After it received a number of complaints, a Eugene, Oregon-based law firm was recently forced to close its doors after reaching a settlement with the Oregon Department of Justice. In a statement, a representative from the Oregon DOH said that the firm had acted improperly, had used illegal methods and had caused undue stress for a number of citizens in the state.
The state's DOJ's chief of staff, Keith Dubanevich, said that his agency was committed to fighting for the rights of consumers with its latest action to shut down McGavic & Finney PC. It also forced it to pay $70,000 and took its law license. "At a time when many Oregonians are struggling to manage their debt, the Department of Justice is committed to holding unscrupulous debt collectors accountable," Dubanevich said. The firm was charged with systematically ignoring rules that protected consumer rights that are guaranteed under the Oregon and Federal Debt Collection
Practices acts. In one case the firm purposefully misidentified customers in documents in order to delay the person's response time as a way to increase the fees that it charged them. In addition, it had also not provided proper verification of debts to those it was targeting and refused to give people proof of the debts in writing, as it is required to do under the law. The firm also was found to have created false court documents which told people that there had been judgments made against them. "The Department of Justice's investigation also uncovered McGavic's pattern of falsifying fee affidavits in Motions for Default Judgments by claiming services he did not perform," the department said in a release. "In addition, McGavic allegedly provided his office staff with a schedule to be used to arbitrarily increase the fees claimed - depending on the amount of money claimed or the venue of the action." Others in the debt collection industry have been taken to task for nefarious practices as well. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Tobias W. Boyland is facing 15 years behind bars after he used illegal tactics to collect money. Boyland allegedly made threats against clients, including saying he would take action against them with a weapon.