ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced an $8.5 million settlement with National Check Resolution, Inc., resolving charges that the debt collection company committed multiple violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.
“Our office will hold debt collectors that try to coerce and intimidate consumers by employing abusive, deceptive and illegal tactics accountable,” said Attorney General Chris Carr.
The Attorney General alleges that National Check Resolution, owner Samuel Tulumello and manager Rhonda Tulumello repeatedly harassed and deceived consumers by:
- Representing that consumers had committed a crime and threatening them with arrest or imprisonment if they did not pay the debt;
- Falsely representing themselves as attorneys, legal couriers or government entities;
- Failing to disclose that they were debt collectors attempting to collect a debt;
- Contacting third parties and divulging information about the debtor’s account; and
- Collecting or attempting to collect debts from Georgia consumers that resulted from payday loans, which are illegal and enforceable under Georgia law.
Under the settlement, National Check Resolution must cease collections on 11,980 accounts it owns and turn those accounts over to the Attorney General so that they cannot be sold or collected on in the future. This represents a total of $8,500,338.72 in purported consumer debt. In addition, the company must pay a $20,000 civil penalty and fully comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act in the future. If, during a three-year monitoring period, the company violates any provisions of the settlement, an additional $240,000 civil penalty will immediately become due.