ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced Jan. 9 that Williamson and McKevie LLC, a debt collection business, has agreed to pay $8.8 million in penalties after allegations of violating the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.

According to Carr’s office, Williamson and McKevie harassed and deceived consumers on a routine basis. Tactics included threatening consumers with arrest, misleading consumers into believing they were committing criminal offenses, misleading consumers into believing the company was made up of attorneys rather than debt collectors, giving personal consumer information to third parties and failing to disclose that the company sought to collect on debt and therefore would use any information obtained for that purpose.

“It is plain and simple, any debt collector that employs abusive, deceptive and illegal tactics in Georgia will be held accountable,” Carr said. “I appreciate our Consumer Protection Unit’s work on this matter. We will continue working to ensure that no Georgia consumer falls victim to this type of behavior in the future.”

Carr’s office noted that Williamson and McKevie had 10,922 debt collection accounts. The company must cease collections on all of them.

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