WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced April 14 that his office has settled with Collect Pros LLC, a California-based debt collection company, and Michael Ross, who owns and manages the company.

The defendants will forgive $219,297.41 in uncollected consumer debt, according to Racine's office.

According to allegations, Collect Pros is a third-party debt buyer that bought and collected upon debts that consumers alleged they did not owe. Specifically, many of the debts incurred were for magazine subscriptions that consumers said they never agreed to.

As part of the settlement, the defendants also must refund $1,194.15 for debts it already collected and pay a civil penalty of $2,500 to the district. Injunctive relief bars the defendants from violating the district’s debt collection and consumer protection laws in the future.

“One of the biggest complaints we hear from consumers in the district is about aggressive or abusive debt collectors,” Racine said. “These companies cannot call and demand that consumers pay debts they do not owe.

“As this settlement demonstrates, our office is committed to ensuring that companies deal fairly with consumers.”

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