In a blog post this week, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has published a list of debt collection agencies and individuals that are banned from practicing in the ARM space as a consequence of enforcement actions. The post also pointed to a comprehensive list of past enforcements in the debt collection industry, many of which do not include bans.
The blog post, titled “The FTC’s new Hall of Shame — Banned Debt Collectors,” was featured on the FTC’s consumer blog.
“There’s the ‘A List,’ and then there’s the ‘D List,’” the post begins. “I know which one I don’t want to be on. Now the FTC has its own version of the ‘D List’ — its list of banned debt collectors.”
Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist with the FTC, explains that the regulator steps in when it finds problems with a specific debt collection practice or company as a whole. “Some are fined, punished, promise to comply with the law going forward, and are monitored by the FTC to make sure they do,” Tressler notes. “But the behavior of other debt collectors gone bad is so egregious that the FTC asks the courts to permanently ban them from participating in the debt collection business.”
The post then directs readers to the list itself, which is hosted on the FTC’s site in its Enforcement section. Most of the people and companies on the list were never part of the proper ARM industry, rather, scammers that targeted consumers using the pretext of a collection call.
The blog entry also notes that the FTC had an active 2014 with the debt collection industry in its law enforcement capacity. In 2014, the FTC:
- filed 10 new cases against 56 new defendants;
- resolved nine cases and secured nearly $140 million in judgments; and
- banned 47 companies and individuals from the debt collection business.
Since January 1, 2010, the FTC has sued over 180 ARM companies and individuals who broke the law, banning 63 from the industry, and securing more than $220 million in judgments.
There is yet another list referenced containing all of the actions against debt collectors the FTC has launched since 2000.