AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced a lawsuit on Monday against a Houston debt collection firm that allegedly violated the Texas Finance Code.
Representatives of First Integral Recovery LLC allegedly engaged in unlawful claims that the firm is associated with law enforcement agencies. After making these claimed ties to law enforcement, the defendant's staff told debtors that they faced arrest, prosecution and imprisonment due to delinquent debt, Abbott says.
First Integral Recovery is a third-party collector that creditors hire to collect outstanding payments of short-term payday loans.
First Integral Recovery also allegedly attempted to intimidate debtors and used profanity during calls related to debt collection. In addition, First Integral Recovery allegedly failed to properly verify whether the alleged debtor actually owed the debt in question - even after those contacted by the firm insisted they did not incur the indebtedness in question or sought additional information.
First Integral Recovery representatives allegedly routinely refused to identify the alleged creditor on whose behalf they were calling, in violation of Texas state law. The firm also allegedly operated for seven months during 2010 without posting a surety bond with the Texas secretary of state. Posting a surety bond is a state requirement of third-party debt collectors.
Abbott is seeking civil penalties for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Finance Code.