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.