by Jeff Sovern
AccountsRecovery.Net reports on an interview, largely about debt collection, with the Acting Director of the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, Thomas Pahl, at a Receivables Management Association conference this week. Some excerpt:
“It’s difficult to speak about where the agency is headed given the organization is changing,” Pahl said during his session, adding that he expects the FTC to continue going after the most “egregious” actors. That area of the business has been the FTC’s “sweet spot” in the area of enforcement, Pahl said, and he does not see that changing.
“We’re definitely looking at the worst of the worst,” Pahl said. “It’s beneficial to the industry. It allows legitimate players to distinguish themselves. I anticipate it will continue under new leadership.”
And my comment: it's great that the FTC is going after "the worst of the worst." But shouldn't it be bringing case against all the worst? I can't tell from the report whether the FTC lacks the resources to pursue all the worst, whether that reflects disagreement about whether it's desirable to move against all the worst, or whether Pahl is simply employing a rhetorical device to justify what the Commission is doing, but ideally, the FTC would (you should forgive the expression) cast a pall over all the worst, regardless of where the particular enterprise ranks among the worst. If going after the worst of the worst is good for both consumers and the industry, as Pahl indicates, wouldn't that be true of all the worst as well?