Debt Collector Charged with Abusive Practices Agrees to Pay $ 1.2 Million Settlement, Withdraws from Debt Collection Business | Local company

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Fanelli, 34, has neither admitted nor denied the findings of the attorney general’s office, which are set out in an 18-page “disclaimer” signed by both parties on November 16. Fanelli had six months to withdraw and dissolve the three companies.

He must pay $ 1.2 million in restitution and damages by November 30.

Lawyer Eric M. Soehnlein said Fanelli settled the case to avoid “the time and cost of litigation.”

“The settlement made financial sense for Mr Fanelli, who has not admitted wrongdoing and is explicitly allowed to remain in the collection business for six months to end his business,” Soehnlein said. “He looks forward to new businesses in the near future. “

Fanelli formed Fanelli and Associates in 2012 to collect consumer debts and in 2015 changed the company’s name to Northwood Asset Management Group, which employed up to 60 people and has an office in Williamsville, according to court documents.

Call tapes kept by the company showed that collectors routinely used illegal tactics, such as the threat of legal action that the company did not intend to take; falsely threatening to seize wages; falsely threatening to suspend driving licenses; and threatening to file a complaint and implying that criminal proceedings would be brought against consumers for non-payment.

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