California DFPI Announces Enforcement Actions Against Five Collection Operations

The California Department of Financial Protection & Innovation yesterday announced it has sent desist-and-refrain orders to five different collection operations, accusing them of operating in the state without applying for a license and other unlawful and deceptive acts and practices.

The five operations are:

Copies of the orders sent to each company can be accessed by clicking on their names above.

Amherst and Associates was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000; Clayton Banner and Associates was ordered to pay $30,000; SARS Solutions was ordered to pay $17,500; Marvin, McCall and Associates was ordered to pay $30,000; and Franklin, Moss & Associates was ordered to pay $22,500.

Among the allegations made against the companies were:

  • Engaging in debt collection in California without a license from the DFPI
  • Attempting to collect a debt that a consumer did not owe
  • Making unlawful threats to sue on debts
  • Making false claims of pending lawsuits
  • Failing to notify consumers of their right to request validation of debts
  • Making false claims about the authority to collect a debt
  • Unlawfully threatening to seize property
  • Failing to provide a “validation notice” as required by federal law

“The DFPI has seen an increase in fake debt collector scams in recent months,” said DFPI Commissioner Clothilde Hewlett in a statement. “We are committed to rigorous, ongoing enforcement efforts to protect Californians from these deceitful practices. We urge consumers to take great caution and always confirm the debt in writing.”

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