The attorney general of Georgia has announced an $8.5 million settlement with National Check Resolution, Inc., over charges that the collection agency violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.
The company, it’s owner, Samuel Tulumello and manager Rhonda Tulumello were accused of:
- Representing that consumers had committed a crime and threatening them with arrest or imprisonment if they did not pay the debt;
- Falsely representing themselves as attorneys, legal couriers or government entities;
- Failing to disclose that they were debt collectors attempting to collect a debt;
- Contacting third parties and divulging information about the debtor’s account; and
- Collecting or attempting to collect debts from Georgia consumers that resulted from payday loans, which are illegal and enforceable under Georgia law.
The agency has agreed to stop collection activities on nearly 12,000 accounts, representing $8.5 million in unpaid debts. The accounts have been turned over to the attorney general’s office so they can not be sold or collected upon in the future. The company will pay a $20,000 fine and agree to comply with the FDCPA and Georgia Fair Business Practices Act. If, during the next three years, the company is found to have violate the terms of the settlement, an additional $240,000 fine will be assessed.
Both Samuel and Rhonda Tulumello denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.