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AG Stein protects consumers from unfair debt collection practices

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(RALEIGH) Accelerated Receivables Management, Inc. (ARM), also known as Cutting Edge Collections, has demanded payment for alleged past due debt for medical testing from consumers who believed their testing had been covered by insurance or already paid. In many cases, consumers reported that ARM employees were harassing or threatening in the process, which would be a violation of the NC Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. ARM, a Florida-based company, has attempted to collect debts from North Carolina consumers while possessing neither a certificate of authority to conduct business in North Carolina nor a North Carolina collection agency permit.

AG Stein filed suit against ARM this week and today Judge Allen Baddour signed off on a Consent Preliminary Injunction against ARM and its president and general counsel, Francine Clair Landau. This means that ARM may not conduct any debt collection business in North Carolina while the lawsuit is ongoing. AG Stein also is requesting that the court require ARM to pay civil penalties and restore any funds obtained through unfair and deceptive acts.

“I am very troubled by consumers’ claims that they are being harassed for money they do not owe,” said AG Stein. “Protecting people by putting an end to this type of activity is an important reason why I ran to become North Carolina’s Attorney General. My office will not stand for it and we will continue to fully investigate these claims.”

Consumers complained about collections related to lab tests that were conducted by Richmond, Virginia-based lab company Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (“HDL”). HDL was sued by the federal government for fraudulent practices and, among other things, paying kickbacks to physicians for ordering non-necessary medical tests.

While AG Stein has received 12 complaints about ARM and Landau, NCDOJ does not know how many North Carolinians ARM contacted. According to ARM’s documents, more than 2,500 North Carolina consumers are currently in the company’s database for collections. Consumers who believe they have been contacted by ARM should file a complaint with AG Stein’s office here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

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