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Debt Collection Foul Play: CFPB Sanctions Practice Reminiscent of Robo-Signing

Justice League

Credit card and student loan debt-collector Frederick J. Hanna & Associates settled charges last month with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over allegations that it used illegal debt collection practices on a variety of consumer loans. Hanna agreed to pay $3.1 million stemming from a CFPB investigation that led to a lawsuit filed last July in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

The CFPB charged that Hanna used its capacity as a law firm to disguise its activity as a bulk debt collector, where legal papers were rubber-stamped by the firm without verification of their contents, reminiscent of the practice known as robo-signing that surfaced in home mortgages during the financial crisis. The CFPB suit charges that Hanna filed hundreds of thousands of lawsuits without bothering to make sure that the people they were taking to court actually owed any money. The CFPB charges that one Hanna attorney signed…

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