A federal court in North Carolina has granted a temporary restraining order against a number of companies engaged in debt collection after they were accused by the Federal Trade Commission of using deceptive and unfair tactics in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FTC announced a temporary halt to the scam on Friday, announcing that a list of companies that are accused of “bilking consumers out of millions of dollars” to collect on phantom debts.
Listed as defendants in the case are: Global Asset Financial Services Group, LLC, GAFS Group, LLC; Regional Asset Maintenance, LLC; 10D Holdings, Inc.; Trans America Consumer Solutions, LLC; Midwestern Alliance, LLC; LLI Business Innovations, LLC; TACS I, LLC; TACS II, LLC; TACS III, LLC; Cedar Rose Holdings & Development, Inc.; and the principals of those companies — Ankh Ali, Aziza Ali, Kenneth Moody, David Carr, Jeremy Scinta, and Omar Hussain.
Midwestern Alliance is accused of buying and selling fake debt portfolios after consumers said the debt had already been paid or that they did not recognize it.
The defendants are accused of threatening individuals that they would be arrested or put in prison if they did not pay their debts, alleging that consumers had committed fraud, falsely claiming to be lawyers, communicating with third parties about the status of a debt, and failing to provide the proper disclosures.
Representatives of the defendants would imply they are affiliated with a local courthouse when contacted by consumers who had received a robocall about an unpaid debt and that a legal action is about to be taken. The defendants alleged to possess private information about the consumers and that the only way to settle the debt is to make a payment over the phone using a credit or debit card.
Since 2017, the defendants have received $4.3 million in payments through the “unlawful debt collection scheme” the FTC alleged in its complaint, which can be viewed by clicking here.