Settlement Bars More Defendants From Collections Industry

The remaining defendants in a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorney general of New York have reached a settlement where they will be permanently barred from participating in the collections industry.

Friday’s announcement likely brings to a close a case that began back on 2015 when the AG of New York and the FTC brought charges against the defendants, alleging they falsely threatened imprisonment for individuals who did not make payments on their debts.

A number of other defendants have already reached settlements in the case and been permanently barred from the industry and are facing jail time after pleading guilty to the charges brought against them.

The defendants — Gregory MacKinnon, Angela Burdorf, Vantage Point Services LLC and Payment Management Solutions, and Joseph Ciffa and Bonified Payment Solutions Inc. — are also accused of failing to provide information about their identities during phone calls, or information about the supposed debt within five days of a call, as required by law, and illegally added unauthorized amounts to consumer’s debts.

A copy of the final order against the defendants can be accessed by clicking here.

As part of the settlements, the defendants agreed to a judgment of $22.5 million against MacKinnon, Vantage Point Services LLC, Ciffa and Bonified Payment Solutions, Inc. The orders impose a judgment of $4.4 million against Burdorf and Payment Management Solutions Inc.

“We have zero tolerance for debt collectors who use illegal and unconscionable tactics to coerce payment, such as threatening jail time,” said Barbara Underwood, the AG of New York, who described the defendants as “scam artists,” according to a published report.

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