CHARLESTON, WV (NEWS RELEASE) —West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reached a settlement with a debt collection company resulting in more than $150,000 in debt cancellation for West Virginia consumers.
The settlement involves two New York-based companies, Northwood Asset Management Group, LLC and Alliant Capital Management, LLC. It resolves allegations that Northwood collected debts for Alliant without a license to do so in West Virginia.
“Debt collection agencies must operate within the boundaries of the law,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our office is pleased to reach an agreement that cancels improperly collected debts for consumers in the Mountain State.”
The Attorney General’s Office alleged the companies had violated the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act. The investigation involved Northwood’s alleged collection of debts without a state license or surety bonds and its failure to obtain a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State’s Office.
A consumer who owed a debt collected by Northwood alleged the company contacted him by phone at home and threatened to call his place of work or take legal action should the debt not be paid.
Northwood and Alliant denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Northwood has since obtained its necessary license and bonding.
The settlement requires Northwood to refund $26,445.76 collected from consumers in the state. It also must close and zero balance all accounts that it attempted to collect before it was licensed and bonded to do so, resulting in cancelled debt of $151,561.25 for 142 West Virginia consumers.
Northwood must also pay $1,000 to the state, comply with state law in future business operations and refrain from threatening consumers or coercing payment.