The CFPB Settles With National Credit Adjusters

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection announced late last week it settled with the National Credit Adjusters, a private company, as well as its chief executive and part owner Bradley Hochstein.

In a press release, the CFPB said it found NCA and Hochstein used a network of debt collection companies to collect debt from consumers, with some engaging in unlawful debt collection acts and practices that harmed consumers. The CFPB said the acts were frequent and included representing that consumers owed more than they were legally required to pay and threatening consumers and their family with lawsuits, visits from debt collectors and arrest if they didn’t pay. NCA or the collection companies didn’t have the authority to take any of those actions, the CFPB said in the release.  The CFBP also contends that NCA and Hochstein sold millions in consumer debt to one of the companies with knowledge of the company’s illegal consumer debt collection actions. Under the settlement, NCA and Hochstein can no longer engage in certain collection practices and Hochstein is barred permanently from working in any business that collects, buys or sells consumer debt.  NCA and Hochstein were fined $ 3million each — but the full payment is suspended if NCA pays $500,000 and Hochstein pays a $300,000 civil penalty.

NCA isn’t the only debt collector to be fined by the CFPB because of the tactics they engaged in to get back-owed debt from consumers.  CFPB charged Security Group with making “improper in-person and telephonic collection attempts” and “physically preventing consumers from leaving their homes and visiting and calling consumers’ places of work.” The CFPB said Security Group’s practices weren’t fair because they could result in financial information being revealed to employers and others. The company was fined $5 million. While Security Group said it disagreed with the CFPB, it agreed to pay the fine so that it could close the matter. Security Finance Corp., a unit of Security Group, donated $2,000 to CFPB acting director Mick Mulvaney during the run-up to the 2016 election, noted the report.