The United States District Court for the Western District of New York recently granted the Federal Trade Commission’s motion for summary judgment and entered a final order against a group of debt collectors who pretended to be affiliated with the government, and ordered them to pay nearly $11 million.   

In Federal Trade Commission v. Federal Checking Processing, Inc., et al., the FTC alleged that since at least May 2010, the defendants used abusive, unfair, and deceptive tactics to pressure consumers into making payments on purported debts.  Such tactics supposedly included contacting consumers by telephone repeatedly and asserting that the consumer had committed check fraud or another criminal act.  The defendants also allegedly implied that they were affiliated with federal, state, or local government, and they purportedly collected and processed millions of dollars in payments for these debts. 

The FTC originally moved for summary judgment in August 2015, and in April 2016 the magistrate judge recommended granting the FTC’s motion in its entirety.  The District Court subsequently adopted the magistrate judge’s Report and Recommendation and entered a Final Order for Judgment and Permanent Injunction.  The Final Order permanently enjoins the defendants from participating in debt collection activities, and orders the defendants to pay nearly $11 million to the FTC.