Debt collection company iQor, along with its subsidiary Allied Interstate LLC, have been sued for $10 million by four district attorneys in California. The state officials said that the companies violated a number of consumer protection acts when they used automatic dialing systems to harass consumers with robocalls.
The complaint states that consumers were hounded by these calls for months, even when they owed no money. Prosecutors say that one consumer from San Jose received 126 calls in less than a month, while another man from Sunnyvale received 88 calls over a three-month period until he finally blocked the number.
iQor has defended its actions, and the actions of its subsidiaries, saying that the district attorneys were too quick to “suspend productive dialogue” centered around Allied’s “long-retired debt collection practices in favor of protracted litigation.”
“Allied enjoys an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau, is currently under no material regulatory restrictions at the federal or state level and is committed to consumer protection both within the state of California as well as the rest of the country,” said iQor officials in a statement. “Allied looks forward to defending this matter and continuing to improve its collection practices as industry expectations evolve.”
The charges do not look favorable for either of the companies, though. Prosecutors say that both firms violated a number of provisions from California’s Rosenthal Act, the state’s constitutional right to privacy, and the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act – which forbids companies from using automatic dialing systems to call consumer cell phone numbers without consent.
The district attorneys also charged that the companies violated established consumer protections by calling before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. The companies also allegedly tried to collect debts that had previously been discharged during bankruptcy.
It isn’t the first time that Allied has faced regulatory scrutiny. From 2004 to 2011, the company was embroiled in several legal battles with state agencies across the country, including cases in Minnesota, Arizona, West Virginia, Maryland, Oregon, California, Florida, and Ohio. The company also paid $1.75 million to the FTC in 2010 for harassing consumers and trying to collect debts from the wrong people.