Debt-erring phantom debt collection

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When something negative keeps reappearing, the old saying goes that it “turns up like a bad penny.” According to an FTC lawsuit against a North Carolina outfit, those “bad pennies” – in this case, phantom debts the FTC says people didn’t owe – cost consumers way more than pennies.

The complaint charges that in July 2014, ACDI Group, Solutions to Portfolios LLC, and owner Anthony Swatsworth bought a portfolio of purported past-due payday loans from a company called SQ Capital, arranged through debt broker United Debt Holding. The portfolio contained 2,335 records of purported consumer debts, with the lender of each listed as payday loan company 500FastCash.

According to the FTC, the detailed personal information in the portfolio was genuine, but the claim that people owed the money wasn’t. In fact, as soon as the defendants tried to collect on those debts, consumers cried foul. Some offered specific evidence they had never borrowed money from 500FastCash.

In August 2014 – just days after ACDI bought the portfolio – ACDI contacted United Debt Holding to ask what gives. The broker told ACDI to stop collecting on that portfolio because multiple consumers had complained that the debts were bogus. A few weeks later, ACDI received a full refund of what it paid for the portfolio. So that should have been the end of it, yes? No.

As the complaint alleges and as the FTC charged in its lawsuit against SQ Capital, the portfolio was counterfeit. It listed loans that 500FastCash had not made to the named consumers. What’s more, the FTC says SQ Capital hadn’t acquired any right to collect any loans originated by 500FastCash – which means, in turn, that ACDI had no right to demand payment.

But here’s the kicker. According to the FTC, despite being told to stop collecting on those bogus debts, ACDI continued to pressure consumers to pay up for at least another seven months. And in a somewhat ironic note, although ACDI received a full refund for what it paid for the phony portfolio, the complaint alleges that the defendants haven’t given refunds to consumers for the bogus debts they paid.

The lawsuit charges violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the FTC Act. Even at this preliminary stage it serves as a reminder of the importance of listening to consumers and industry members when they sound a warning about phantom debt collection.
 

Comments

people recording are still calling me and do not know who they are, says i have been committing forge for sometime now, and that they are coming to my job and my home to file against me with charges. this is every day calling from all over the u.s. and countries.

It's a total scam. Don't return their calls and block the numbers. If you were being served papers, you would NOT get a call first. Nobody will ever show up at your house or job. Most importantly, DO NOT EVER give them any money or your bank account number. People suck!

I was targeted through my bank of America account and my account was totally blocked, forcing my credit score down and creating lots of other problems for me. Although I had no collection or judgements at that time.

Never had a payday loan my brother got sucked into payday scams when he really
Ill and they took advantage of him too the
Tune $5000.00 for a $600.00 loan and then
They began grabbing his social security ck

All thesse companies in Texas are scams
And should be shut down.

It's illegal for anybody to garnish social Security security checks or disability checks. The only people that can touch that is the federal government . Look up the federal law states this and what you can do to detect yourself

I too have been scammed over alledged false debts from over 30 years ago. I believe this was promoted from bad politics to destroy our society

I had a voicemail recently from North Carolina phone number 704-783-7934 that I believe to be related to this and/or the Lombardo, Daniels, and Moss LLC cases. Caller identified himself as Kevin Moss and claimed to be an attorney. I filed a report with FTC reference #92788396. Details eerily similar to these cases- also the involvement of the name Moss and the state of NC. Hope you guys can catch these scumbags again as it appears they haven’t changed their behavior much.

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