Debt Collector to Return $477,000 to Washington Consumers in AG Settlement

  • Washington AG Bob Ferguson reached a settlement with Denver-based collection agency Machol & Johannes, LLC and its present and former owners (collectively “M&J”) to resolve allegations that the company engaged in unlawful debt collection practices in violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and Collection Agency Act.
  • The complaint alleged that M&J illegally operated a debt collection agency without a license for more than a year and engaged in deceptive and unlawful conduct by failing to offer consumers legally required garnishment exemptions, and unlawfully assessing fees and costs to consumers.
  • Under the terms of the consent decree, M&J must pay approximately $477,000 in consumer restitution, $414,000 in costs and attorneys’ fees, and, among other things, forgive up to $250,000 in fees and costs assessed against consumers and release all ongoing garnishment claims against consumers who were not properly informed of mandatory exemptions.