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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Georgia settles with debt collection company

State Issues State Attorney General Enforcement FDCPA Debt Collection

State Issues

On August 12, the Georgia Attorney General announced that it entered an assurance of voluntary compliance with a debt collection company resolving allegations that the company committed multiple violations of the FDCPA and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act. According to the AG, the company deceived consumers by, among other things: (i) threatening consumers with jailtime if a debt was not paid; (ii) failing to disclose that they were debt collectors; and (iii) failing to provide consumers, within five days after the initial communication, a written notice containing certain information required by law. Under the settlement, the company must cease collections on all Georgia consumer accounts it owns and turn those accounts over to the AG, which represents over $19.8 million in purported consumer debt. In addition, the company must pay $41,500 in penalties and fees, and fully comply with the FDCPA and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act. Finally, if the company violates any provisions of the settlement during a three-year monitoring period, it must immediately pay an additional $41,500 payment to the state.