Victims Of Debt Collection Scam To Start Receiving $4M In Refunds From FTC

Victims Of Debt Collection Scam To Start Receiving $4M In Refunds From FTC

More than a year after the Federal Trade Commission settled charges with a massive debt collection operation that extorted payments from consumer using false threats, those affected by the deceptive practices are finally seeing a bit of restitution in the form of checks totaling $4 million. [More]

PayPal Tweaking User Agreement To Remove Mandatory Robocalls

PayPal Tweaking User Agreement To Remove Mandatory Robocalls

PayPal’s new user agreement — the one that gives the company even more latitude to make obnoxious prerecorded marketing calls to “any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained” — is set to kick in this week, but following an FCC warning that this policy might be in violation of federal law, and a letter from multiple senators asking PayPal to rethink its new terms, the company has agreed to make changes that “clear up any confusion.” [More]

CFPB Asks Google, Bing & Yahoo To Help Stop Student Loan Debt Scams That Imply Affiliation With Feds

CFPB Asks Google, Bing & Yahoo To Help Stop Student Loan Debt Scams That Imply Affiliation With Feds

The Internet is teeming with scammers, fraudsters, and hustlers determined to part consumers from their money, and as a $1.2 trillion venture, student loans often present an attractive avenue for these ne’er-do-wells. In order to better protect individuals from such schemes, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is enlisting the help of the country’s major search engines.  [More]

CFPB Sues Auto Lender For Aggressive Debt Collection Tactics Against Servicemembers

CFPB Sues Auto Lender For Aggressive Debt Collection Tactics Against Servicemembers

By now it should come as no surprise that lenders shelling out thousands of dollars to help consumers make purchases for things like houses and cars often use lies and threats in attempts to recoup those funds. And while those tactics might result in some payments, they will also likely draw the ire of federal regulators. [More]

PayPal’s New Terms Of Service Mean More Robocalls, Spam Texts For Users

PayPal’s New Terms Of Service Mean More Robocalls, Spam Texts For Users

PayPal’s terms of service already include a clause giving the company permission to make prerecorded marketing robocalls to the number you provide them, and to send texts to that number if it’s for a mobile phone. But starting in July, PayPal is giving itself a lot more authority for bothering you — and not just on the phone number you have on record. [More]

(stuartpilbrow)

FTC Puts A Stop To Three Debt Collection Operations Using Threatening Text Messages, Robocalls

For the most part, we can’t say many glowing things about the debt collection industry that has, in the past, been known for using a litany of abusive and deceptive practices to pry money from consumers. Three such companies will no longer be bothering people after the Federal Trade Commission temporarily shut down the operations for engaging in nearly all of the hallmarks of shady collectors: threatening lawsuits or arrest, impersonating law enforcement and government officials and illegally contacting supposed debtors. [More]

Jury Hits Debt Collector With $83 Million Verdict Over Bogus $1,130 Debt

(Luke Hornick)

A jury in Missouri recently awarded $251,000 in damages to a local woman who was wrongfully sued by a debt collector — more than 222 times the amount she’d been sued over — but that’s nothing compared to the additional $82.99 million in punitive damages assessed against the collection company. [More]

Robocalling Phantom Debt Collector Accused Of Harassing, Defrauding Consumers

Robocalling Phantom Debt Collector Accused Of Harassing, Defrauding Consumers

People hate debt collectors, perhaps as much as, if not more than, they despise robocalls from telemarketers. And phantom debt collectors — those who attempt to collect debts that aren’t owed to them, if at all — are among the worst of the bunch. So when you combine the automated recorded messages of robocalls with the incessant harassment of phantom debt collectors, you create a particularly loathsome Frankenstein’s monster. [More]

(David Goehring)

“Bad Check” Debt Collector Deceptively Used Prosecutors’ Letterhead To Intimidate Consumers Into Paying High Fees

Late last year, Consumerist reported on a string of debt collectors paying to use prosecutors’ letterheads as a way to intimidate consumers into paying their debts. While the company facing the wrath of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today didn’t exactly pay to use the letterhead, they allegedly used the documents in a deceptive manner to get consumers to enroll in costly financial education programs. [More]

Consumers Lost $1.7B To Scams In 2014, Imposter Crimes On The Rise

Consumers Lost $1.7B To Scams In 2014, Imposter Crimes On The Rise

For the 15th consecutive year, identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission’s list of top consumer complaints. But its reign could be coming to an end following a significant increase in the number of scams in which con artists impersonating government agents and law enforcement personnel part consumers from their money.
[More]

(nvaine)

Feds & NY Attorney General Team Up To Sue Abusive Debt Collectors

Just like one of those action movies where a federal agent gets paired up with a small-town sheriff who knows all the bad guys in the area, the Federal Trade Commission has brought its crackdown on abusive debt collectors to New York and partnered with the Empire State’s attorney general to shut down a pair of unsavory operators. [More]

From CNNMoney's "Above The Law," an extensive investigative report on debt collection on behalf of the government.

Some Debt Collectors Get Away With Shady Behavior When Collecting Debt For Government

Federal and state regulators are continually trying to crack down on debt collectors who use unsavory, illegal tactics to make consumers pay up. But some ethically questionable collectors are operating under the regulatory radar because they collect debts for the government. [More]

The National Consumer Law Center is asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to go full Daryl Dixon on the collection of zombie debt.

Is It Time For Regulators To Stab Zombie Debt Through The Brain?

What a lot of people don’t know — and what debt collectors rarely mention — is that most unpaid debt has an expiration date after which you can’t be sued for repayment. And even fewer consumers are aware that this dead debt can be sparked back to life by making a payment after it’s already passed on to the debt afterlife. A new report calls on federal regulators to make sure that debt doesn’t rise from the dead in zombie form. [More]

The CFPB, along with AGs from Virginia and North Carolina took action against Freedom Furniture & Electronics and its related companies for alleged illegal debt collection practices involving servicemembers.

CFPB: Retailer Allegedly Using Illegal Debt Collection Practices Against Servicemembers Must Refund $2.5M

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues its fight against companies that continuously take advantage of members of the military, despite protections afforded to them under federal laws. Regulators’ latest victory? A settlement demanding over $2.5 million in consumer relief from three companies that allegedly used illegal tactics to pilfer money from servicemembers and their families. [More]

(Alan Bruce)

Authorities Arrest Owner, Six Employees Of Debt Collection Group That Scammed $4.1M From Consumers

We’re no stranger to the shady tactics that debt collection companies use to pry money from consumers. But the latest scam to be shut down by U.S. authorities might be one of the most egregious we’ve ever seen. [More]

Older Americans report facing several issues when it comes to interactions with debt collectors.

CFPB Finds Older Consumers Face Illegal, Harassing Tactics From Debt Collectors

As if we hadn’t said it enough, but debt collectors are the worst, especially when they use illegal tactics to pry money from older American’s living on fixed incomes. A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shines light on the issues older consumers face when it comes to their financial well-being. [More]

USA Discounters is now USA Living, but it's still charging too much for its products and still suing soldiers with out-of-state addresses.

Sketchy Retailer That Sued Soldiers Promises To Be Less Sketchy, Still Suing Soldiers

In July, we told you about USA Discounters, a retailer that took advantage of underpaid soldiers with no credit histories to charge them exorbitant financing fees and then sue them when they couldn’t pay up. Now USA Discounters has changed its name and is promising to change its ways, but it’s really just another case of putting a wig on a pig. [More]

Study: One Third Of Americans Have Debt In Collections

Study: One Third Of Americans Have Debt In Collections

Sometimes debt isn’t so bad, and sometimes it is, but one thing is clear: 80% of Americans owe someone, somewhere, some money. It might be a mortgage or student loan, or a five-year-old fee that got forgotten about, but the vast majority of us have some outstanding debt. And worse: a third of the country may have debt collectors chasing after them for that cash. [More]