On June 23, 2015, the West Virginia Attorney General announced a settlement with an automobile title loan and debt collection company over claims the company engaged in abusive debt collection practices. According to the West Virginia Attorney General, the company repeatedly called consumers at inconvenient times regarding their delinquent loan payments and engaged in other harassing or oppressive debt collection tactics during the telephone conversations. The company also allegedly published information about consumers’ indebtedness to employers and family members, in violation of West Virginia’s consumer protection statute. Finally, the Company allegedly engaged independent contractors to assist with repossessing vehicles and collecting debts when those independent contractors did not have a valid West Virginia business license. The Company did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, but it agreed to refrain from any future illegal debt collection practices in West Virginia. The Company also agreed to cancel all delinquent balances owed as of September 30, 2014 and release vehicle liens it holds as security for these balances, which will result in the cancellation of over $2 million in debt. The Company will also pay an $85,000 fine to the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office.
Blog Enforcement Watch June 24, 2015