FTC Sues Texas Debt Collector for Consumer Threats

On January 21, 2015, the FTC announced that it had filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Commercial Recover Systems, Inc. (CRS), a debt collector, for illegally threatening consumers with false claims and threatening consumers that they would be faced with legal action or wage garnishment unless they paid a debt. The complaint also alleges that CRS’s representatives falsely represented to consumers that they were attorneys, or calling on behalf of an attorney, and claim that legal actions were proceeding against the consumer. The complaint asserts claims against CRS, its former president, and its former vice president, for one count of violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)), and one count for violation of Section 807 of the FDCPA. As relief, the complaint seeks civil penalties and injunctive relief. The FTC Commission voted 5-0 in favor of referring the matter to DOJ for enforcement.