Debt Collection Operation Shut Down BY FTC Due to Illegal Practices
Debt collectors can be relentless. They will call you multiple times in one day at different hours, and use manipulation and threats to collect. Being subjected to this is bad enough when you actually owe the money the collector is pursuing. But, what if you don’t? Imagine being repeatedly harassed about a debt that you don’t even owe. This is exactly what happened to many consumers who were the victim of debt collection operation Pinnacle Payment Services, LLC.
These debt collectors committed so many violations that the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection Bureau had to shut them down completely. Pinnacle was the subject of an action brought in U.S. District Court in Atlanta in 2013 based on allegations of violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It was claimed that Pinnacle harassed and abused consumers in debt collection cases by threatening to close their bank accounts, garnish their wages and even have them arrested and prosecuted. The outfit used multiple names implying that they were affiliated with a law firm or law enforcement in order to scare people into paying. Worst of all, most of the consumers did not actually owe the debts they were being harassed about. Many of these individuals paid the amount they were asked for after being subjected to the abuse.
A few months after the action was filed, a District Court shut Pinnacle down until the matter was resolved. Now a final settlement has been reached. As part of the settlement, the company and its owners and operators are no longer allowed to do business in the debt collection industry. The entity and individuals involved were found to be responsible for over $9 million in damages, but most will remain unpaid as the defendants are incapable of paying.
Debt collection harassment is serious business and there are laws in place to protect the consumer from abuses. If you have a question about your rights or believe you are being subjected to harassment, contact the California attorneys at Fitzgerald Campbell. Call (855)709-5788 for a consultation today.