The West Virginia Attorney General's Office sued Tampa debt collector Howell & Associates Inc., alleging the company illegally threatened state residents in an effort to collect debts that sometimes didn't exist. The chief complaint: that West Virginia consumers received calls from Howell suggesting they would be arrested if they did not pay cellular telephone bills and that Howell tried to coerce payments from consumers by implying a "federal marshal" would appear at consumers' workplaces. The suit seeks a court order forbidding Howell from making illegal or false representations to consumers when it tries to collect debts in the state. Howell & Associates said CEO Gregory Wells, who also is named as a defendant, was on vacation and unavailable for comment Tuesday.
West Virginia sues Tampa debt collector over tactics
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