Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office has banned three lawyers from collecting debts in the state after accusing them of using unfair tactics.
Marvin Brandon is permanently banned from collecting on debts in Colorado, according to a consent decree approved Monday by Denver District Judge Morris Hoffman.
Jack H. Boyajian is prohibited from doing so for five years, and Karen Nations received a three-year ban.
The decree specifies that bad checks the consumers allegedly wrote to merchants or others were among the types of debt the lawyers or their firms tried to collect. However, the statute of limitations had expired for many of the bounced checks.
The number of consumers from whom the defendants have collected, or tried 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 after a successful lawsuit, the attorney general said.
Each law firm named in the state's lawsuit was incorporated in California and had main offices in New Jersey. None of the three lawyers was licensed to practice law in Colorado, according to the attorney general's office. All the law firms and an 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 for costs and fees.
However, $180,000 of the amount against Boyajian is to be suspended if he pays the remaining $20,000 within a specified period.