The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has permanently banned the activities of Critical Resolution Mediation, based in Atlanta, Georgia, which collects debts from individuals who, for various reasons, have not paid debts to various private and public institutions.
Under an agreement with the FTC, the ban on activities in this area applies not only to the company itself, but also to its two co-owners – Brian Mackenzie and Tracy Warren.
The commission’s statement of claim states that the owners of the company and their employees threatened the debtors with arrest and imprisonment and even tried to “knock out” money from people that they actually did not owe. Debt collectors regularly impersonate law enforcement officials, lawyers, intermediaries or court couriers, thereby lending weight to their actions. In many cases, they tried to collect so-called “phantom” debts (that is, non-existent debts or debts that had already been paid).
The agreement provides for the destruction of all information available to the company about debtors and prohibits any benefit from the possession of this information. The owners of the company must pay the FTC $ 266,000. A total fine of more than $ 3 million has been deferred due to “the defendants’ inability to pay it.” If the defendants are found to have provided false information about their financial situation, the penalty will be charged in full.