W.Va. Woman Fights to Collect $10 Million from Debt Collectors

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Indeed, more than 1,000 people have filed complaints with the government about this same group of debt collectors, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Because so many people complained and because they described "intimidation," "deception," "abuse" and "harassment," the FTC took action late last month, raiding the companies and charging them with five counts of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The FTC lawsuit names at least 30 interconnected companies, including Global and RFA, the companies Mey sued. Investigators said the heart of the vast web was a company called Asset and Capital Management Group, but that the owners deliberately set up shell companies and changed those satellite names often to throw off consumers and investigators.

Owners and managers named in the FTC suit were Thai Han, Jim Tran Phelps, Keith Hua and James Novella.

ABC News tried to reach them, but calls to their last known numbers did not go through or were not returned and they had not yet retained lawyers in the FTC matter.

Court documents alleged these debt collection companies used deception to get people to pay, including:
      Claiming lawsuits were being filed against consumers.
      Impersonating process servers and lawyers.
      Threatening consumers with arrest and imprisonment.
      Claiming they were going to seize consumers' property or wages.

That last technique was what Mey said the first RFA debt collector tried on her.

The Federal Trade Commission estimated the companies took in $140 million in revenue between 2009 and 2013 using these tactics.

A court has now allowed the FTC to freeze the companies' and individual defendants' assets.

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