Federal Officials Shut Down California Debt Collection Operation

August 1, 2013
Los Angeles Times  
debt settlement news

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requested the halt of an alleged "debt collection scheme" operated by four people under seven different company names in California's Orange and Riverside counties. Companies targeted included Western Performance Group and Allied Financial Group. The FTC said, however, that the individuals involved -- Thai Han, Jim Tran Phelps, Keith Hua, and James Novella -- frequently changed corporate monikers "to avoid law enforcement scrutiny." After the FTC filed suit, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer in Los Angeles issued a temporary restraining order to stop the businesses and freeze their assets. The suit alleges that the individuals and businesses used "false threats of lawsuits and calculated campaigns to embarrass consumers by unlawfully communicating with family members, friends, and coworkers." The defendants allegedly violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and failed to notify consumers of their right to dispute debts.
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