Payday loan companies, or as they used to be called "loan sharks", are creating a real problem for consumers who are in dire need of a quick buck for an unexpected expense.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government. Its principal mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of what regulators perceive to be harmfully anti-competitive business practices.
On April 11, the FTC announced a temporary restraining order against Broadway Global Master, Inc. a debtor collector enjoining them from conducting business or withdrawing any funds from their bank accounts. Broadway obtained detailed information about payday borrowers from an unknown source and engaged in intimidation to collect over $4 million from them.
According to the FTC, representatives from Broadway would contact debtors and pretend to be law enforcement officers, use a FBI caller ID, threaten arrest, a state placement of the debtor's children, or to call the debtor's employer, and use obscene language.
This raises the question of how a consumer debtor can verify a debt collector's authority to collect their debt. The FTC posted a number of suggestions, including contacting the creditor if the call is about a debt the consumer may owe. Remember, a license does not mean the debt collector is legitimate but it does show some effort to conform to the law.
The Law Offices of James V. Sansone assists individuals file for bankruptcy protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code and also protects consumers from creditor harassment. We are located in Santa Rosa, California and serve clients throughout Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Lake County, including Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Windsor, Bodega Bay, Ukiah, Willits, Clearlake, Lakeport, and Kelseyville.