Has a collection agency threatened or hassled you with hundreds of calls during early morning or late night hours?
And you don’t even owe the debt?
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says it’s fed up with one giant collection agency for allegedly violating laws and regulations, so it’s filing a $10 million lawsuit to stop such practices.
The lawsuit was filed against debt collection giant iQor US Inc. and its subsidiary Allied Interstate LLC, for allegedly placing unlawful and harassing calls to consumers.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court complaint alleges that iQor and Allied violated state and federal laws as well as consumers’ right to privacy. The lawsuit was filed jointly by district attorneys in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Santa Clara counties.
The complaint seeks $10 million in civil penalties for the continued violations. Any amount from a judgment would be used for future public consumer protection work.
The companies are accused of a myriad of offenses, including subjecting many individuals to repetitive calls for months on end, even when no money was owed, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
An Allied Interstate representative did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
The complaint cites the case of a couple from Windsor in Sonoma County, who allegedly received hundreds of calls from Allied for more than three years, despite their repeated attempts to convince the company’s representatives they called the wrong number.
Even after repeated pleas and a call to the company from a police officer, the calls persisted, the complaint states.
Allied stopped the calls only after being notified that the couple had contacted the California Attorney General’s Office, the complaint states.
In addition, iQor and Allied used automated dialers to call cell phones without permission in violation of federal law, the complaint states. The companies also improperly called people before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. and tried to collect debts that had been discharged in bankruptcy, according to the lawsuit.
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, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
California consumers who have been victims of repeated unwarranted calls from these companies are asked to contact (619) 531-3115, a consumer hotline, with their information.
–City News Service