The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Wednesday (Nov. 2) that it, along with the New York Attorney General, launched a lawsuit against what it said are the leaders of a “massive debt collection scheme” based in Buffalo, New York.
According to a press release, the CFPB and NY AG said the lawsuit contends Douglas MacKinnon and Mark Gray operated a network of companies that would “harass, threaten and deceive” millions of consumers around the country into paying debts that were inflated or amounts they may not owe. The CFPB wants to shut down the operation and to obtain compensation for the victims. It also wants to levy a civil penalty against the companies and its partners.
“Our lawsuit asserts that millions of consumers were harassed, threatened and deceived as part of a massive scheme to collect inflated debts,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in the press release announcing the action. “Today, we are taking action against the ringleaders of this operation so they can no longer prey upon vulnerable consumers. We are pleased to be working in partnership with New York Attorney General Schneiderman to hold these companies accountable.”
“Living with debt is difficult enough as it is, without the added stress of being harassed and threatened by debt collectors,” added New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “These collection shops inflated debts of their victims. This suit sends the message that debt collectors that employ abusive tactics will be held accountable.”
The companies facing the actions include Northern Resolution Group LLC, Enhanced Acquisitions LLC and Delray Capital LLC. The two agencies contend all are interrelated collections companies based in Buffalo, NY. Together, the companies would purchase millions of dollars of consumer debt and collect some of the debt directly. The CFPB said the companies were the brainchild of the defendants and were operated by them.