Consumer Finance Insights
November 14, 2019

Massachusetts AG Announces Settlement with Debt Buyer for Alleged Abusive Debt Collection Practices

On November 11, 2019, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AG) announced that it had settled an investigation against a national debt buyer and collector for alleged violations of Massachusetts’ consumer protection law and debt collection regulations through its debt-collection practices. Specifically, the AG alleged that the debt collector pressured debtors with only exempt income to make payments, required repayment of debts that could not be substantiated, misled consumers about protections they were entitled to, and failed to verify the accuracy of information provided to credit reporting agencies.

In connection with the settlement, the debt collector will repay thousands of consumers a total of $4 million. In addition, the debt collector agreed to change its business practices by proactively informing consumers with exempt income of their protections, ceasing collecting from consumers with only exempt income, obtaining documentation of the validity of debt before collecting, informing consumers when their debts are too old to be collected, refraining from calling consumers too frequently, and revising its credit reporting policies.