Debt collectors working for education officials paid millions in fines for threats, abuse

Two debt collection firms, including one based in Minneapolis, paid a total of over $4 million in fines after a federal agency accused them of breaking the law and harassing consumers. Now those same collectors are working for the federal Education Department.
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Two debt collection firms, including one based in Minneapolis, paid a total of over $4 million in fines after a federal agency accused them of breaking the law and harassing consumers. Now those same collectors are working for the federal Education Department.

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Minnesota cracks down on debt collector

The West Central Tribune reports the Commerce Department is ordering a debt collection company to revamp its hiring process after an investigation found the firm was employing felons. NCO Financial Systems operates 49 debt agencies nationwide.

Minnesota cracks down on 8 debt collectors

The Minnesota Department of Commerce says the violations include hiring felons, harassing costumers who owe money and stealing personal information. The companies face more than $900,000 in fines collectively.

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The state's Republican Party on Friday disclosed new financial information, including $415,211 in debt that had never been reported. Party officials say they've found no evidence that anything illegal occurred, though, as the Star Tribune reports, the undisclosed debt could result in new fines. The party's outstanding obligations now total $2 million, including $700,000 owed to lawyers involved in the recount.

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