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Debt collection agency found guilty of conducting a scheme to defraud

Debt Collection Agency, Gordon, Cappolli & Associates along with its owner, Stephanie Lowinger,  were found guilty of  conducting a scheme to defraud.  Ms. Lowinger is also permanently banned from conducting any debt collection activities in New York.

According to an investigation by the  Attorney General’s Office, “Lowinger targeted military personnel specifically, telling the victims that if payment was not made immediately, they would be arrested by the military police and would face a dishonorable discharge.”

Additionally, “Lowinger and her employees falsely claimed to be lawyers, harassed consumers through repeated calls and abusive language, inflated the amount allegedly owed by the debtor and levied unauthorized charges on the credit card accounts of consumers.”

The above violations that Lowinger was found guilty of, are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

According to the FDCPA website, “debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
  • misrepresent the amount you owe;
  • indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
  • indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  • you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
  • they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or
  • legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.”

If a debt collector is harassing you in violation of the FDCPA, you may be entitled to compensation.  Please call Consumer Protection Attorney, Todd M. Friedman at 877-449-8898 for a free consultation.