Lawsuit charges collector with pushing false claims for debts

A Maryland-based debt collection firm falsely represented to consumers that they owed certain debts when they did not, the federal consumer financial protection bureau charges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it filed the suit in federal court against FCO Holding, Inc., and subsidiaries Fair Collections & Outsourcing, Inc., Fair Collections & Outsourcing of New England, Inc., and FCO Worldwide, Inc. All are Maryland-based debt collectors that operate collectively under the name Fair Collections & Outsourcing and FCO.

The bureau said it also named Michael E. Sobota of Ormond Beach, Fla., in its lawsuit. Sobota is chief executive officer, president, director, and owner of FCO Holding, Inc., the bureau said.

The agency said its complaint seeks an injunction, as well as damages, redress, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and the imposition of a civil money penalty (CMP). It did not state the dollar amounts of any damages, disgorgements or CMPs.

CFPB said its complaint alleges that FCO violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Regulation V and the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Files Suit Against Fair Collections & Outsourcing and Michael E. Sobota

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