FTC Shuts Down Scummy Debt Collectors

Willy Staley

By Willy Staley
Posted on Fri Oct 28, 2011

Willy Staley is a staff writer and columnist for MyBankTracker.com. His columns cover banking, policy, and culture. More Columns »

The Federal Trade Commission has shut down two boiler room debt collection operations in California for allegedly threatening and intimidating debtors. Know your rights, should you ever have to go to collection — you don’t have to put up with harassment. 

The Washington Post reports that in recent weeks the FTC has shut down two California debt collection agencies: Rumson, Bolling & Associates in Van Nuys in late September, and Rincon Debt Management from Corona on Wednesday.

FTC Shuts Down Scummy Debt Collectors

Rincon Debt Management, according to the FTC’s press release, was routinely posing as attorneys and process servers from a nonexistent law office, threatening debtors with lawsuits or arrests, and asking for “legal fees” in addition to actual debts owed. They would also contact debtors’ “employers, family, friends, and neighbors, posing as process servers,” in attempts to get in touch with and intimidate debtors.

By doing this, Rincon broke four separate parts of the Fair Debt Collection Act, according to the FTC: they did not disclose the name of the company they work for; they misrepresented the amount of the outstanding debt; they contacted third parties in an illegal fashion; and they did not inform debtors of their right to dispute their debts.

This is disheartening but it pales in comparison to the FTC’s reasons or shutting down Rumson, Bolling & Associates.

Rumson, according to the Post, threatened debtors’ pets with violence, and also threatened to desecrate their loved ones’ graves. One woman who filed a complaint with the FTC told her that Rumson contacted her on behalf of a funeral home where she had her two sons buried, and they “asked how she would feel if her son’s body was dug up and dropped outside her door.”

Rumson were a crew of equal opportunity crooks, apparently. They would also rip off their clients. Working for commission only, they would routinely collect money from debtors and not return it to their clients. Sometimes, the Post reports, Rumson requested funds from clients “that it said it would use to sue debtors. But it did not file the lawsuits or collect the debts.”

Fortunately none of these people are doing business anymore, but it is sickening to know what the underbelly of the credit industry looks like, considering how many Americans are struggling with their bills these days.

 

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  • Wcrompie

    And next week they are doing the same business under a different name!  The government does not know how to punish these crooks…the crooks should be stripped of every dime they have and their names and credentials should be published for all to see the heinousness of their crimes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C4ZS62OT7FN62LWQFMKEUA6SSY Robert

      I had one of these bird brains call me on a mag. sub. I ordered 3. They sent 9! Then the bill ! Instead of free,it was like900.00 dollors ! He wanted payment ! I told him I didn’t order them,and had no intention of this deal ! He told me he would come out and get it ! I told him come on out ! I’m a Viet Nam combat Vet !  Bring the weapon of your choise ! You’ve got my adress !  He didn’t think that was necs.No more calls !

  • Humantrick

    Why are these people not in prison?

  • lurline

    Yeah, I have had a couple of those during the previous years. I must say, I survive. Perhaps, they can now have a couple as well of their own dose of medicines.Don’t you think?

  • Leewish

    The FTC sould also check out Chase Bank for  Harrassing phone calls for mortgages. My daughters fell on hard times with Chase Bank being their Mortgage Company.  They called their house at least 4 times a day asking why they couldn’t pay their morrtgage and were told ( both were pregnant at the time) they should have thought about keeping a roof over their heads rather than pro-creating!!! WHO DOES THAT????????  CHASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were brutal.  My daughters were in tears every day.  That was 6 years ago, they ultimately lost the house but they are still dealing with trying to get the same house off their backs because Chase lawyers dragged their heels, said house still hasn’t gone into foreclosure, mortgage as sold to another company which is trying to collect $500,000 even though both girls went thru bankruptcy. This is totally ludacris!

    • Kingrichardiix

      What is ludicris is the fact that Chase got bailed out thru the back door, they violate ethics codes left and right, and because they purchase Congressmen and Senators they are allowed to get away with it. Don’t look for justice, there is none anymore in America. Best advice, Canada.

    • MomTwiceExcpt’l

      This may have been a debt collection agency doing contract work for Chase. Still, it sounds awful! I had a similar situation ten years ago. I had an ER room visit due to complications from my pregnancy. I applied for supplemental medicaid to help cover it retroactively. (This was granted, though the gov’t still confiscates any back child support that my ex pays!) However, someone at the hospital used the wrong billing code and my account got sent to a collection agency. I got harassing calls several times a day, demanding the full payment amount. This, along with the demands of two special needs babies was enough to send me to mental health “respite” for a while! I am incredibly fortunate that my mother, who retired from the hospital, got involved and threatened the billing department with legal action! They corrected the billing error and got the collection agency off my case.