Feds shut down abusive debt-collection business
Oct 04, 2011 (Menafn - Ventura County Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The Federal Trade Commission has halted operations at a Southern California debt-collection business accused of harassing consumers and small business owners with profanity and threats.
The Star began writing about the harassment three years ago when complaints about the business were mounting at the Better Business Bureau for Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.
"In my 15 years of experience in the tri-county area, these were some of the nastiest, most aggressive business people we've dealt with," said BBB President Rick Copelan. "They were bad."
The business, which operated under a variety of names, was owned by David M. Hynes Jr. He ran the operation with his wife, Lorena Quiroz-Hynes; an in-house attorney, Randy Chang; and four other people, James Hynes, Kevin Medley, Heather True and Frank E. Lindstrom Jr.
In Ventura, they operated as Joseph, Steven & Associates and Specialized Debt Recovery.
In Van Nuys, they operated as Commercial Investigations Inc.; Rumson, Bolling & Associates; Forensic Case Management Services Inc. and Commercial Receivables Acquisition Inc.
Besides using profanity, the business was accused of doing such things as telling a woman unable to pay the balance due on her daughter's funeral that they "were going to dig her up and hang her from a tree if she did not pay the debt," according to the FTC. It also was accused of threatening to take her dog and "eat him," the FTC said.
The FTC halted the business's operations and seized assets on Sept. 30 after charging that its practices violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Copelan was pleased to hear the FTC had taken action.
"Hopefully this spells an end to a reign of abusive business practices in the tri-county area and Los Angeles County," he said. "I think both our business community and community as a whole are better off without this company in our presence."
This story will be updated later.
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