Calif. Takes On Aggressive Debt Collectors

     LOS ANGELES (CN) — In a $10 million lawsuit, four California district attorneys say debt-collection giant iQor US and its subsidiary Allied Interstate harassed people with thousands of illegal phone calls, even after a police officer told them to stop it.
     Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said iQor and Allied Interstate committed “a myriad of offenses,” subjecting people to “repetitive calls for months on end, even when no money was owed.”
     Lacey was joined by district attorneys in Riverside, San Diego and Santa Clara in a joint lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court.
     “Allied has a history of predatory harassment through its network of global phone operations and has been the subject of numerous prior lawsuits, including a $1.75 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in 2010,” Lacey said in a statement.
     Allied called one couple in Windsor hundreds of times over three years, even after being told repeatedly that it was a wrong number and getting a warning call from a police officer. “Allied ceased the calls only after being notified that the couple had contacted the California Attorney General’s Office,” Lacey said.
     She said the collectors also violated state and federal laws by using automatic dialers to call cellphones, calling before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. and trying to collect debts that had been discharged in bankruptcy.
     Lacey asked consumers who have been harassed by the companies to call a consumer hotline at (619)-531-3115.
     Allied Interstate spokesman Robert Burke said that the company was disappointed that prosecutors had decided to sue instead of continuing what he called “a productive dialogue regarding subsidiary Allied Interstate LLC’s long-retired debt collection practices.” He said the company had been “completely transparent” with prosecutors.
     “The last regulatory action brought against Allied was in 2011. Allied demonstrated to the district attorneys that since that time it has made significant leadership and policy changes that resulted in additional strides in the area of consumer compliance, conclusions that the district attorneys recognized themselves in written statements,” Burke wrote.
     Burke said that iQor was “improperly” named as a co-defendant in the case.
     “Allied looks forward to defending this matter and continuing to improve its collection practices as industry expectations evolve,” he wrote in an emailed statement.

%d bloggers like this: