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Debt buyer will seek to vacate 4,500 judgments, pay $675K to settle AG suit    
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By: Martha Neil

Source: abajournal.com

A consumer debt buyer accused by the New York attorney general of illegally obtaining judgments in thousands of collection cases brought over debt that is too old to collect has agreed to settle a lawsuit by AG Eric Schneiderman.

Encore Capital Group Inc. will seek to vacate some 4,500 judgments worth nearly $18 million and pay $675,000 to resolve the case, the AG’s office announced Friday. It says Encore often won default judgments in cases brought after the statute of limitations on bringing such suits had expired.

Bloomberg and the New York Times’ Dealbook blog have stories.

“New York has laws in place to ensure no one can prey on consumers, and debt collectors are required to follow those rules,” Scheiderman said in his office’s press release. “Today’s settlement ensures that thousands of New Yorkers will see millions in relief from debts that were not enforceable in the first place. We will continue to take action against any company that abuses the power of the court system at the expense of hardworking families.”

An Encore Capital spokeswoman told the Times the company is committed to “treating consumers fairly and with respect” and was responsible for creating what she described as the industry’s first consumer bill of rights.

“We are pleased to have addressed and resolved the attorney general’s concerns in a manner that supports consumers’ interests,” she said.

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