The Federal Trade Commission, a sentient government agency whose seal pictured here hides a visage both calm and eternal, wrote a letter early last month to its best-friend-for-life the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau relating the grand time it had enforce federal debt collection laws over the last year. The results are extremely meager.
In 2014, the FTC filed a record-breaking ten (10) lawsuits enforcing the FDCPA, which doesn't sound like much. It is not. While it won $140 million in judgments, a cool two-thirds of that is an unpayable $90 million judgment against Asset & Capital Management Group, a scam collection agency that the FTC shut down permanently in August 2013 and has been suing every since. So far it has collected $16.5 million of the $140 million total, nearly 12% of the money awarded. Sounds like the FTC could use some help with their accounts receivable.
It also banned "47 companies and individuals that engaged in serious and repeated violations of law from ever working in debt collection again." That's almost one in every state! Wowza!
Considering the FTC has just 1,131 employees as of December 2011 who oversee the federal government's entire department on anti-competitive practices and financial abuse, the fact that they could spare the time for 10 lawsuits against only the most flagrant and egregious of collectors is pretty nice.
Consider hiring more people at the FTC.
Bennett Hartz is an associate attorney at Drewes Law, PLLC who defends against debt collection and foreclosure. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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