Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office has banned three collection attorneys from collecting debts in the state after accusing them of using unfair tactics.

Marvin Brandon is permanently banned from collecting in Colorado; Jack H. Boyajian is prohibited from doing so for five years; and Karen Nations received a three-year moratorium, according to a consent decree issued by Denver District Judge Morris Hoffman. The decree bars the lawyers and their firms from violating Colorado's debt collection and consumer protection laws.

According to the decree, among the types of debt the lawyers or their firms attempted to collect were "NSF", or bad, checks the consumers allegedly wrote to merchants or other people. Many of the bounced checks were outside the statute of limitations for legal action. The number of consumers from whom the defendants have collected, or attempted to collect, debts, are "in the thousands," according to the attorney general's office.

In some cases, the defendants added fees exceeding the amounts allowed by law and demanded penalties of up to three times the amount of the bounced check. Such "treble damages" only can be assessed following a successful lawsuit, said the attorney general.

Each of the law firms named in the lawsuit filed by the state was incorporated in California with main offices in New Jersey. None of the three lawyers were licensed to practice law in Colorado, according to the AG's office. All the law firms and the one associated business are now defunct, according to the Attorney General.

The firms named in the lawsuit include: JBC & Associates; JBC Legal Group; Boyajian Law Offices; Boyajian & Brandon Legal Group; and Outsource Recovery Management Inc.

The decree requires that Boyajian and the law firms pay the state $200,000 in costs and fees, though $180,000 of the amount against Boyajian will be suspended if he pays the remaining $20,000 in a cetain timeframe. Additional terms of the settlement would allow Boyajian and Nations to resume collecting in Colorado once their bans end, assuming they obtain licenses from the state.

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