loan programs

CFPB and NY AG tackle hidden assets of now-defunct debt collection program

On April 22, 2021, the CFPB announcement that he filed a complaint in federal court to seize a $1.6 million home; the property he alleges was transferred fraudulently by the operator of a massive and now defunct debt collection scheme.

In 2019, the CFPB and the New York Attorney General achieved a regulation with Douglas MacKinnon, Northern Resolution Group, LLC, Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC, Delray Capital, LLC and Mark Gray. The CFPB had sued Douglas MacKinnon, Mark Gray and their companies for harassing, threatening and deceiving millions of consumers across the country into paying inflated debts or amounts they did not owe. Companies routinely added $200 to every debt they bought and attempted to collect, used spoofing technology to look like they were calling government agencies, and sent threatening messages to consumers to scare them and encourage them to pay. MacKinnon and his companies were permanently banned from the debt collection industry and ordered to pay $60 million in damages and consumer penalties.

The new complaint alleges that Douglas MacKinnon transferred ownership of his home to his wife and daughter for the sum of $1 shortly after learning of the federal and state investigation into his businesses. He then asks the court to declare the transfer void and to order the seizure and sale of the property to partially repay MacKinnon’s unpaid debt to the federal and state governments for his unlawful conduct.

“Douglas MacKinnon operated a brazen scheme, fraudulently inflating consumer debt, and he was equally brazen in trying to fraudulently conceal his own assets,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said. “Today’s action shows that attempts to defraud the federal government and escape the consequences of breaking the law will not succeed. I thank Attorney General James for her partnership in shutting down this scheme and holding MacKinnon to account.

insideARM point of view:

This complaint is further proof that Acting Director Uejio is serious. The CFPB will continue to seek out and punish bad actors, and those caught committing such acts will not be able to skate on restitution and fines. Additionally, this decision signals that the CFPB does not consider its job done once it reaches a settlement and intends to see bad actors pay their penalties. Bad actors do nothing to foster a culture of compliance within the industry. Good players in the accounts receivable industry should support the CFPB in its efforts to bring about real penalties for those who exploit the industry for personal gain.