District of Columbia Settles Unlawful Collection Claims Against Debt Collector

Goodwin
Contact

On June 21, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia announced a settlement with a debt collector for alleged violations of the District’s debt collection and consumer protection laws.  Specifically, the District alleged that the debt collector unlawfully sought collection of “court costs and legal fees without a supporting court order,” “left messages on consumers’ answering machines without verifying that the voicemail did not belong to a third party,” and “failed to adequately inform consumers who contested the debts on how they could request verification of their purported debts.”  The settlement requires the debt collector to pay full restitution to the District “in an amount equal to the court fees it collected or attempted to collect from consumers that were not awarded by a court” and to “discharge or remove” any purported debts for court fees that are not properly supported by a court order.  The debt collector has 120 days to furnish the District with a list of all affected consumers.  The debt collector also agreed to pay up to $45,000 to reimburse the District for costs incurred during the investigation.  Going forward, the settlement requires the debt collector to (1) not collect or attempt to collect court fees unless supported by a court order; (2) fully comply with all debt verification requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); (3) conspicuously disclose to consumers all steps required to contest the validity of a debt; (4) immediately cease collecting contested debts unless verification can be provided; and (5) not leave recorded messages disclosing consumer debts except as permitted by the FDCPA.  The debt collector denied that it violated any laws.

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.

© Goodwin | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Goodwin
Contact
more
less

Goodwin on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.