Attorney General James Shuts Down Illegal Debt Collection Businesses, Recovers $1.2 Million

Collectors Designed Unlawful, Untrue, and Misleading
Threats to People to Gather Debt

AG James Encourages New Yorkers Who Fell Sufferer
to These Deceptive Financial debt Collectors to File a Assert

BUFFALO – New York Attorney General Letitia James these days announced she is shutting down an unlawful personal debt collection scheme functioning in western New York and recovering $1.2 million in penalties and restitution for victims. An agreement with Buffalo-based mostly debt collector Andrew Fanelli and his providers — Northwood Asset Management Team LLC, Pinnacle Asset Restoration Team LLC, and Koalaty Shell out LLC — permanently bans them from any upcoming buyer debt assortment. Collectors doing work for Fanelli’s businesses routinely made use of unlawful ways to gather buyer personal debt, which include fake threats of criminal motion, wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, and lawsuits. 

“New Yorkers can believe in that I will always stand up for our most vulnerable, specially when their wallets are at possibility,” explained Attorney Typical James. “While illegal financial debt collectors have made use of Buffalo as their hub of functions for illicit conduct for yrs, we are continuing to battle again and shut down these providers one by a single. The unlawful behavior perpetrated by Andrew Fanelli and his companies defrauded people, but this arrangement will stop their illegal actions, after and for all. I inspire everyone who may possibly have fallen target to these misleading financial debt collectors to instantly file a declare with our workplace to get better what was unlawfully taken from them.”

Fanelli commenced his debt assortment profession amassing debts for Douglas MacKinnon, an unlawful personal debt collection kingpin shut down by Legal professional Basic James in 2019. His firm operated as Fanelli and Associates, later on transforming its title to Northwood Asset Management Group. Fanelli also used a different one particular of his firms, Pinnacle Asset Restoration, to invest in consumer credit card debt. Simply call recordings obtained by the Workplace of the Lawyer Typical (OAG) uncovered that collectors operating for Fanelli routinely applied deceptive and unlawful threats to collect on shopper debts.

Fanelli also operated as a credit card debt broker, marketing debts to and inserting money owed for selection with other collectors that engaged in egregious violations of the regulation. For example, Fanelli placed debts with Kenneth Thomas’s organization, Halfway Resolution Companies LLC, which defrauded and harassed customers by working with call spoofing and impersonating governing administration officials to collect debts. Thomas and his business have been sued by the OAG in September 2020 and have considering that been shut down and have been banned from the debt assortment marketplace. Fanelli also operated Koalaty Shell out LLC, a business that assisted other unlawful credit card debt collectors receive payment processing services.

This settlement forever bans Fanelli and his businesses from participating in consumer financial debt selection, customer personal debt brokering, shopper lending, credit card debt settlement, credit rating fix providers, and payment processing. Inside of six months, Fanelli is necessary to dissolve all of his providers.

The settlement also requires Fanelli and his providers to pay $1.2 million to the OAG in restitution and penalties.

Any customer who was the matter of wrong and illegal threats by Northwood Asset Management Group may possibly be entitled to restitution and really should promptly file a complaint with the OAG’s Buffalo Regional Workplace. 

This scenario is getting taken care of by Deputy Assistant Legal professional Standard in Demand of the Buffalo Regional Business Christopher L. Boyd, with support from Senior Shopper Fraud Representative Karen Davis. The Buffalo Regional Office environment is led by Assistant Legal professional Typical in Cost Michael Russo and is a element of the Division of Regional Affairs. The Division of Regional Affairs is led by Deputy Legal professional Normal for Regional Affairs Jill Faber and is overseen by Initially Deputy Legal professional Standard Jennifer Levy. 


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