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Federal Watchdog Sues Maryland Debt Collection Company

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A federal watchdog agency is suing a debt collection company and its owner, accusing them of collecting debts without a reasonable basis to assert that consumers owed the money.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed its lawsuit on Wednesday against Beltsville, Maryland-based Fair Collections & Outsourcing Inc. and other related companies owned by Michael Sobota of Ormond Beach, Florida.

The suit alleges Sobota's company has failed to ensure the "accuracy and integrity" of information it provides to consumer-reporting agencies.
Sobota said in a statement that a bureau audit of his company didn't turn up "a single instance of consumer harm."

The company collects debts on behalf of large apartment complexes and assisted-living facilities.

The suit says it currently furnishes information to consumer-reporting agencies on approximately 500,000 debt collection accounts.

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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