CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office has announced nearly $20 million in debt cancellation for West Virginia consumers as part of a settlement with a debt collector.

The settlement with the company known, among other names, as Cavalry Investments and Cavalry Portfolio Services to forever cease efforts to collect $19.7 million in debt for 2,847 consumers, in addition to paying $350,000 to the state.

“This settlement provides significant relief directly to the affected consumers,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Companies operating in our state must respect our laws.”

The settlement, which stems from a 2010 case filed in Kanawha Circuit Court under former Attorney General Darrell McGraw, stems from an investigation into complaints alleging Cavalry engaged in debt collection practices without a West Virginia license and surety bond. Both are required by the state’s Collection Agency Act.

The investigation also revealed practices inconsistent with the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act. Those allegations included telephone abuse and harassment, along with a failure to identify the account owner in collection letters and in reporting alleged debts to consumer reporting agencies.

Cavalry agreed to delete all account information from the affected consumers’ credit records and release all liens filed against the consumers’ property. The company denied any allegation of wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

The AG's office filed a lawsuit after issuing an investigative subpoena requesting Cavalry suspend all collection activities. Among those named defendants were Cavalry Portfolio Services LLC, Cavalry Investments, SPV I and SPV II, all headquartered in New York.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-994

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