In United States of America v. Asset Acceptance, LLC, Asset Acceptance LLC, a major U.S. buyer of consumer debt, agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle charges that it used deceptive collection practices.
Asset Acceptance, LLC purchases old consumer debt from credit card companies, health clubs and other creditors. An investigation revealed that it failed to investigate when a consumer said debt information was wrong. In some cases, consumers would not learn that Asset Acceptance reported them to a credit bureau until they applied for a loan. Believing the debt to be invalid, consumers would sometimes pay the debt just to be sure they would get their new loan.
Asset Acceptance, LLC would deceive consumers by claiming to sue in order to collect the debt, knowing that they could not because the statute of limitations to sue for the debt had already passed.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Asset Acceptance's debt collectors would sometimes misrepresent the amount of a debt or give credit reporting agencies inaccurate information about what was owed.
In the complaint filed against Asset Acceptance, LLC, the government claims that as of September 30, 2010, Asset Acceptance had 34 million accounts with an original value of more than $42 billion which it had purchased for 2.54 percent of the face value.