Three Huge FDCPA Settlements and What Your Firm Can Learn

The Fair Debt Collections Protection Act, or FDCPA, protects consumers from harassment from third-party collection agencies. Many consumers do not know that their rights are protected from “dirty tactics” a collection agency may take, but that does not mean that there aren’t big settlements available for creditor harassment attorneys. Since the FDCPA was enacted nearly 40 years ago, there have been some enormous settlements for consumers and their attorneys.

Class Action Settlement for Six Figures

In February of 2016, Pioneer Credit Recovery and General Revenue Corporation agreed to pay $575,000 to thousands of consumers across the country after violating the FDCPA. Plaintiffs C. Globus and M. Dawson filed the class action lawsuit after Pioneer Credit sent forms regarding automatic withdrawal authorizations. This violated the FDCPA because it limited consumers’ rights to stop payment on electronic fund transfers. Any consumers who received a specific automatic withdrawal authorization from Pioneer Credit Recovery between February 17, 2014 and December 4, 2015 was entitled to $17-$50.

No More Harassing Calls from Nationwide Credit**

In 1998, Nationwide Credit Inc., agreed to pay a massive $1 million civil penalty after the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Nationwide Credit consistently violated the FDCPA. Nationwide Credit Inc. allegedly harassed consumers via the phone, failed to verify debts per consumers’ requests, contacted uninvolved third parties regarding a consumer’s debt, and did not send validation notices after a debt was verified with a consumer’s original creditor. The settlement also included violations that allegedly took place in 1992, meaning Nationwide Credit had to pay an additional $100,000 in civil penalties.

The settlement also required Nationwide to implement a new training program with all current and future employees to avoid any further FDCPA violations.

The World’s Largest Settlement—$3 Million From Expert Global Solutions**

Expert Global Solutions is the nation’s largest third-party collection agency. In a civil penalty against the FTC, Expert Global Solutions allegedly called consumers multiple times per day after requests to cease communication, called consumers at inconvenient hours (such as early in the morning or late at night), and attempted to collect debt even after it was disputed by consumers. The settlement was a stern reminder that the FDCPA exists, and consumers have rights that are costly to violate.

Much like the suit against Nationwide Credit, Expert Global Solutions was also required to suspend debt collection until a debt is verified per a consumer’s request, stop harassing consumers to collect debts, and not communicate with consumers at their places of work if it is prohibited by consumers’ employers, or is clearly inconvenient.

Increasing Your FDCPA Caseload

While a $1 million settlement is unrealistic (but not impossible), our FDCPA clients have found that our creditor harassment leads are highly profitable. Our clients see an average cost per case of $250-$450, but some clients are significantly more successful, signing cases for less than $100 on average. If you’re interested in increasing your FDCPA violation caseload, give us a call today at 617.800.0089. We’d love to discuss availability and pricing with the members of your firm today.

* Via Top Class Actions

**Via FTC.gov