Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has filed a civil suit against United Credit Recovery (UCR) and Colorado-based GTF Services and Standley & Associates. The firms are accused of using fraudulent bank documents to try to collect on outstanding debts and using deceptive trade practices that harmed consumers.
"UCR faked bank officer signatures on documents to orchestrate a debt-for-sale scheme from which they handsomely profited," Suthers alleged in a statement. "The scheme involved thousands of individual accounts totaling tens of millions of dollars." The complaint claims that UCR purchased consumer debt from Wells Fargo and US Bank and then used bank-account information to create fake affidavits used to describe and verify consumers' debts.
According to investigators, UCR allegedly profited by using fake affidavits when collecting on debt and reselling debt to third-party collectors. GTF allegedly used affidavits through debt-collection law firm Standley & Associates, which filed them in more than 300 debt-collection lawsuits against Colorado consumers. The lawsuit alleges that the false affidavits helped the firms collect money from Colorado consumers by being filed in court as evidence of the amount owed and being presented as validation of the debt to consumers.
According to the complaint, financial institutions such as US Bank and Wells Fargo are required to "charge-off" certain consumer debts that have been delinquent for a specified period. The suit is seeking civil penalties against the defendants, for damages to be awarded to injured consumers, that restitution be made to persons "aggrieved by the violations," and that costs and legal expenses incurred by the state of Colorado be awarded.