The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 8,352 checks to consumers, thus ending a case against two companies that allegedly violated both the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and FTC Act.
Jacob Law Group PLLC, on behalf of debt buyer Security Credit Services LLC, was charged in 2013 with deceiving consumers by charging them an extra fee to pay by telephone. The companies allegedly also threatened, falsely, to sue consumers to get them to pay.
The checks total more than $761,000 and average $91.14. The checks range in amount from $14.93 to $1,218.21 and are being mailed to consumers who paid convenience fees. The checks must be cashed within 60 days after they are issued.
Security Credit buys consumer debt accounts and contracts with Jacob Law Group to collect them. The complaint alleged that the law firm called and pressured consumers to immediately make payments on their debts by authorizing electronic checks or credit or debit card payments by phone.
Jacob Law Group allegedly told consumers they were required to pay an additional fee of $18.95 for this service, but routinely failed to mention that they could avoid the fee by mailing the payment or paying online. Since 2008, the defendants collected at least $799,958 in fees from consumers.