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CFPB sues San Diego-based debt buyer, collector company

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Posted at 5:56 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 20:56:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The federal watchdog agency that aims to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices is suing a San Diego-based company.

On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued Encore Capital Group and its subsidiaries, claiming they violated the terms of a 2015 legal agreement.

The CFPB claims, “Since September 2015, Encore and its subsidiaries violated the consent order by suing consumers without possessing required documentation, using law firms and an internal legal department to engage in collection efforts without providing required disclosures, and failing to provide consumers with required loan documentation after consumers requested it.”

The lawsuit says after the effective date of the consent order, “Encore filed more than 100 lawsuits to collect consumer debts after the applicable statutes of limitations had expired."

The lawsuit also claims Encore failed to disclose that consumers might incur international-transaction fees.

In response to the lawsuit, the company's Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Administrative Officer Greg Call said Encore is built on a foundation of treating their consumers fairly and respectfully.

"We are disappointed that the CFPB has chosen to file this lawsuit on outdated issues, but we will continue to engage with the CFPB and work to ensure that we maintain policies and practices that fully comply with all applicable legal requirements. We believe that there will be no material operational impact as a result of the suit," said Call. "We fully corrected the issues underlying the allegations in this lawsuit years ago and are unaware of any unresolved consumer impact."

DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUITS

Part of the complaint talked about debt-collection lawsuits.

In July Team 10 discovered a 157% increase in the number of rule 3.740 collections lawsuits filed in San Diego County court from 2015 to 2019. That involves any debt collection company.

"If you look not just in the county of San Diego, throughout the state of California, and in fact the dockets throughout the nation, we have a massive epidemic right now," said attorney Abbas Kazerounian during a July interview.

Kazerounian said if someone's been sued or contacted by a debt collection company, they need to know their rights.

"The amount of debt is irrelevant," he said. "It's the method of collection that's controlled by these statutes."

RESOURCES:

Coping with debt
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0150-coping-debt

Help available for renters, homeowners struggling to pay for housing during pandemic
https://www.10news.com/rebound/coronavirus-money-help/help-available-for-renters-homeowners-struggling-to-pay-for-housing-during-pandemic