FTC Files Complaints Against 4 Star Resolution, Vantage Point Services for FDCPA Violations
Two debt collectors, both headquartered in Buffalo, NY, have had complaints filed against them by the Federal Trade Commission according to a recent press release from the FTC.
The FTC, along with the NY State Office of the Attorney General, is suing two separate, Buffalo-based debt collection groups for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
According to the FTC, 4 Star Resolution and Vantage Point Services used unlawful collection tactics to collect a combined total of over $45 million in supposed debts.
The Allegations Against 4 Star Resolution LLC.
The first of these cases is against 4 Star Resolution LLC, a group that includes six other corporate entities and three individuals (collectively, 4 Star). The FTC alleges that 4 Star would call consumers under the guise of several fake company names, using “spoofed phone numbers” and made-up addresses, misrepresenting who they were and where they were calling from.
According to the FTC, 4 Star’s collectors would also claim to be attorneys or government officials, falsely stating that the supposed debtors had committed a crime. The accusations were often accompanied by threats, pressuring consumers to make a payment right away. This harassment would include threats of arrest, civil lawsuits, and even imprisonment.
The allegations against 4 Star also mention the use of profane language and representatives calling consumers names – another direct violation of the FDCPA.
Additionally, there are claims that 4 Star representatives would refuse to provide proof of the debt when asked by consumers. This includes the written validation notice that all debt collectors are required to send within the first five days after the first time they call an individual.
The Allegations Against Vantage Point Services, LLC.
In a separate case that’s similar to the FTC’s complaint against 4 Star Resolution, Vantage Point Services, LLC has been accused of unlawful behavior that violates federal and state debt collection laws.
The FTC alleges that employees from Vantage Point Services would frequently and falsely claim to be government officials, process servers, representatives from an unrelated debt collection company, or from a law firm. It is noted that collectors from Vantage Point Services would occasionally go as far as to claim to be FBI agents or district attorneys.
The FTC reports that this façade was often accompanied by threats of imprisonment and allegations that the consumer had committed a crime. Representatives from Vantage are said to have threatened consumers with jail time (as much as 90 to 120 days) and thousands of dollars in bail if they didn’t pay up.
According to the FTC’s complaint, collectors from Vantage would often lie or neglect to provide consumers with basic information when asked – a violation of the FDCPA. Vantage representatives would allegedly refuse to identify themselves and would often refuse to send a verification letter validating the debt within five days of the first call. Vantage collectors were also said to charge consumers an illegal “processing fee.”
In addition to these violations, there are claims that Vantage representatives would treat the friends, family members, and coworkers of the supposed debtors with the same crude behavior. Several examples include telling these individuals that the “debtor” had committed a crime, and that a warrant was out for their arrest.
Violations of the FDCPA and NY State Law
The above behavior, as detailed in the FTC’s press release, is a transgression of consumer rights and the laws stated in the FDCPA.
If you find yourself threatened, abused, or harassed by ANY debt collector, including 4 Star Resolution or Vantage Point Services, know that you have specific rights under federal and state law. This includes the right to pursue compensation – up to $1,000.
Representation under the FDCPA is always 100% completely free of cost to you. Contact a consumer lawyer immediately and put an end to debt collector harassment for good.