The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently sued and shut down a “ring” of debt collectors using unique and highly illegal tactics to harass consumers. The debt collectors include JPL Recovery Solutions; Regency One Capital; ROC Asset Solutions; API Recovery Solutions and Northern Information Services; Check Security Associates; Warner Location Services; Pinnacle Location Services; Orchard Payment Processing Systems; Keystone Recovery Group and Blue Street Asset Partners. These companies are all partly owned and managed by Christopher Di Re, Scott Croce and Susan Croce, and managed by Brian Koziel and Marc Gracie.
Their shady debt collection tactics included infiltrating Facebook pages and identifying family members and social circles, specifically targeting immediate family members, grandparents, in-laws, ex-spouses, employers, co-workers, and random Facebook friends. They are even going so far to contact long lost Facebook friends that consumers haven't spoken to in decades. Once identified, these debt collectors would message and call the social circle and let them know they are looking for a person in particular who owes money. This tactic is designed to humiliate people into calling and paying just to get them to go away. In one instance, a person reported that they were contacted on Facebook by a debt collector regarding a friend of theirs. The debt collector told them that they will not stop collecting until they take the person's “pride” from them. These are some extreme and highly illegal tactics, but nothing out of the ordinary for a debt collection company. This is simply a natural progression of allowing debt collectors to use social media platforms to collect debts. Considering that a significant percentage, if not a majority, of debt collection activities are fraudulent, allowing debt collectors on social media will only increase the fraud.
The CFPB has been investigating and litigating against these debt collectors since 2016 and only recently settled by fining them $4 million plus shutting down their operations. However, if these debt collectors paid $4 million in combined fines, then they probably made $20 million. The best way to deal with a debt collector is to call Florida Consumer Lawyers. We will go after them aggressively and will protect your rights. We will also make them pay you for any illegal debt collection activities.