Nevada Financial Institutions Division joins national coalition to crack down on illegal debt collection practices


Contact

Teri Williams
Public Information Officer
(702) 486-0407
Las Vegas, NV - November 09, 2015

The Nevada Financial Institutions Division (FID) has joined Operation Collection Protection (OCP) - a coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting deceptive and abusive debt collection practices.  Led by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more than 75 organizations participate in OCP, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorneys General from 47 states, as well as state and local regulatory agencies.  

Law enforcement actions taken under this new initiative aim to crack down on illegal tactics such as harassing phone calls and false threats of litigation, arrest, and wage garnishment. The FTC last week announced 30 new law enforcement actions had been taken nationally which brings to 115 the total number of actions taken so far this year. Those actions include FID’s May 2015 Cease and Desist Order to Collect Pros, LLC for conducting unlicensed activity in the state.  

Some of these actions allege that collectors knowingly attempted to collect so-called phantom debts – phony debts that consumers do not actually owe. The illegal practices targeted by authorities also include the failure of some collectors to give consumers legally required disclosures and notices, or to follow state and local licensing requirements. 

“Being in debt is stressful enough for many Americans without also being subjected to intimidation and false threats,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. “Debtors have certain rights and rogue collectors that step outside the law will face the consequences of illegal behavior.”

Debt collectors in Nevada are subject to the federal Fair Deb Collection Practices Act.  

Debt collectors may not:

·         Lie about your debt, who they are, or what happens if you don’t pay. 

·         Harass or threaten you.   

·         Tell anyone about your debt. 

Debt collectors may:

·         Contact you by phone, letter, email or text, as long as they follow the rules and disclose they are debt collectors. 

·         Contact your attorney if you have one representing you. If you do not have an attorney, they may contact other people, but only to find out your address, phone number or where you work. 

·         Send information about your unpaid debts to a credit reporting company.  

More information about consumers’ rights with respect to debt collection can be found at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection.  

In Nevada, you may report any problem you have with a debt collector to the Nevada Financial Institutions Division. The office is able to assist consumers in situations of unfair debt collection practices through the consumer complaint process. Consumers should visit www://fid.state.nv.us to submit the complaint form located on the website to submit to the Division for review and investigation.    

Resources:

FTC Operation Collection Protection press release:  

www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/11/ftc-federal-state-local-law-enforcement-partners-announce  

Financial Institutions Division’s action against Collect Pros, LLC press release:  

http://business.nv.gov/News_Media/Press_Releases/2015/Financial_Institions/Nevada_Financial_Institutions_Division_issues_Cease_and_Desist_Order_to_Collect_Pros,_LLC/  

About Nevada Financial Institutions Division

The Financial Institutions Division, a division of the Department of Business and Industry is mandated to maintain a financial institutions system for the citizens of Nevada that is safe and sound, protects consumers and defends the overall public interest.  The Division also promotes economic development through the efficient, effective and equitable licensing, examination and supervision of depository, fiduciary, and non-depository financial institutions.

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