Almost five years after entering into an administrative consent order with Encore Capital Group, Inc., Midland Funding, LLC, Midland Credit Management, Inc., and Asset Acceptance Capital Corp. (collectively, “Defendants”) to resolve claims relating to the Defendants’ debt collection practices, the CFPB, on September 8, 2020, filed a five count complaint (the “Complaint”) in a California federal district court against the alleging that the Defendants’ collection and other practices violated the FDCPA, the CFPA, and the terms of the consent order.
With respect to the FDCPA, the Complaint alleges that the Defendants violated § 1692(e), which prohibits the use of any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of a debt. With regard to the CFPA, the Complaint alleges that Defendants: (1) committed deceptive acts and practices; (2) committed unfair acts and practices; (3) violated the 2015 consent order; and (4) violated the FDCPA.
As factual support for its claims, the Complaint alleges, among other things, that the Defendants:
- filed hundreds of lawsuits without possessing original, account-level documentation;
- failed to provide, in more than 750,000 instances, certain required disclosures;
- failed to provide certain disclosures to consumers within 30 days of consumers’ requests;
- sued consumers on time-barred debts in more than 100 instances;
- sent more than 425,000 collection letters in connection with time-barred debts without including required disclosures;
- failed to disclose certain fees; and
- failed to process payments by accepted means so as to avoid the assessment of fees to consumers.
The Complaint seeks injunctive relief as well as consumer redress, disgorgement of profits, civil monetary penalties, and “damages or other monetary relief.”