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Attorney General shuts down illegal debt collection scheme

Bans debt collector, imposes judgement
Campaign dollars flow as lawmakers debate New York bail law
Posted at 7:43 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 19:43:36-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement today, banning Buffalo-based debt collector Robert Heidenreich, also known as Bobby Rich, from the debt collection industry.

Authorities say it's 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.

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 alleged 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.