Protecting Consumers From Rogue Collectors – Georgia Style | Bartmann Blog

nathan deal debt collection georgiaGeorgia Governor, Nathan Deal, has an Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) that truly lives up to its name.

They got Dorsey Thornton & Associates, a Georgia debt collector, to FORGO collections on 31,433 accounts representing $15,491,899.36 in consumer debt. Additionally, the company has agreed to pay a civil fine and compensate the OCP for legal and investigative expenses.

If this is the SETTLEMENT, you can see how dead to rights Dorsey Thornton knew they were. Likely they also sensed Governor Deal wouldn’t be bashful about using his “big stick.” One look at the consumer complaints and you can understand why they deserved this trip to the woodshed. Georgia consumers complained that they were harassed and deceived by:

  • Threatening consumers with arrest or imprisonment if they did not pay the debt;
  • Refusing to send consumers written proof of the debt owed;
  • Identifying themselves as “Investigators” rather than disclosing that they were debt collectors attempting to collect a debt;
  • Contacting third parties and divulging information about the debtor’s account;
  • Calling consumers before 8:00am or after 9:00pm
  • Continuing to contact consumers even after they told the company to stop calling them;

“Debt collectors who engage in this kind of harassment, deception and other illegal behavior in the state of Georgia must and will pay a steep price,” said John Sours, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.

 

Talk is cheap, but this bold response shows that government officials in Peach State don’t mince their words.

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  1. Consumers should know that debt collection companies are required to follow certain guidelines in the course of business, all of which the Federal Trade Commission lists on its website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm. As you say, it is apparent that Dorsey Thornton was consistently breaking these guidelines, otherwise the company would have put up more of a fight. We hope that other states will follow the example of Georgia’s Office of Consumer Protection in the pursuit of consumer protection.

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