New York A.G. Shuts Down Debt Collection Scheme

New York Attorney General Letitia James recently announced a settlement banning Buffalo-based debt collector Robert Heidenreich, also known as “Bobby Rich,” from the debt collection industry for misleading consumers on how much money they owed and using illegal tactics to collect the inflated debt. In addition to the ban, the settlement also includes a suspended judgment of $1.7 million.

The New York Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Heidenreich, and collectors working for him, violated the law by demanding and collecting more money from consumers than they owed. In the debt collection industry, this practice of trying to collect more than a consumer’s balance in full is known as “overbiffing.” The settlement also alleges that collectors employed by Heidenreich pretended to be law enforcement personnel, attorneys and process servers to collect on inflated debts by falsely threatening consumers with arrest and other legal actions.