Debt Collectors Dealt A Serious Blow: Asset Acceptance Accepts $2.5 Million Penalty

Asset Acceptance, a large debt buyer and collector, agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a claim by the Federal Trade Commission. Read the official report here.  The FTC alleged that Asset Acceptance engaged in a variety of unlawful debt collection practices, including threatening to sue on debts that were so old that they were time-barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. This practice is widespread and violates the FDCPA which prohibits threats of action that the debt collector does not intend to undertake, like suing on debt that is “out of statute.” Read more about the FDCPA here.

Other tactics that the FTC alleged were:

  • misrepresenting that consumers owed a debt when it could not substantiate its representations;
  • failing to disclose that debts are too old to be legally enforceable or that a partial payment would extend the time a debt could be legally enforceable;
  • providing information to credit reporting agencies, while knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the information was inaccurate;
  • failing to notify consumers in writing that it provided negative information to a credit reporting agency;
  • failing to conduct a reasonable investigation when it received a notice of dispute from a credit reporting agency;
  • repeatedly calling third parties who do not owe a debt;
  • informing third parties about a debt;
  • using illegal debt-collection practices, including misrepresenting the character, amount, or legal status of a debt; providing inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies; and making false representations to collect a debt; and
  • failing to provide verification of the debt and continuing to attempt to collect a debt when it is disputed by the consumer.

Asset Acceptance is one of the larger debt buyers and collectors. The allegations in this case indicate that unlawful debt collection tactics are widespread and not limited to smaller, less scrupulous, debt collectors.

Minnillo Law Group Co., LPA has successfully represented many individuals who were subjected to unlawful debt collection practices. If you believe your rights have been violated, don’t delay. Call today to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.