FTC Slams Debt Collector
As a result of a Federal Trade Commission request, a U.S. district court has 1) ordered Rincon Debt Management of Corona, California to stop illegal conduct, 2) frozen the company’s assets, and 3) appointed a temporary receiver to take over Rincon’s business while the FTC presses the case forward.
According to a FTC press release, allegations include that Rincon “called consumers and their employers, family, friends, and neighbors, posing as process servers seeking to deliver legal papers that purportedly related to a lawsuit. In some instances, the defendants threatened that consumers would be arrested if they did not respond to the calls. The defendants also posed as attorneys or employees of a law office, and demanded that consumers pay “court costs” and “legal fees.” However, according to the FTC, the debt collectors making calls to consumers were not actually process servers, attorneys, or their employees, and the defendants did not file lawsuits against consumers. In addition, in many instances, consumers did not even owe the debt the defendants were trying to collect.”
The FTC alleges that Rincon violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by:
- improperly contacting third parties about consumers’ debts;
- failing to disclose the name of the company they represented, or the fact that they were attempting to collect on a debt, during telephone calls to consumers;
- misrepresenting the existence of a debt, the amount, and other facts about the debt; and
- failing to notify consumers of their right to dispute and obtain verification of their debts.
If you’re behind on a debt, that doesn’t mean you have no rights or legal protection.