The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) settled with Financial Credit Services, Inc. d/b/a Asset Recovery Associates (ARA), a debt buyer and debt collector, over allegations that ARA threatened to take actions that it did not intend to take, including threatening arrest, litigation, garnished wages, and negative marks on the consumer’s credit report (despite the company credit reporting accounts). Other allegations include falsely representing that the company’s employees were attorneys. ARA neither admits nor denies these allegations.
According to the consent order entered on August 28, 2019, ARA will pay $200,000 as a civil penalty to the CFPB and $36,878.81 for redress to consumers. ARA must also submit a compliance plan to the CFPB within 45 days that details steps it plans to take to comply with applicable consumer protection laws and the terms of the consent order.