Debt collector shutting down after agreement with N.Y. AG

By Bryan Cohen | May 5, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement on Thursday with the owner of a Lockport-based consumer debt collection agency that will shut the agency down.

Swanson Walker & Associates allegedly repeatedly and persistently violated the law by improperly calling consumers at their workplaces; improperly accusing consumers of check fraud and threatening consumers with arrest or imprisonment; falsely representing that a lawsuit was filed; improperly disclosing consumer debts to third parties; and improperly threatening to seize a consumer's property, garnish wages and freeze bank accounts. Swanson also allegedly made multiple misrepresentations on its website.

Schneiderman's office, the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Sentinel Network and the Better Business Bureau received dozens of complaints about the agency and the tactics it used when trying to collect repayments.

Sean Millard, the owner of Swanson, entered into an agreement with Schneiderman that will shut the agency down.

"Attempting to get out of debt is a stressful and overwhelming process that countless consumers struggle with every day," Schneiderman said. "To threaten and bully these individuals is unacceptable and wrong, and my office will keep fighting to hold those who employ these tactics accountable."

Under the terms of the agreement, Millard must also pay a $10,000 fine.

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