Arrow Financial — collection agency broke laws
Per a January 25, 2007 press release, Illinois Attorney General's Lisa Madigan's has filed a lawsuit against Arrow Financial Services for allegations that debt collectors used unfair tactics and deceptive practices to collect money from consumers.
Madigan's lawsuit charges Arrow with multiple violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The suit specifically alleges that Arrow attempts to collect on time-barred debts over ten years old, attempts to collect on debts that have been discharged in bankruptcy or that have been settled, engages in abusive practices in an attempt to collect, such as using profanity, attempts to obtain payment without proof of debt, refuses or fails to provide proof of debt, illegally contacts consumers' family members and workplace, and withdraws money without authorization from consumers' bank accounts.
Madigan's lawsuit asks the court to prohibit Arrow from engaging in deceptive debt collection activities and further violating Illinois' consumer protection laws. The lawsuit seeks a civil penalty of $50, 000 and additional penalties of $50, 000 for each violation found to have been committed with intent to defraud. Finally, Madigan's lawsuit asks the court to order Arrow to pay restitution to consumers and to pay all costs for prosecution and investigation of this case.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced November 28, 2005 that this company has paid a $125, 000 civil penalty and will design and implement a compliance program within 60 days. The Department of Commerce investigation alleged that Arrow and/or its collectors engaged in more than fifteen violations including:
- Withdrawing money electronically from a debtors checking account without authorization
- Continuing to contact debtors at their places of employment after receiving notification to stop.
- Disclosing a debtor's information to a third party.
- Failing to establish procedures when screening collector applicants as required by law.
- Failing to respond to the department's request for information.
taken from BBB website