ROANOKE, Va. (CN) – Two Asset Acceptance companies buy up bad debts and trick people into restarting the statutes of limitation by offering bogus credit cards and debt compromise, consumers say in a federal class action.
Asset Acceptance Capital and Asset Acceptance hired debt collector Genesis Financial Solutions and use bait-and-switch tactics to restart expired debts, according to the complaint.
The scam is simple, the class says: Asset Acceptance buys bad debts “for pennies on the dollar,” then sends out a bogus credit card offer promising not to file suit against any amount of the debt placed on the card.
Consumers say they are led to believe that no legal action can be brought against them for their old debt – but the agreement actually restarts the old debt, allowing the company to collect.
“Enlisting a credit card issuer, WebBank, the defendants have sent misleading and deceptive collection communications to consumers that are a classic bait-and-switch,” the complaint states. “Essentially, they pitch a credit card offer, a debt compromise, and a vague and misleading representation of no future legal action. But in reality they [are] restarting statutes of limitation on old debts, creating new debt obligations, and inducing the consumer into new, binding contracts that do authorize future legal action and never include the inducements as terms, or clarify their real meaning.”
The Asset companies call their credit card scam “The Possible Dream.” The card itself is enticingly labeled the “Pearl Card gold MasterCard.”
The class seeks an injunction and damages, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It is represented by John Fishwick Jr. with Lichtenstein Fishwick.