The Federal Trade Commission has recently held a conference concerning Operation Collection Protection, a debt collection law enforcement measure. The latter aims to improve the collaboration between state and federal officials and to stop illegal and unfair tactics applied by debt collectors throughout the country. Minnesota and Illinois have already taken strong measures to fight illegal debt collection.
Debt Collection Industry In Minnesota And Illinois
During the FTC news conference, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Minnesota Commerce Department Commissioner Mike Rothman, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan delivered important remarks concerning the debt collection industry.
As it was mentioned during the conference, Illinois and Minnesota regulators had taken measures to restrict deceptive activities carried out by collection agencies in recent years. One of these cases can be found below.
In July 2015, a Texas-based collection agency “Tucker, Albin and Associates Inc.” was fined $500.000 by the Minnesota Commerce Department. The agency had been harassing Minnesota’s small businesses for debt collection purposes. The investigation revealed that the agency had violated state and federal laws concerning the debt collections industry.
This was the largest debt collection penalty to be fined by the Minnesota Commerce Department. As Mike Rothman said during the conference, “Tucker, Albin and Associates’ ” debt collectors had been using caller IDs, pretending they were neighbors or family members. The agency’s employee training manual included instructions on how to use fake numbers and names. As a result, more than 100 businesses, including restaurants, farmers, body shops, construction companies, were recognized as victims.
It Is Interesting To Know
One of the interesting cases concerning the debt collection industry has to do with a fake debt collection scam located in Aurora, Illinois. In April 2015, the agency was charged for threatening consumers to pay short-term loan debts either they didn’t owe or the agency wasn’t authorized to collect. Since 2010, the defendants had been using different business names. As a result, the defendants had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from consumers.
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Debt collection agencies have sensitive financial information. This enables them to allegedly threaten consumers to garnish their wages or have them arrested. Thus, Operation Collection Protection, the 1st coordinated federal-state enforcement initiativ, is extremely important for stopping illegal debt collection practices in the field.