JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against two debt collectors over allegations the businesses are fraudulently collecting debt.

The lawsuits target Virginia-based Portfolio Recovery Associates and Professional Debt Management, located in Kansas City.

According to the lawsuit, Portfolio is accused of buying old and discharged debt, then trying to collect through legal action. The company allegedly tries to collect from the wrong consumer or for the wrong amount.

The company has been accused of garnishing social security from consumers, as well as refusing to provide consumers with proof the debt is valid.

"The Attorney General's office intends to take aggressive action to protect Missouri consumers," Koster said.

"I am asking the court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting these companies from violating consumer protection laws and to order that they provide full restitution to the people they have harmed."

The lawsuit also alleges Professional Debt Management uses scare tactics such as harassing phone calls against consumers in order to collect debt that doesn't exist.

The state is asking the court to impose monetary penalties, as well as reimbursement from the companies for legal fees.

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