Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A $10 million lawsuit filed by prosecutors in San Diego and three other counties alleges predatory harassment by debt collection giant iQor and a subsidiary, it was announced Wednesday.

The civil complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges the policies and practices of iQor and Allied Interstate LLC violated provisions of California’s Rosenthal Act, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and California’s constitutional right to privacy.

Despite a history of repeated lawsuits brought by government entities, prosecutors in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside and Santa Clara counties allege that iQor and Allied have continued their predatory harassment of consumers through a network of far-flung global phone operations.

IQor and Allied employ thousands of debt collection agents at worldwide call centers in the United States, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Panama and the Philippines, as well as Trinidad and Tobago, authorities said.

The companies subjected many individuals to repetitive calls for months on end, even when no money was owed and despite complaints from consumers, according to authorities.

“This is the end of the road for those predatory tactics,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Our Consumer Protection Unit worked diligently with other law enforcement agencies to bring a stop to this illegal practice.”

Authorities said a couple in Windsor received hundreds of calls to their home from Allied for more than three years, despite their continual efforts to notify Allied agents that they were calling the wrong number, including having a police officer tell the company to stop calling the wrong number and the couple having sent two certified letters to Allied demanding that the calls stop.

The civil complaint also lists violations for calling consumers before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. and for attempting to collect debts that had been discharged in bankruptcy.

In 2010, Allied settled an action with the Federal Trade Commission for $1.75 million for harassing debtors and attempting to collect from the wrong people.

–City News Service