On December 28, 2018, the Massachusetts Division of Banks (“Division”) entered into a consent agreement with a licensed debt collector to resolve allegations that it had engaged in debt collection practices that were not compliant with applicable state law.
The consent agreement follows a compliance examination of the company. The examination culminated with the issuance of a report finding that the company had engaged in substantial non-compliance with applicable state statutes, rules, and regulations governing the conduct of those engaged in the business of a debt collector in the Commonwealth by, among other things, falsely threatening consumers with legal action; charging excessive payment convenience fees; and commingling client funds by paying operating expenses out of an escrow account. The report also alleged that debt collectors had rude and abusive behavior.
Per the consent agreement, the company will pay an administrative penalty to the Division of $5,000 in consideration of the company’s compliance deficiencies as described in the report. The company has affirmed that it has ceased engaging in debt collector activity in Massachusetts and requested surrender/cancellation of its Massachusetts debt collector license.