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Debt Collectors to Surrender $3.3 Million in Assets

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Washington, DCThe principal owners of a company accused of debt collector harassment and other illegal activities will surrender assets worth more than $3.3 million to pay back their victims. The settlement was announced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which had filed a bill collector harassment complaint against the owners of Rincon Debt Management. Consumers across the US had complained about the company’s harassing activities.

According to a news release from the FTC (4/2/14), Jason R. Begley and Wayne W. Lunsford have agreed to surrender $3.3 million in assets following allegations about illegal debt collection practices. The FTC filed a complaint against the two, alleging violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Among the plaintiffs’ actions, according to the complaint, were pretending to be attorneys or law office employees, contacting third parties about consumers’ debt, not disclosing the name of the company they represented, misrepresenting facts about the debt, attempting to collect on debts that were not owed by the consumer being targeted, and threatening arrest if consumers did not respond to their phone calls. The FTC further alleged that the debt collectors targeted consumers who were “strapped for cash” and used abusive tactics to attempt to collect money.

“Begley and Lunsford deceived and abused Spanish- and English-speaking consumers - making bogus threats that consumers had been sued or could be arrested over debts they often did not owe,” the FTC argued.

In 2011, a US district court ordered Rincon Debt Management to stop its activities, which allegedly included threatening to arrest consumers over debts they did not owe. At the time, the operation’s assets were frozen and the FTC alleged that from March 2009 to October 2011, the defendants unjustly made at least $9.4 million.

Included in the settlement is a $23 million judgment against the defendants, although that judgment will be suspended because the plaintiffs cannot afford to pay. More than $3 million in assets will be surrendered to refund Rincon Debt Management’s victims. Both Begley and Lunsford are also prohibited from being part of any debt relief services.

Lawsuits have been filed by the FTC and by consumers who allege unethical debt collectors have violated the rule and harassed, threatened and intimidated them in attempts to collect on debts owed. In some cases, the person the company is attempting to collect from does not owe the debts.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
This is such good news for the US consumer.
Suck on that one collection agency.
This is a clear message that collection agencies arent above the law and if they dont start following the law they will suffer the same fate.
I love how the FTC froze the accounts of the collection agency.
BOOHOO they didnt have enough to pay the 23 mil $ judgement.
Who cares take it all and shut them down.

Posted by

on
This is such good news for the US consumer.
Suck on that one collection agency.
This is a clear message that collection agencies arent above the law and if they dont start following the law they will suffer the same fate.
I love how the FTC froze the accounts of the collection agency.
BOOHOO they didnt have enough to pay the 23 mil $ judgement.
Who cares take it all and shut them down.

Posted by

on
A company in Oregon, who is not a licensed debt collector, purchases junk non-negotiable mortgages in bulk. In some States their Lis Pendens says they are collecting a debt, however, in other States, it does not say that. This is a mortgage that was securitized into a trust in 2004. Original lender went out of business in 2007 and this company recorded an Assignment of Mortgage from Mers dated 06/2012, which was signed by Robo-Signers, Patricia Kelleher and Judy Faber on an Allonge. The other assignment says that it is a trust, however, company that signed the assignment is a parent company and no attachments were recording stating how it got from one trust to the other company. Does one need to be attached? They are trying to foreclose, however their attorney refuses to record the original note and mortgage and says that if I want to see them, I must travel to Oregon. They also sells some of these properties in other States without a real estate license. Their attorney in Arkansas has not recorded a power of attorney to represent this foreign entity.

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