Minnesota fines debt collector for violating earlier consent order
Recently, the Minnesota Department of Commerce issued a consent order assessing $20,000 in fines to a debt collector accused of violating a 2020 consent order. The state previously entered into a consent order with the debt collector, in which it agreed to cease and desist from violating the FDCPA and state law after it was found to have, among other things, commingled funds and allowed agents to work from unlicensed branch locations. The state later found that the debt collector allegedly continued to violate state and federal law by collecting on payday loans from unlicensed lenders and failing to provide meaningful disclosures on telephone calls or register several of its agents as debt collectors in the state. As a result, the state ordered the debt collector to pay the stayed portion of the 2020 fine ($19,000), as well as a $25,000 civil penalty of which $24,000 is stayed. If the stay has not been lifted by December 31, 2025, the remaining portion of the civil penalty will be vacated provided the debt collector does not commit any further violations.