On July 8, 2015, New York Attorney General Eric T. Scheiderman announced that a court order was obtained that permanently bars a consumer debt collection agency from operating as a debt collector and further requires payment of $550,000 in consumer restitution, civil penalties, and costs. The order was signed following a stipulated settlement agreement with the company’s owner and former president. The settlement resolved claims filed in February 2015 lawsuit that the defendant violated state and federal debt collection laws, New York’s consumer protection law, and engaged in conduct that violated a 2009 Assurance of Discontinuance that resulted from an earlier investigation of the company. The lawsuit alleged that the debt collection agency ignored consumer requests for debt verification, misrepresented the amount owed, verbally harassed consumers, failed to provide account balances and other information on request, and failed to remit payment to creditors in a timely manner. The consent order permanently bars the defendant from the debt collection business and requires it to close all trade lines with credit reporting bureaus and refund consumers who were charged for making payments by credit card.
Blog Enforcement Watch July 09, 2015