NetSpend to pay $53 million in settlement with FTC

NetSpend FTCLast week, the FTC announced that NetSpend, one of the nation’s largest providers of prepaid debit cards, had agreed to pay $53 million to settle allegations that it deceived consumers about their ability to access funds loaded onto their cards.

In November 2016, the FTC filed a lawsuit alleging that NetSpend engaged in misleading advertising practices in violation Section 5 of the FTC Act which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The FTC’s complaint alleged that NetSpend made misrepresentations in marketing materials and on its website that led consumers to believe that the cards were “ready-to-use,” that they would have “immediate access” to funds loaded onto their cards, and that their money is “always available.” NetSpend also claimed that consumers are “guaranteed approval” for a card.


FTC settles with municipal debt collector for abusive collection practices

On March 24, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a press release announcing a consent order with American Municipal Services Corporation, a debt collection company accused of engaging in illegal collection tactics.

American Municipal Services Corporation is a debt collection firm that collects court fines, parking tickets, and debts for utility bills and other services on behalf of over 500 municipalities throughout various states.


FTC orders telemarketing scheme operators to pay $7.5 million in consumer redress

FTC telemarketing scheme settlement On March 13, 2017, the FTC issued a press release announcing that it reached a settlement with the operators of a telemarketing scheme that had allegedly harmed thousands of consumers across the country. According to the FTC, many of the consumers targeted by the scheme were elderly individuals or military veterans living on fixed income.

Under the terms of the stipulated final order, the defendants must pay approximately $7.5 million in consumer redress. The defendants are also prohibited from telemarketing, marketing investment opportunities, and selling or otherwise benefiting from consumers’ personal information.


FTC obtains $9 million judgment against United Debt Counselors

United Debt FTCOn March 7, 2017, the FTC issued a press release announcing that it had entered into a stipulated order with a debt relief company that allegedly misled consumers and charged illegal advance fees. Under the terms of the order, the United Debt Counselors, LLC will be prohibited from making misleading claims about its debt relief services.

United Debt Counselors, LLC, formerly known as United Debt Services, LLC (“United Debt” or “Defendants”) is headquartered in Frisco, Texas and has offered and engaged in debt relief services since 2011.


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