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  1. Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Pinnacle Payment Services, LLC, Velocity Payment Solutions, LLC, Heritage Capital Services, LLC, Performance Payment Processing, LLC, Credit Source Plus, LLC (Georgia), Credit Source Plus, LLC (Ohio), Reliable Resolution, LLC, Premium Express Processing, LLC (Ohio), Premium Express Processing, LLC (Georgia), Lisa J. Jeter, Nichole C. Anderson, Hope V. Wilson, Angela J. Triplett, and DeMarra J. Massey, Defendants (United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia) FTC File No. 1323043 Case No. 1:13-CV-3455 At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted an operation based in Atlanta and Cleveland that allegedly used deceptive and threatening tactics to collect phantom payday loan “debt” that consumers either did not owe, or did not owe to the defendants. The court order freezes the defendants’ assets to preserve the possibility of providing redress to consumers, and appoints a receiver. According to the FTC, the defendants operated under a host of fictitious business names that implied an affiliation with a law firm or a law enforcement agency, such as Global Legal Services, Allied Litigation Group, United Judgment & Appeals, Dockets Liens & Seizures, and United Judgment Center. Using robocalls and voice messages that threatened legal action and arrest unless consumers responded within a few days, the defendants have collected and processed millions of dollars in payment for phantom debts, according to the complaint. Their practices have generated almost 3,000 complaints to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel. According to documents filed with the court, a typical message stated: “[T]his is the Civil Investigations Unit. We are contacting you in regards to a complaint being filed against you, pursuant to claim and affidavit number D00D-2932, where you have been named a respondent in a court action and must appear. There is a contact number on file which you must call, 757-301-4745. Please forward this information to your attorney in that the order to show cause contains a restraining order. You or your attorney will have 24 to 48 hours to oppose this matter.” Working out of offices in Cleveland and Atlanta, the defendants threatened consumers that if they did not pay, their bank accounts would be closed, their wages would be garnished, they would face felony fraud charges, they would have to appear in court thousands of miles from their homes, or they would be arrested at their workplace, according to documents filed with the court. Many consumers ended up paying the defendants for debts they did not owe because they feared the threatened repercussions of failing to pay, believed the defendants were legitimate and collecting real debts, or simply wanted to stop the harassment, according to the complaint.

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