It all started after consumer attorney Amir Goldstein told CBS News that he often struggles to locate debt collectors in places like Buffalo.
"The companies close up shop. Disappears. Nobody answers the phone anymore. Then they re-open under another corporate name," Goldstein told CBS News.
Goldstein decided to pursue the owners of Southern Capital, a debt collection company in Buffalo that kept wiggling out of lawsuits by claiming they had shut down. In short, he wanted to go after the people behind the corporate name.
CBS knocked on the door of the last known address of debt collector Southern Capital, only to find it had been replaced by another collections company that claimed to be unconnected. We were told Southern Capital's owners had a new name and location.
But before we even arrived at the new location, the owner called CBS saying he left the collection business over a year ago. "I had to shut down," David Dwyer told CBS, "I was buried in lawsuits."
But when we arrived at the address, we saw an employee on her way out the door. At first she claimed not to know David Dwyer but minutes later, offered to call him on her cell phone.
Dwyer called us back, claiming this new location had also shut down and was no longer in business. But CBS News learned the business was still in operation and had opened yet another new office in nearby Williamsville, NY. As for Dwyer's claims that he was out of the business? His name is on the most recent filings with the Secretary of State in two other states.
Amir Goldstein says the lawyer for Southern Capital called him after our story aired wanting to settle. Will he make a deal? "I told him I will think about it," he said.