WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a lawsuit Nov. 2 filed in partnership with New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman against the leaders of an allegedly massive debt collection scheme based in Buffalo, New York.
“Our lawsuit asserts millions of consumers were
harassed, threatened, and deceived as part of a massive scheme to collect
inflated debts,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today we are taking
action against the ringleaders of this operation so they can no longer prey
upon vulnerable consumers. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Attorney General Schneiderman to hold these companies accountable.”
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege Douglas McKinnon
and Mark Gray operate a host of interrelated companies that harass and deceive
consumers into paying debts they may not actually owe. The CFPB seeks to shut down the operation and obtain compensation for allegedly affected consumers. It
also seeks a civil penalty against the companies and partners.
“Living with debt is difficult enough without the
added stress of being harassed and threatened by debt collectors,”
Schneiderman said. “These collection shops inflated debts of their
victims. This suit sends the message that debt collectors that employ abusive
tactics will be held accountable.”