Settlement with state bans debt collection firms in Buffalo
Three companies agreed to pay $ 66 million for using illegal tactics to trick people into paying more than they owed.
BUFFALO, NY – Buffalo-based debt collection businessmen and their companies have been banned from debt collection.
NYS Attorney General Letitia James announced the settlement Thursday in Buffalo.
According to the AG’s office, Douglas MacKinnon, his companies Northern Resolution Group, LLC and Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC, as well as Mark Gray and his company Delray Capital, LLC, have agreed to a regulation banning them and their companies, collect their debts and pay more than $ 66 million.
Investigators say MacKinnon, Gray and their companies tried to collect more than consumers were legally required to pay and used illegal tactics to secure payment.
They say the collections often demanded consumers pay an inflated price, forcing them to pay thousands of dollars they didn’t legally owe.
Collectors falsely told consumers they would be arrested for check fraud and prosecuted. They also used identity theft to make it look like they were calling from a government agency.
“There is no tolerance for individuals who use illegal and unreasonable tactics to deceive consumers with their hard-earned money,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “Not only did the defendants force consumers to pay more than they owed, they falsely threatened to arrest consumers for not complying with these predatory practices. This regulation demonstrates our commitment to protect consumers and I thank the CFPB for its partnership to put an end to this exploitation scheme.
MacKinnon and Gray owned debt collection businesses across the country, but most of the offices were located in the Buffalo Niagara area.
People who feel they have been abused can file a complaint on the the GA website or call (716) 853-0404 and could possibly get their money back.