Debt Collector to Turn Over $20M in Accounts Under Settlement With Georgia AG

The Attorney General of Georgia has announced a settlement with a company that was accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and state law in Georgia that will see the company turn over $19.8 million worth of accounts and pay a fine of $41,500.

A copy of the settlement can be accessed by clicking here.

The company, Turtle Creek Assets, allegedly deceived and harassed consumers by threatening them with imprisonment or arrest if debts were not paid, allegedly failed to disclose that the company was a debt collector attempting to collect a debt, and allegedly failed to provide a written notice containing information about the debt within five days after an initial communication.

Under the terms of the settlement, Turtle Creek will cease collecting on all of its accounts for Georgia consumers and turn over those accounts — which amount to $19.8 million of unpaid debts — to the AG’s office so those accounts can not be resold or collected on in the future. The company will also pay a fine of $41,500 and agree to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act in the future. If found to have violated the terms of the settlement within the next three years, the company will be fined an additional $41,500.

“Our office will continue to hold accountable debt collectors that try to intimidate consumers by using abusive, deceptive and illegal tactics,” said Chris Carr, the Attorney General of Georgia, in a statement.

The owner and operator of Turtle Creek, Gordon Engle, was arrested in North Carolina last year after being charged with 81 counts of failing to secure a permit from that state’s Department of Insurance, which regulates and licenses debt collectors in the state. Engle had also previously been sued by the Attorney General of North Carolina after he was accused of using misleading language to get judges to sign criminal summonses.

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