Collection Law Firms Ordered By CFPB To Pay $650K For Duping Consumers About Attorney Involvement

Two debt collection law firms crossed the line by implying to individuals that they were being contacted by lawyers when no lawyer had reviewed the account, according to a consent order from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The firms, Works and Lentz and Works and Lentz of Tulsa, and the president of the firms, Harry Lentz, have been ordered to pay more than $650,000 in refunds to consumers and civil penalties as part of the order.

Individuals would receive collection letters featuring the letterhead of a law firm and that were signed electronically by an attorney with “Attorney at Law” written underneath the signature. Despite what it said on the letter, no lawyer had reviewed the account prior to sending out the letter, according to the CFPB.

During collection calls, individuals were told they were being contacted by a law firm, again even though no attorney had reviewed any documentation about the account. The firms were also accused of improperly notarizing signatures from clients in affidavits and submitted information on more than 1 million accounts to credit bureaus despite not having any policies or procedures related to the transmission of such information or ensuring the accuracy of the information being transmitted.

As part of the consent order, the firms are reimbursing $577,135 to consumers and will pay a civil penalty of $78,800.

The firms must also update their policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that it complies with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and no longer attempt to deceive individuals with delinquent debts.

A copy of the consent order is available here.


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