Ringleaders in phantom-debt collection scheme aren’t the only guilty ones, according to CFPB lawsuit

Marcus Brown and Mohan Bagga’s illegal phantom-debt collection operation depended on the help of service providers to conduct their scheme, and all parties involved are named in a lawsuit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has filed in a U.S. District Court, according to a CFPB press release. Phantom debt is debt that is either not owed at all or not owed to those attempting to collect it. The CFPB filed the suit against Brown, Bagga, the telemarketing firm Global Connect, and payment processors Global Payments, Pathfinder, Frontline and Electronic Merchant Systems. According to the press release, “Brown and Bagga purchased consumers’ personal information from debt brokers and lead generators.” Global Connect then broadcasted robo-calls “to millions of consumers,” even though the company allegedly “knew they contained unlawful content.” The complaint argues that “Brown and Bagga could not have run a successful operation without the assistance of the payment processors,” who are alleged to have ignored “numerous red flags of the debt collectors’ illegal conduct.” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said all the participants in the scheme should “be held accountable for taking advantage of vulnerable consumers.” For more, read the full release

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Lending and Services, Depository Institutions, Legal Developments