Friday, October 10, 2008

West Virginia's State Attorney General Sues Florida Debt Collector

West Virginia's state attorney general's office has filed a lawsuit against Charles Howell & Associates, Inc., a Tampa-based debt collector. Gregory Wells, the company's president and CEO is also named as a defendant. The suit claims that Howell & Associates called West Virginians about nTelos cellular phone agreements involving several hundred dollars in cancellation fees.

Consumers were threatened with a law suit, although Howell & Associates have no lawyers on staff and do not file lawsuits. The debt collectors threatened to report consumers to law enforcement officials, disclosed consumers' debt information to employers and other third parties, and threatened to add more fees to the consumers' debts.

Debt collectors can receive commissions based on their collections, so they tend to be overly aggressive and may cross the line from a legal standpoint. Consumers are protected from debt collection harassment abuse by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act. If you have been contacted by Charles Howell & Associates, contact us.

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