Ashley Perry Nov. 3, 2014, 9:09am

MONTPELIER, Vt. (Legal Newsline) - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell recently reached a settlement with Green Tree Servicing LLC, a residential loan servicing company.

The settlement requires Green Tree to pay $176,750 to the state and $55,250 in restitution to consumers for alleged delayed payment of property taxes and illegal debt collection practices.

“We must ensure that home mortgages, which are so central to the financial well-being of Vermonters, are serviced in accordance with the law,” Sorrell said.

Vermont law says that debt collection calls can’t be made after 9 p.m., debtors may not contact borrowers at their place of business without permission and companies can't share borrowers' debt information with third parties. Green Tree allegedly violated these laws at least 26 times, according to the Attorney General's Office.

Green Tree also allegedly paid borrower's property taxes more than 30 days late on 48 accounts. Some of the late payments were allegedly made more than 100 days late. Green Tree said that it corrected those errors and the homeowners did not have to pay fees or penalties on the late payments.

Green Tree is responsible for paying $1,000 to each homeowner whose taxes were paid more than 30 days late, and to each consumer contacted at work for debt collection after instructing the company not to do so. $500 will be paid to each consumer contacted after the 9 p.m. deadline and $250 will be paid to each consumer contacted before 9 p.m., but kept on the phone past the deadline.

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