Recently, together with our colleagues from Connolly Wells & Gray, LLP, attorneys from Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC initiated another a class action against Credit Control Services, Inc. – a Massachusetts-based debt collector. As detailed in the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Credit Control Services improperly asserted in corresponding with Pennsylvania consumers that it was “licensed by the state of Pennsylvania.” But, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has no licensing procedures or standards for collection agencies, debt collectors, or debt buyers. Indeed, it has never had any licensing procedures or standards for those involved in the debt collection industry. Accordingly, Credit Control Services is not (and could not have been) a “collection agency . . . licensed by the state of Pennsylvania.” In seeking to collect a debt from Pennsylvania consumers, therefore, Credit Control Services violated Section 1692e(1) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., which specifically prohibits a debt collector from making any “false representation or implication that the debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United States or any State,” as well as Section 1692e(10) that forbids “[t]he use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10).
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