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Federal Trade Commission v. Forensic Case Management Services

March 13, 2012

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FORENSIC CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: R. Gary Klausner United States District Judge

Proposed] FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION AND MONETARY RELIEF AS TO DEFENDANT FRANK E. LINDSTROM, JR.

Plaintiff Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") commenced this civil action on September 12, 2011, pursuant to Sections 13(b) and 19 of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 53(b) and 57b, and Section 814 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692l, to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive and other equitable relief for Defendants' violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45, and the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p, in connection with the marketing and sale of debt collection services, and the collection of debts. On September 13, 2011, the Court entered a temporary restraining order against Defendants. On September 27, 2011, the Court entered a preliminary injunction against Defendants.

The FTC and defendant Frank E. Lindstrom, Jr. ("Settling Defendant") having agreed in the Stipulation for Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Relief as to Defendant Frank E. Lindstrom, Jr., hereby request that the Court enter this Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Relief as to Defendant Frank E. Lindstrom, Jr. ("Order") to resolve all matters in dispute in this action between Settling Defendant and the FTC.

FINDINGS

By stipulation of the parties and being advised of the premises, the Court finds:

1. This is an action by the FTC instituted under Sections 13(b) and 19 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 53(b) and 57b, and Section 814 of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692l. The Complaint seeks both permanent injunctive relief and equitable monetary relief for Defendants' deceptive and abusive acts or practices as alleged therein.

2. The FTC has the authority under Sections 13(b) and 19 of the FTC Act and Section 814 of the FDCPA to seek the relief it has requested, and the Complaint states a claim upon which relief can be granted against Settling Defendant.

3. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case and has jurisdiction over Settling Defendant. Venue in the Central District of California is proper.

4. The activities of Settling Defendant, as alleged in the Complaint, are in or affecting commerce, as defined in Section 4 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44.

5. The FTC and Settling Defendant stipulate and agree to entry of this Order, without trial or final adjudication of any issue of fact or law, to settle and resolve all matters in dispute arising from the conduct alleged in the Complaint to the date of entry of this Order. This settlement does not settle and resolve any matters not alleged in the Complaint. Settling Defendant does not admit any of the allegations set forth in the Complaint, other than jurisdictional facts or as provided in Section IV.D, merely by stipulating and agreeing to the entry of this Order.

6. Settling Defendant waives all rights to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Order. Settling Defendant also waives any claim that he may have held under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412, concerning the prosecution of this action to the date of this Order. Each settling party shall bear its own costs and attorneys' fees.

7. This action and the relief awarded herein are in addition to, and not in lieu of, other remedies as may be provided by law, including both civil and criminal remedies.

8. Entry of this Order is in the public interest. DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this Order, the following definitions shall apply:

1. "Assisting others" includes, but is not limited to:

A. performing customer service functions, including, but not limited to, receiving or responding to consumer complaints;

B. performing debt collection or debt collection marketing services of any kind;

C. formulating or providing, or arranging for the formulation or provision of, any advertising or marketing material, including, but not limited to, any telephone sales script, direct mail solicitation, or the design, text, or use of images of any Internet website, email, or other electronic communication;

D. formulating or providing, or arranging for the formulation or provision of, any debt collection materials, including, but not limited to, any debt collection script, debt collection marketing material, debt collection training manual or other training materials, and debt collection compliance monitoring materials;

E. formulating or providing, or arranging for the formulation or provision of, any marketing support material or service, including but not limited to, web or Internet Protocol addresses or domain name registration for any Internet websites, affiliate marketing services, or media placement services;

F. providing names of, or assisting in the generation of, potential customers;

G. performing marketing, billing, or payment services of any kind; and

H. acting or serving as an owner, officer, director, manager, or principal of any entity.

2. "Consumer" means any natural person.

3. "Customer" means any person who has paid, or may be required to pay, for products, services, plans, or programs offered for sale or sold by any other person.

4. "Creditor" means any person or entity who offers or extends credit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed, but such term does not include any person or entity to the extent such person or entity receives an assignment or transfer of a debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating collection of such debt.

5. "Credit" means the right granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.

6. "Credit repair services" means using any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails to sell, provide, or perform any service, in return for the payment of money or other valuable consideration, for the express or implied purpose of (i) improving any consumer's credit record, credit history, or credit rating, or (ii) providing advice or assistance to any consumer with regard to any activity or service described in clause (i).

7. "Debt collection activities" means any activities of a debt collector to collect or attempt to collect, directly or indirectly, a debt owed or due, or asserted to be owed or due.

8. "Debt collector" means any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another. Notwithstanding the exclusion provided by the last clause of the immediately-preceding sentence, the term includes any creditor who, in the process of collecting his own debts, uses any name other than his own which would indicate that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such debts.

9. "Debt relief services" means any program or service represented, directly or by implication, to renegotiate, settle, or in any way alter the terms of payment or other terms of the debt between a person and one or more unsecured creditors or debt collectors, including, but not limited to, a reduction in the balance, interest rate, or fees owed by a person to an unsecured creditor or debt collector.

10. "Extension of consumer credit" means credit offered or extended to a consumer primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

11. "FDCPA-Covered Debt" means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, or services that are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household ...


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