Debt Collector To Return $477,000 To Washington Consumers In AG Settlement

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  • Washington AG Bob Ferguson reached a settlement with Denver-based collection agency Machol & Johannes, LLC and its present and former owners (collectively “M&J”) to resolve allegations that the company engaged in unlawful debt collection practices in violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and Collection Agency Act.
  • The complaint alleged that M&J illegally operated a debt collection agency without a license for more than a year and engaged in deceptive and unlawful conduct by failing to offer consumers legally required garnishment exemptions, and unlawfully assessing fees and costs to consumers.
  • Under the terms of the consent decree, M&J must pay approximately $477,000 in consumer restitution, $414,000 in costs and attorneys’ fees, and, among other things, forgive up to $250,000 in fees and costs assessed against consumers and release all ongoing garnishment claims against consumers who were not properly informed of mandatory exemptions.

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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