On May 16, 2022, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (Arizona AG) announced that it reached a settlement agreement with the owner of several debt collection companies regarding alleged deceptive debt collection practices in violation of state law.
The agreement resolves a lawsuit by the Arizona AG filed in September 2020, alleging that the companies collected or attempted to collect payments for debts by making false and misleading statements to consumers. Specifically, the Complaint alleged the businesses spoofed government agency phone numbers and impersonated law enforcement officers, government officials, and law firm personnel to intimidate consumers. According to the Arizona AG, impersonating such officials, the debt collectors induced payment from consumers by threatening to sue, garnish wages and tax returns, place liens on homes and car titles, freeze bank accounts, send law enforcement to their home or place of employment, and arrest consumers.
As part of the consent judgment, the individual owner and his companies are permanently banned from the industry and have agreed to pay over $1.8 million in consumer restitution.