BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Attorney General Letitia James was in Buffalo on Thursday morning to make a major announcement involving debt collection schemes.
James says two debt collectors and their businesses have been banned from the debt collection industry. They are the following men:
- Douglas MacKinnon – Northern Resolution Group, LLC and Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC
- Mark Gray – Delray Capital, LLC
According to James, those companies tried to inflate debts, in order to collect more money than people were obligated to pay.
Regularly, James says MacKinnon and Gray would cause $200 to be added to the debts. At times, someone who only borrowed a few hundred dollars would be told to pay thousands, even though they did not legally owe that much.
Consumers were also threatened with being arrested for check fraud by these companies, which James says was an illegal tactic to collect payments.
Those weren’t the only threats, though. James says collectors would also threaten people with wage garnishment, license revocation and the removal of personal property.
Furthermore, callers would sometimes make it appear they were from government agencies or the court system.
“There is zero tolerance for individuals who use illegal and unconscionable tactics to cheat consumers out of their hard-earned money. Not only did the defendants force consumers to pay more than they owed, but they falsely threatened to have consumers arrested for not complying with these predatory practices. This settlement demonstrates our commitment to protecting consumers and I thank the CFPB for their partnership to stop this exploitative scheme.”Attorney General Letitia James
Altogether, MacKinnon and Gray have been ordered to pay more than $66 million in restitution and penalties. MacKinnon was ordered to pay the most money; Specifically, $60 million.