Debt Collector Pays $1.6 Million Over Allegations of Too-Frequent Collections Calls and Inadequate Notices to Debtors

  • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey reached a settlement with online short-term installation loan servicer Avant, LLC and related entities (collectively “Avant”) to resolve allegations that it used abusive debt collection practices in violation of Massachusetts’s Consumer Protection Act and the AG’s Debt Collection Regulations.
  • According to the AG’s office, Avant allegedly pursued collections on defaulted accounts through calls to debtors’ residences, cell phones, and other personal telephones with a frequency that violated the debt collection regulations. Avant also allegedly failed to provide required validation notices and documentation to consumers who fell behind on their payments.
  • Under the terms of the assurance of discontinuance, Avant will pay $1.6 million to the Commonwealth, which the AG may distribute at her discretion to cover consumer restitution or attorneys’ fees or contribute to the Massachusetts General Fund, Local Consumer Aid Fund, or other initiatives designed to address the negative effects of unfair practices related to debt collection. In addition, Avant revised its call policy to comply with debt collection regulations and corrected its practices to ensure that proper validation notices and documentation are sent to consumers who are behind on their payments, among other things.