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A North Carolina debt buyer has filed a lawsuit alleging that national rent-to-own company Aaron’s sold its consumer accounts that were uncollectible. In the lawsuit, Turtle Creek Assets (TCA), the debt buyer, claims “a serial betrayal of trust by Aaron’s that injured not just the plaintiff (TCA) but has had a collateral effect on thousands of consumers.”

According to the allegations by TCA, Aaron’s, which is a company that has a nearly $4 billion market value, knew the accounts it sold to TCA had issues. TCA claims that Aaron’s sold it the accounts of consumers who were victims of identity theft or had already returned their rented items or settled their accounts. In addition, TCA asserts that other accounts it purchased were involved in legal proceedings that limited or prevented TCA from attempting to collect on the debts.

TCA alleges that despite Aaron’s agreement to only provide the debt buyer with accounts that were valid and without legal issues, the retail giant instead sold TCA uncollectible accounts that caused TCA to attempt to collect debts from consumers who should have never been subjected to such activities. 

In late 2020, Aaron’s disclosed that it was being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible violations regarding its sale of consumer debt. The company reported that, although it believed that it was in compliance with the law, it had proposed an agreement to the FTC prohibiting such sales in the future. 

According to TCA’s owner, Gordon Engle, Aaron’s sold over $500 million worth of debt to TCA between 2010 and 2017. Engle claims that TCA paid less than two cents on the dollar for each account with the understanding that some of it would be uncollectible. For several years, TCA resold the Aaron’s accounts to debt collection lawyers around the country. However, when Aaron’s prevented TCA from reselling the accounts in recent years, TCA began trying to collect on the consumer debts itself.

According to Engle, many consumers contacted by TCA claimed that they hadn’t been to Aaron’s and were victims of identity theft. Some consumers had police reports to corroborate their claims and stated that they had previously informed Aaron’s about the issues.

Do You Owe a Debt to Aaron’s that is the Result of Identity Theft?

If you have been informed that you owe a debt to Aaron’s that is the result of identity theft, you should contact an experienced Florida consumer class action attorney immediately for assistance. At Lehrman Law, our firm’s class action group is led by experienced consumer class action attorney Seth M. Lehrman. Mr. Lehrman litigates class actions across the country on behalf of consumers, and he is eager to provide you with effective representation in your identity theft class action lawsuit. Please contact us as soon as possible to begin your journey to financial recovery.