New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that Operation Corrupt Collector, a multi-agency investigation, has culminated in criminal charges against debt buyers in multiple states.
State officials pressed charges against five upstate companies in the operation, and the Federal Trade Commission filed similar charges against two North Carolina companies.
“These are the most egregious types of violations, these are collectors who harass people to pay debts they don’t actually owe or that the collectors are not authorized to collect,” remarked the FTC’s Andrew Smith.
These actions are just the latest ones in an ongoing campaign which, so far, has put thirty unscrupulous companies at least partially out of business and obtained over $25 million in fines.
Attorney General James said three of the cases have already been resolved.
Advancing technology has given debt buyers even more illegal tools to use against debtors, she cautioned.
People who believe they have been victimized can contact her office directly.
Large Companies and Individual Rights
Debt collectors and other large companies usually care little or nothing about the rights of debtors and other individuals.
Our New York civil litigation attorneys encounter this situation frequently.
Most companies do not hesitate to put profits before people. If they see a chance to take a shortcut, they almost always take it.
The threat of legal action, which helps victims obtain compensation and justice, is usually the only thing that causes them to think twice.
FDCPA Private Right of Action
What on earth does this header mean? Before you skip this section, let’s break things down a little.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is one of the only federal regulations which applies to debt collectors. Some highlights include:
- Calls at unreasonable hours,
- Belligerent tactics, such as threats of criminal action,
- Calls to unapproved locations,
- Falsifying claims, and
- Intimidating phone calls.
This law is also one of the only federal laws with a private right of action.
Government prosecutors usually do not enforce the FDCPA’s consumer protections, unless it is an election year and they want to make headlines.
So, if a debt collector violates the FDCPA’s restrictions, victims can partner with a New York civil litigation attorney.
These actions usually are large class action lawsuits. If a debt collector trampled on your rights, it has probably done so to other people.
Class actions enable large groups of plaintiffs to pool their resources and take concerted action against a large corporation.
Generally, these actions result in large damage awards.
Perhaps more importantly, the award usually convinces companies to play by the rules and respect individual rights.
You have important legal and financial rights. For a free consultation with an experienced civil litigation attorney in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees.