When you are dealing with debt issues, it can get stressful. Indeed, that is often an understatement. For many people, it can get brutal.
If you are in that situation, talking with a bankruptcy attorney about creating a debt relief strategy makes a lot of sense. An attorney can also explain how federal law provides protections against the types of tactics that debt collectors are allowed to use.
The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for enforcing these protections against bill collector harassment. Recently, the FTC took action against a San Antonio-based individual named Christopher Mallett who was making deceptive claims about his ability to help clients obtain debt relief.
The agency charged Mallett with violating fair debt collection rules, including the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. Mallett had been promising some clients that he could get their debts reduced by specific percentages. The FTC also alleged that he misrepresented his connections with government agencies.
According to the FTC complaint, Mallett even appropriated the FTC’s official seal and led consumers to believe that he was from a government agency – a fictitious one that sounded a lot like both the FTC and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He also did something similar for mortgage relief services.
The FTC resolved the case against Mallett by banning him from offering any further services for debt relief, mortgage assistance or tax relief. The FTC also imposed a judgment of $129,695.
Ironically, that judgment will be suspended due to Mallett’s inability to pay. It will be reinstated, however, if any of the financial information that Mallett provided to the FTC turns out to be false.
Source: “FTC Halts Two Operations That Deceived Consumers Looking for Help with Their Debts,” Imperial Valley News, 7-3-12