New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Office of Consumer Financial Protection said Monday that they have closed a debt collection operation that had been collecting debts through illegal measures.
The operation, based in Getzville, NY, had allegedly targeted consumers across the country since 2015. Several companies were involved in the operation, including JPL Recovery Solutions, LLC and five subsidiaries, authorities said.
Authorities said the operation inflated the amount of debt and falsely threatened consumers with jail if they failed to pay. The company also allegedly harassed the intimate circles of consumers, including their friends and family, as well as their Facebook FB.
friends, to pressure consumers to pay and would not stop even after consumers told them to stop contacting, authorities said.
The operation reached about 293,000 consumers and raised $ 93 million in gross revenue between 2015 and 2020, New York AG and CFPB said.
James and the consumer control body ordered the transaction to pay $ 4 million in damages, and banned the operation from the debt collection industry.
(Attempts to reach JPL Recovery Solutions were unsuccessful and the company’s website is no longer available.)
“It is illegal for debt collectors to run smear campaigns through social media to extort consumers to pay,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Our action with the New York Attorney General bans the leaders of this industry operation to stop further misconduct.”
James promised to address the illegal debtors when he appeared before the Attorney General’s Office.
“Predatory debt collectors make their profits by targeting working consumers and then indebting them illegally. These debt collectors used harassment calls and false threats to coerce consumers to pay, actions that are both illegal legal and downright embarrassing, “James said.
“This debt collection operation used illegal and deceptive tactics to attack consumers, and they are now paying the price for the damage they caused,” he added.