New York City Ratchets-Up Consequences for Businesses With Outstanding Fines
NYC Department of Consumers Affairs DCA Defense Lawyer
Recent reports indicate that local businesses with outstanding fines may be facing licensure suspension and revocations. The policy is clear – deter misconduct in tandem with helping the city capture the money it is owed.
According to a recent report by Crain’s New York Business, as of October 2017 New York City was due $1.5 billion in outstanding violations. Officials consider about half of that impossible to collect because, for example, the infractions are owed by businesses that have closed or property owners who cannot be located.
To incentive payment, in 201 city agencies vested with the ability to deny licenses to businesses that flout the law. According to Crain’s, under the DCA’s proposed rules states that new license applications or permits may be denied – and existing licenses and applications may be suspended or revoked – if businesses have unpaid fines that meet various thresholds.
NYC DCA Lawyer on Recent Action
The NYC DCA recently settled an investigation with a debt collection agency for using illegal collection letters. According to the Department, a licensed debt collection agency sent illegal collection letters to tens of thousands of New Yorkers. The settlement resolves DCA’s findings that the debt collection agency failed to include information required by law on their collection letters, including the name of the agency and the name of a live contact to whom the consumer could speak. DCA investigated as part of a proactive investigative initiative of debt collection agencies and their practices.
The agreement requires the company to pay a $105,000 fine, and to develop, implement and monitor written policies to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement and all applicable DCA regulations. The written policies must address training and compliance across all languages in which the agency collects.
“For many years, debt collection was DCA’s top complaint category and though the number of complaints has started to decline, we know that New Yorkers are still struggling with debt and continue to be contacted by debt collectors,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “Even in the absence of complaints, DCA will continue its oversight of this industry to ensure debt collectors are following the law, which is why we are proactively investigating …”
The DCA currently licenses approximately 1,600 debt collection agencies.
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