Forster & Garbus, LLP
On May 17, 2019, the Bureau filed suit against Forster & Garbus, LLP, a debt-collection law firm based in Commack, New York. The Bureau alleged that from 2014 through 2016, fewer than a dozen attorneys at Forster & Garbus filed more than 99,000 debt-collection lawsuits, while having documents to support only a fraction of those debts. The Bureau alleged that these lawsuits were filed without meaningful attorney involvement, and thus the signatures of attorneys on these lawsuits violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s prohibition against the use of false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means to collect a debt and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010’s prohibition against deceptive acts and practices. On January 18, 2023, the court entered a stipulated final judgment and order, which requires Forster & Garbus to possess specific documents supporting consumer debts and have an attorney review these documents before filing any new lawsuit, and to dismiss any pending lawsuit unless it certifies its compliance with these documentation and meaningful-attorney-involvement requirements. The order also requires Forster & Garbus to pay a civil money penalty of $100,000.