Debt-collection agency to pay $85,000 fine

August 26, 2010|By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun

Collections agency Worldwide Asset Management has agreed to pay an $85,000 penalty and change its business practices as part of a settlement with state regulators, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said Thursday.

The agency said it has "reasonable grounds" to believe that the company — which also goes by Worldwide Asset Purchasing and West Asset Purchasing — was breaking state law barring unfair and misleading collections practices, as well as attempting to collect debts from Maryland consumers without a required license.

Representatives did not admit wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement. The company told the state that it has stopped filing suits against Marylanders, but it agreed to seek a license if it resumes debt collection here.

The settlement does not affect cases the company had already started against state residents.

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