MN Debt Co. to Pay $90K for “Abusive” Practices
St. Louis Park-based Allied Interstate, LLC, last week agreed to pay $90,000 to the State of Oregon and end “abusive” practices that have led to nearly 200 complaints.
According to the Oregon Department of Justice, about 200 consumer complaints have been filed with the department against Allied Interstate in the past five years. Those complaints accuse the company of “abusive” practices that systematically violated numerous prohibitions under both the Oregon and federal Debt Collection Practices Acts.
Allied Interstate provides accounts-receivable, customer-retention, and debt-collection services.
The consumer complaints allege that the company repeatedly called Oregon consumers even after being told they were not the intended debtors and hung up when an individual answered the phone.
The complaints also claim that the company disclosed the dollar amount of consumers' alleged debt to third parties without permission, threatened legal action that it isn't authorized to take, used obscene or profane language, and harassed third parties with repeated phone calls.
“The Department of Justice will not tolerate any attempt to threaten, harass or mislead Oregon consumers as a means of doing business,” Oregon Attorney General John Kroger said in a statement. “When companies violate the law, we will hold them accountable.”
Under the agreement, which was signed April 7, Allied Interstate must end all “abusive” practices and pay $90,000 to the Oregon Department of Justice. The company will also have to pay an additional $50,000 if it fails to abide by the terms of the agreement.
This isn't the first time that Allied Interstate has been accused of abusive practices. In 2004, Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch filed a suit against the company for using illegal debt-collection practices. The company settled the suit in 2005; under the settlement, it agreed to stop using such practices and pay restitution to those who were victimized by the company's practices.