Lawsuits against three national debt collectors allege that they have been operating in South Florida without proper licenses, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Scott D. Owens, a Hallandale Beach lawyer, has filed several civil lawsuits against the companies, which he hopes will result in a major class-action victory for debtors. "Without the appropriate license, they don't have the right to place a phone call, write a letter or file a lawsuit trying to collect the money," Owens told the news source. Unlicensed agents at the three firms have allegedly attempted to collect millions of dollars of consumer debt and student loans from Florida residents over the past four years. Owens hopes as a result of the suit, the companies will pay back most of what was collected as well as legal costs. The Idaho Statesman recently covered a similar story involving Texas-based National Patient Account Services, an unlicensed hospital debt collector, which contacted more than 50,000 Idaho residents between May 2009 and October 2010. The company settled for $100,000 and is now licensed to work in the state.