Capital One Agrees to Payout, Policy Changes to Settle Lawsuit

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Capitol One will pay $2 million to settle litigation with prosecutors in four counties, including Los Angeles, over the company's debt collection practices, authorities announced Thursday.

The McLean, Virginia-based financial institution was sued by district attorney's offices in Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Clara counties after evidence was amassed indicating Capital One's representatives made "unreasonably excessive calls to collect past due accounts," according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors determined there had been alleged violations of California's Rosenthal Act and the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act going back to March 2015.

Capital One did not admit or deny anything under the stipulated judgment, which was reached during proceedings in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where the civil action was filed.

The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It agreed to pay a total of $1.45 million in civil penalties, $300,000 in investigative costs and $250,000 in victim restitution, according to prosecutors.

"Repeated phone calls from debt collectors intended to annoy, abuse or harass consumers is illegal and wrong," Gascón said. "My office will continue to do what is best for consumers when companies violate state laws and take advantage of them."

Under the negotiated deal, Capital One vowed to implement policy changes to prevent intrusive and bothersome debt collection calls over the next four years.

The settlement specifies that the financial concern's representatives "not make more than seven calls to an account in a consecutive seven-day period, stop all calls to accounts that do not have a valid telephone number and no longer call those people who request verbally or in writing that they not be contacted," the D.A.'s office stated.

The settlement bears similarities to ones reached in the last few years with Allied Interstate and Synchrony Bank, according to prosecutors.

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