Minnesota AG sues over illegal bank debt collection


Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced Wednesday that she's suing an Edina-based debt collector for charging illegally high interest rates on bank fees from Wells Fargo and U.S. Bankcorp.

The Associated Press reports Bradstreet and Associates allegedly broke state law by charging nearly 22 percent in interest on bank debt. The Star Tribune points out that's well above the state's interest rate cap of 6 percent. Plus, contracts the consumers had with the two banks didn't allow interest to be charged on overdrawn funds or fees, the newspaper says.

"Companies have the right to collect legitimate debt, but they shouldn’t charge people for interest that isn’t owed," Swanson said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges Bradstreet and Associates bought at least $18 million in bank debt since 2009 and routinely took consumers to court in order to collect, according to the AG's office.

Swanson is seeking restitution and wants the company to stop its illegal practices that affect thousands of Minnesotans, the Star Tribune reports.

Swanson has been cracking down on illegal debt collection practices in Minnesota in the last year. In October, she filed suit against Florida-based United Credit Recovery, LLC, who also acquired debt from Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and many others.

Swanson also championed legislation that tightens regulations for companies that purchase debt and protects consumers from abuse. The new law passed last year.

Next Up

prison, Rush City cell block

Another Minnesota prison inmate dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The virus has killed at least six Minnesota inmates.

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.


Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.

Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 11.00.30 AM

Money Gal Coaching: Habits of a millionaire, just in time for the holidays?

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.