Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Hennepin County (Minn.) District Court alleging Afni Inc., a Bloomington, Ill.-based collection agency, engaged in unfair collection practices - including not verifying the validity of debts and not taking action to remove debts from consumers' credit reports when necessary.
The lawsuit also alleges Afni sometimes continued collection efforts after consumers provided information, at Afni's request, that proved the agency was going after the wrong person.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, once a consumer notifies an agency seeking proof of a debt, the burden is on the agency to prove the money is owed. Failing to do so means the agency is required by law to stop collecting.
Afni officials did not return calls seeking comment. The agency is privately held and has offices in Illinois, Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, Missouri and Alabama.