WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) —
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Jan. 9 that it is ordering
Works and Lentz Inc., Works and Lentz of Tulsa Inc., and their president, Harry
A. Lentz Jr., to provide $577,135 in relief to consumers, correct their
business practices and pay a $78,800 penalty for allegations of falsifying
documents sent to consumers in the debt collection process.
According to the CFPB, the
defendants falsely represented that letters and calls to consumers came from
attorneys attempting to collect on a debt. The CFPB argued that these claims
were false and that no attorneys actually reviewed the accounts.
The CFPB also said the
defendants falsified notarization of affidavits in lawsuits against consumers
and delivered inaccurate information to credit reporting companies.
“Misrepresenting that a
lawyer is involved in a debt collection action gives the collection a false
weight,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “Works and Lentz intimidated
consumers with unfounded threats of potential lawsuits. Today we are putting a
stop to that and getting consumers the relief they deserve.”
In addition to the monetary
fines, the defendants must stop using deceptive language in their business
practices, stop the unlawful notarization of affidavits and revise their
protections for consumer credit reporting.