Collection Agency Violates FDCPA & Pays $2.25M in Damages

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collection agency violates fdcpa collections

Collection Agency Violates FDCPA & Pays $2.25M in Damages

The Academy Collection Company has agreed to pay a record $2.25 million to the federal government to settle allegations that it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The debt collection industry seems to be growing and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said that it is investigating the practices of many other agencies.
Debt buyers using scare tactics
Debt buyers, or zombie creditors, are companies who purchase bad debt for pennies on the dollar and then try to collect from unsuspecting consumer debtors. These companies are not the original creditors and don’t seem to care how the money is collected, just that it gets collected.
In fact, Academy Collection Company’s collection practices have allegedly been reported to the FTC and the Better Business Bureau thousands of times – which prompted the FTC’s investigation. According to news reports, Academy has been accused of:
Taking money from consumers’ bank accounts unlawfully
Threatening to garnishee debtors’ wages, seize their property, sue them and recover debts by having consumers arrested
Disclosing debts to third parties such as a debtor’s co-workers and family members
Harassing consumers at work
Using profanity with consumers
All of these practices violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and are subject to hefty fines – $1,000 per violation in most cases. The company settled the matter with the FTC for $2.25 million; however, it was charged with over 11,000 violations of the FDCPA. At $1,000 per violation, the company could have paid over $11 million. Academy is based in Pennsylvania, but has a second office in Las Vegas, Nevada. It collects debts in all 50 states.
Debt collection companies must play by the rules
Just because you owe a debt doesn’t give the debt collection companies the right to threaten or harass you. The FDCPA requires debt collection companies to play by the rules or be subject to hefty fines. If you’ve been harassed or threatened by a debt collector, contact an experienced debtor’s right attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. You may be entitled to money damages. As always, consultations with a lawyer are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.

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