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In the US, the Federal Trade Commission agreed to a $2.5m US penalty settlement with a debt collection company, Asset Acceptance. This represents the second largest penalty against a Debt Collector in the US.
Asset Acceptance was charged with a number of complaints including;
- failing to tell consumers they could no longer be sued because of the debts age
- reporting inaccurate information about debtors to credit reporting agencies
- failing to conduct a reasonable investigation by one of the credit credit agencies that a debt was being disputed
- continued to try and collect debts that debtors disputed that were not investigated to determine if the debt was valid or not
- used illegal collection practices
Asset Acceptance in the settlement noted that it did not admit to any of the allegations
The debt collection industry in the US has seen complaints rise and the settlement is part of a strategy by the FTC to patrol the industry. Complaints in the collections industry in 2010 jumped by 17%. The collections industry makes up 11% of all complaints received by the FTC (up from 9%).