Shut Down: Consumer Bureau Joins with New York AG to Close Shady Debt Collection Ring
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the New York Attorney General’s Office announced this week that by joint effort, the two have shut down an extensive debt collection ring based in New York.
New York’s Attorney General Letitia James explained the violations committed by a group of companies comprising the debt collection enterprise:
“This debt collection operation used illegal and deceptive tactics to prey on consumers, and now they are paying the price for the harm they caused. Predatory debt collectors make their profit by targeting hardworking consumers and then illegally saddle them deeper into debt. These debt collectors used harassing calls and false threats to coerce consumer to pay, not only is that illegal, it’s also downright shameful. Today’s action should send a strong message to debt collectors nationwide that we will not hesitate to use the full force of the law to hold them accountable if they hurt consumers.”
The companies named in the action are JPL Recovery Solutions; Regency One Capital; ROC Asset Solutions, which does business as API Recovery Solutions and Northern Information Services; Check Security Associates, which does business as Warner Location Services, Pinnacle Location Services, and Orchard Payment Processing Systems; Keystone Recovery Group; and Blue Street Asset Partners. The individual defendants are owners Christopher Di Re, Scott Croce, and Susan Croce, as well as Brian Koziel and Marc Gracie, who acted as managers of some or all of the companies.
The CFPB’s Rohit Chopra called out specific actions taken by the network of companies that led to the enforcement action:
“It is illegal for debt collectors to orchestrate smear campaigns using social media to extort consumers into paying up,” said CFPB Director Chopra. “Our action with the New York Attorney General bans the ringleaders of this operation from the industry to halt further misconduct.”
As a result of the action, the companies named will no longer be allowed to operate and the owners are banned from the debt collection industry…