Debt collection giant reaches settlement with Idaho and other states over its practices

Debt monster
Debt monster McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

IQor Holdings Inc. will pay $500,000 after being accused of violating state and federal consumer protection laws, the Idaho Department of Finance announced Thursday.

Agents working for one of the company’s subsidiaries, Allied Interstate, called debtors whose telephone numbers were listed on the national “Do Not Call” registry. They also used code words in debtors’ files to make it appear those calls had not violated the law.

Allied also failed to promptly credit debtors’ accounts when they made payments, the Department of Finance said in a release announcing the settlement.

Allied and Receivable Management Services Corp., which did not admit wrongdoing, failed to provide state licensing authorities with timely access to their collection records and timely responses to requested information, in violation of state laws.

Idaho and the four other states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and North Dakota, will share in the settlement. The Idaho money will go into the state general fund, said Anthony Polidori, supervising examiner for the state Consumer Finance Bureau.

“The No. 1 consumer complaint we receive in Idaho concerns collection agencies,” Polidori said.

Last year in California, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office filed a $10 million lawsuit against iQor and Allied for using automatic dialing systems to call cellphone subscribers without consent.

One San Jose man received 126 calls in less than a month, the San Jose Mercury News reported in writing about the lawsuit.

The company denied any wrongdoing and said it was improperly named as a defendant in the suit.

Both Allied and RMS maintain A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell