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FTC gets ban on abusive debt collectors

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm •  Published: January 17, 2013

The agency said that the defendants often took money from consumers but didn't send it to their clients, meaning their debts were going unpaid.

The FTC complaint also says the defendants sometimes told the employers, co-workers, and neighbors of consumers about their debts, threatened that the debtors would be sued or arrested and told them their property would be seized or their wages garnished. They used obscene and profane language and harassing phone calls, the agency said.

The agency said it received an additional $400,000 from other companies Hynes controlled. Those businesses did not participate in the abuse or fraud, but they benefited from it financially.

Two other defendants, Heather True and James Hynes, agreed to smaller payments to the FTC that were also suspended because of inability to pay.

The FTC obtained a temporary restraining order against the businesses in September 2011, saying they had violated the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Other defendants had already reached settlement agreements.

The new settlements end the FTC's proceedings, but they do not constitute an admission the defendants broke the law.