The Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (“GOCP”) issued a statement on March 5, announcing a $13 million settlement with RSB Equity Group, LLC (“RSB”) and its principal, Roy Mullman. The settlement resolved charges that the company committed multiple violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act. More specifically, GOCP alleged that RSB harassed and deceived consumers by:
- Threatening consumers with arrest or imprisonment if they did not pay an alleged debt;
- Falsely representing that consumers had committed fraud or criminal acts, and that a lawsuit was about to be filed unless the debt was paid;
- Refusing to send consumers written proof of alleged debts owed;
- Falsely identifying themselves as “attorneys” or “investigators” rather than disclosing that they were, in fact, debt collectors;
- Contacting consumers about alleged debts at the consumers’ place of employment;
- Contacting third parties and divulging information about the debtors’ accounts;
- Collecting or attempting to collect amounts that were unauthorized and illegal; and
- Calling consumers before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
Under the terms of the settlement, the Atlanta-based debt-buying company will not be allowed to collect $13 million in consumer debt from over 11,000 accounts. RBS must also pay a $10,000 fine and reimburse GOCP for $5,000 in legal expenses related to the investigation.