Asset Acceptance, one of the largest consumer debt buyers, has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the FTC’s charges against it. The FTC alleged that Asset Acceptance (1) failed to disclose that debts are too old to be legally enforceable, (2) failed to disclose that a partial payment could extend the time a debt could be sued upon, (3) failed to notify consumers that it provided negative information to the credit bureaus, and (4) repeatedly called third parties who do not owe the debt, among other violations.
The settlement requires Asset Acceptance to inform consumers when their debt is too old to be sued upon in court and that Asset Acceptance will not sue on that debt. Asset Acceptance is also prohibited from placing negative information on a consumer’s credit report without notifying the consumer.
The FTC recently issued a new publication to help consumers understand their rights with regards to old debts. The publication, entitled “Time-Barred Debts: Understanding Your Rights When It Comes to Old Debts“, provides information on when a debt is too old to be enforced in court and whether a consumer should pay a debt that’s time-barred.