The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal has posted an article about how Allied Interstate Inc. is having to pay $1.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed under the Federal Trade Commission. Allied is one of the largest debt collection companies in Minnesota and this suit is the second largest penalty given by the FTC in a debt collection case.
The lawsuit alleges that Allied repeatedly made mistakes when contacting consumers to collect on debts, such as calling the wrong person or trying to collect a wrong amount. Allied allegedly continued its error-laden collection tactics even after consumers disputed the debts, which appears to have gone unverified by Allied.
“Debt collectors had better make sure their information is accurate, or they could end up paying a big penalty,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “There is no excuse for trying to collect debt from someone if you can’t confirm that they actually owe it.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Allied made inappropriate phone calls to consumers when collecting on debts and used tactics such as harassment, abrasive language, calling repeatedly for long stretches of time, and illegally contacting third parties without the consumer’s consent or permission from court.
This isn’t the first time Allied has been caught using these types of collection practices. In 2005, Allied settled with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and agreed to stop calling the wrong people when collecting on debts and reimburse the people who were affected by their negligence.
The FTC is designed to protect consumers from this type of illegal debt collection, and we see cases like this one regularly. If you have had problems with debt collectors, or have been harassed by one, and have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.
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