New York, FTC seek to halt Buffalo area 'debt collection scheme'

By Marian Johns | Jul 3, 2018

BUFFALO — New York state has joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in filing a lawsuit against two debt collection companies and their owners who allegedly ran a "debt collection scheme" in the Buffalo area.

According to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, Hylan Asset Management, LLC and its owner Andrew Shaevel along with Worldwide Processing Group, LLC and its owner Frank Ungaro Jr., allegedly collected "phantom debts" that consumers did not really owe. The attorney general says the companies and their owners are in violation of the state's fair debt collection statue and laws that prohibit such deceptive practices. 

“It’s unconscionable to collect on fake debts that consumers don’t actually owe in order to make a quick buck,” Underwood said in a statement. “We’ll continue to work with our partners in government to hold these phantom debt collectors accountable.”

According to the Attorney General's Office, Hylan and Shaevel knew some debt portfolios his company received from "known peddlers of phantom debt" were fake. Worldwide Processing Group then allegedly collected on the phantom debt from Hylan even though it also knew the debt was fake. 

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