Debt Collector Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Civil Penalties

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At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has ordered Timothy L. Ford, the president of Commercial Recovery Systems Inc. (CRS), to pay a $2 million civil penalty for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by falsely threatening debtors.

The court judgment resolves a case filed on the FTC’s behalf by the Department of Justice in January 2015, alleging that CRS’s collectors falsely claimed the company would sue debtors, garnish their wages, levy their bank accounts, or seize their property unless their debts were paid.

Ford and CRS are banned from the debt collection business under a permanent injunction issued in April 2016 by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. The company’s former vice president, David Devany, is banned from the business under a settlement reached with the FTC in September 2016.

The action is part of Operation Collection Protection, an ongoing federal-state-local crackdown on collectors that use deceptive and abusive collection practices.

To learn more, read Facing Debt Collection? Know Your Rights and Fake Debt Collectors.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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