear violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Further, I am not sure how they are tracking down cell phones, but clearly they are. This is an area ripe for abuse. If you get a text message from a debt collector, save it. Do not delete it. It may not be the greatest thing to have on your phone, but it will be evidence. Don't assume your attorney can later retrieve the text message.
Remember, anytime you get something from a debt collector, keep it. Save it. You may need it down the road. And, of course, talk to an attorney before you decide to pay a debt collector.
Most people have heard that they should be careful with the credit. However, when it comes to the dos and don'ts of credit, most people have no idea what to do. Here are some tips to help avoid mistakes with your credit:
1. Cancelling old credit cards. 15% of your credit score comes from the length of your credit history. If you want to reduce the number of credit cards you have, then you should cancel the newest ones first.
2. Staying current on some or most of your cards. 35% of your score is based on punctuality of your payment, with only payments that are more than thirty days late affecting your score. If you’re going to be late on any cards, make up that payment before it is thirty days late. Juggle the timing of your payments, but make sure no payment gets more than 30 days late.
3. Having too many open lines of credit. 10% of your score comes from the types of credit used. If you have a lot of sources of revolving credit, such as credit cards, you can be seen as a credit risk. Why? Because you have the potential of racking up a lot of debt very quickly. Don’t take those retail credit cards just to save 10% or 15% on the first purchase.
4. Maxing out your credit cards. 30% of your score comes from the ratio of your credit card debt and your credit limits. Therefore, if all of your cards are used to the credit limit, your credit score is suffering even if you are able to keep up with the payments. Stop buying more and start using the money to make extra payments and pay down your credit.
5. Avoiding loans and debts. In the eyes of your credit report, having no debt is basically having bad debt. If you do not want credit cards, you should still consider getting one card and making an occasional purchase with it. Pay it off when the bill comes. It is bad to not run up any debt.
Part of my practice is landlord-tenant work. I represent tenants who are being evicted or who may be evicted. After getting a fair number of calls this week from tenants, I thought I would share some tips for tenants who may need help.
1. Which Notice Is Proper. The first step in any eviction is for you to be notified. A month to month lease can be terminated for no reason with a 30 or 60 day notice. However, a 3 day notice is proper if you fail to pay rent, violate a lease provision, materially damage the property, interfere with the rights of other tenants or use the property for an illegal purpose.
2. Rent Amount on Notice is Key. The most important item on a 3day notice for failure to pay rent is the amount due. The notice “must accurately state the amount of rent that is due.”
3. Paying Late Rent. The notice must tell you where you can pay the rent either in person, with the usual hours, or the information on the bank that will take payment. The landlord cannot normally require cash payment.
4. Service of the Notice. The landlord must serve the notice in person. If the landlord cannot serve you in person, the landlord can serve you at work. If you are not available at work or at home, then and only then can the landlord serve by posting the notice and mailing a copy.
5. Responding to an unlawful detainer. If the landlord wants to evict you and you have not moved out voluntarily, you will be served with an unlawful detainer. You only have 5 days to respond to this. Your response may be a demurrer, a motion to strike, a motion to quash or an answer.
This list is not exhaustive. But if you want more tips on how to protect yourself as a tenant, email me for my report. You can email email@example.com and I will send you this report for free.
Debt collectors make mistakes - a lot of them. Not all debt collectors, but a fair number of them. When they do, you need to be able to assert your rights. So let me share with you three very frequent debt collection violations.
1. Failing to verify disputed debts: The FDCPA provides that, if a consumer does submit a dispute in writing, the collector must cease collection efforts until it has provided written verification of the debt. Collectors ignore consumers written disputes, send no verification, and continue their collection efforts.
2. Impermissible calls to consumer’s place of employment: A debt collector may not contact a consumer at work if the collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer’s employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such contacts. Debt collectors continue to call consumers at work after the consumer specifically told the collectors that such calls were prohibited by the consumer’s employer.
3. Revealing alleged debt to third parties: Generally, third-party contacts for any purpose other than obtaining information about the consumer’s location violate the Act. Third-party collectors have contacted consumers’ employers, relatives, children, neighbors, and friends, and informed them about consumers’ debts.
There are other violations - a lot of them. The law protects consumers. But you need to know your rights. Watch out for these three violations. If you are unsure if there was a violation, talk to an attorney. Find out your rights. Then you can make an informed decision on what to do next.
The Consumer Federation of America has put out a list of the top consumer complaints. Guess what is near the top? Yep, my favorite industry, the debt collection industry!
This year, coming in at #3 on the list, is abusive and illegal debt collection practices. The top 5 fastest growing categories also includes debt collection practices. And this report comes as a surprise to no one.
Let me start with this. There are some good debt collectors out there. There are also good debt collection attorneys out there. But there are also some awful debt collectors out there. How do you know who is a good one and who is a bad one? You don't. You might be able to tell within a few minutes of them calling you. But, for the most part, you cannot tell the difference when they first call you.
Remember, tell them that they cannot call you and then put it in writing. Request validation of the debt. And if you think a debt collector is out of line or has violated the law, talk to an attorney. Learn your rights!
Next year, however, we can expect similar results!
The New York Department of Financial Services is proposing new rules for debt collectors.These rules include:
1. Have in hand basic information before they may contact people about a debt;
2. Provide documentation when a person disputes or requests verification of the debt;
3. Inform people if alleged debts are beyond the statute of limitations; and
4. Disclose to people that their income might be exempt from collection.
The first two are becoming more common. California has a bill that would make this happen as well. Or, at least, they have a bill that would require it, whether debt collectors follow through is an entirely different story. But 3 and 4 are interesting.
Imagine a debt collector buys a debt that is 6 months past the statute of limitations. They call you and tell you this. You send them a letter that tells them to cease communication. That would be the end of their efforts because they cannot sue you on a debt that is past the statute of limitations. You would never hear from them again simply because you have been armed with knowledge - the knowledge that they are trying to collect an uncollectable debt.
Or, imagine you are a senior citizen and your only income is social security. In most cases, social security is exempt from judgment enforcement. So the debt collector tells you this, you send a cease communication letter, and then you know that, even if they sue you, you probably don't have to worry about judgment enforcement.
These rules are going to change the landscape for consumers. It is going to be much easier to learn your rights and how to protect yourself - in New York. Now we need these rules to become part of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for nationwide proteect, and the Rosenthal Act in California.
In a welcome move by the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, they announced recently that they are going to be investigating original creditor's for unfair debt collection practices. According to a story at BusinessWeek.com, "The new policy, which follows efforts to rein in abusive credit-card and lending policies, will plug a gap in federal anti-harassment law that generally excluded creditors who collected debt themselves, rather than hiring third parties."
Just so we are clear, this does not extend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to original creditors. But what it does is make sure that the government is looking at how original creditors collect debts, including credit card companies. Under the FDCPA, an original creditor can call you as much as they want, call you when you have an attorney, and generally not advise you of your rights. The FDCPA only applies to third party debt collectors.
Some states, including California, have state protections that apply to original creditors. For example, California's Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, also known as the Rosenthal Act, does apply to original creditors. Under the Rosenthal Act, an original creditor cannot call you before 8am or after 9pm, and the original creditor must follow all of the same rules that a third party debt collector follows.
The federal government is getting serious about debt collectors cleaning up their acts. While this will not change the law, this enforcement should help protect consumers.
Remember, if you get contacted by a debt collector, either the original creditor or a third party collector, learn your rights, talk to an attorney for a free consultation, and make sure you are protected from their harassing and abusive behavior.
A great story from Jim Puzzanghera at the LA Times about the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, shutting down a Califlornia debt collector.
Who was shut down, you ask? From the story "Among the companies targeted were Western Performance Group and Allied Financial Group. But the agency said the four people involved in the operation -- Thai Han, Jim Tran Phelps, Keith Hua and James Novella -- frequently changed company names 'to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.'" A federal district judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop them from continuing their antics.
I have not had any dealings with any of these companies or people. But if you have, you need to immediately contact an attorney and figure out the current status of your case. These are serious allegations and it could have an impact on people, although obtaining restitution is highly unlikely.
As an aside, its good to see the Federal Government stepping up its enforcement of the shenanigans that are going on in the world of debt collection.
Question: I stopped paying on a credit card. What is the statute of limitations within which the debt collector has to sue me?
Answer: It depends, as the typical lawyer would answer. Each state has its own statute of limitations. So, it depends on where you live. If you are in California, it is generally 4 years under most theories that the debt collectors use to sue you. However, it could be longer or shorter depending on your specific circumstances.
I found a great resource to use to check the statute of limitations in each state. This website will provide you the statute in all 50 states for debt collection cases.
If a debt collector calls you and you are sure its past the statute of limitations, you need to immediately send them a validation letter and a cease contact letter. (See my post from last week.) It may be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and California's Rosenthal Act for them to do this.
Of course, if you are unsure, you should consult with an attorney about your specific case.
The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CPFB) has released self help letters. These DIY letters are intended for consumers who are looking to deal with a debt collector without hiring an attorney. There are five letters that consumers can send to debt collectors.
1. The need more information letter: You send this letter out to a debt collector when you do not have enough information to identify the debt or figure out what they are talking about. Be careful sending out this letter because you will still only have 30 days to dispute the debt.
2. The dispute letter: You send this letter within 30 days of receipt of a letter from a debt collector. This is the letter that allows you to properly request validation of the debt.
3. The restrict contact letter: You send this letter to a debt collector when you do not want them to contact you. This letter should usually go out with the dispute letter.
4. The representation letter: You send this letter to a debt collector when you have hired an attorney. This will tell them to stop contacting you and to contact your attorney.
5. The stop contact letter: This letter tells a debt collector not to contact you at all. You should not use this letter and the restrict contact letter, but you should use one or the other with your dispute letter.
Of course, then you need a logbook. After you send one or more of these letters, excluding letter 1, the debt collector cannot attempt to collect the debt without providing validation of the debt (if you use letter 2), or cannot contact you via certain means (if you use letter 3) or at all (if you use letters 4 or 5). At that point, it is in your best interest to keep track in a notebook or a spreadsheet of any contacts by the debt collector. Any contacts may be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Rosenthal Act.
Well, the debt collectors are at it again. What's a violation of the FDCPA between debt collectors and the FTC? Do they really think the FTC is going to do anything? Apparently, the answer is yes.
In this case, the FTC has reached the LARGEST SETTLEMENT EVER with a debt collector. It is $3.2 million and came against Expert Global Solutions, Inc. The FTC brought the action and Expert Global Solutions settled it 2 days later. In addition to being the largest settlement ever, it may hold a record for quickest settlement ever. I haven't seen another one settle so quickly!
CNNMoney reports that some of the actions of Expert Global Solutions include: "abusive tactics like calling people several times a day, early in the morning or late at night, and even at their workplace. In some instances, the collectors wouldn't stop calling consumers even after debts were paid, because they had not verified if the debt still existed."
It is actions like this that show that the FTC is serious about protecting consumers. But it won't stop because the FTC has a huge job in front of it with new collectors popping up daily, new scams popping up, and tons of violations. Consumers need to educate themselves, protect themselves, and then talk to an attorney if they think their rights are being violated.