Debt Collector Permanently Banned for Engaging in Illegal Collection Practices and Debt Brokerage

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  • New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with debt collector Andrew Fanelli and his companies (collectively “Fanelli”) to resolve allegations that Fanelli ran an illegal debt collection scheme in violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Dodd-Frank Consumer Financial Protection Act.
  • According to the assurance of discontinuance, the AG’s office found that Fanelli used illegal tactics to collect consumer debts, including falsely threating consumers with legal actions, wage garnishment, and suspension of driver’s licenses, falsely implying that the collector is a lawyer or law enforcement officer, and falsely implying that the debtor may be criminally charged. In addition, the AG’s office found that Fanelli engaged in illegal debt brokering, including selling debts to other collectors who engaged in illegal collection activities.
  • Under the terms of the assurance of discontinuance, Fanelli will pay $1.2 million to the state for costs, penalties, restitution, damages, and disgorgement. Fanelli is also permanently banned from consumer debt collection activities, including debt brokering, and is required to destroy all consumer debts that Fanelli owns, among other things.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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