Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged Coppell, Tex.-based American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., the nation's largest independent subprime servicer, with allegedly "using illegal debt collection tactics and improperly misleading struggling homeowners."

According to a statement released by his office, American Home Mortgage collections agents used "aggressive and unlawful tactics to collect payments from Texas homeowners who had difficulty meeting their payment obligations." State investigators claim the defendant also failed to credit homeowners who properly submitted their payments on time.

The enforcement action charges American Home Mortgage with multiple violations of the Texas Debt Collection Act and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The state is also seeking civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation of the DTP.

Philippa Brown, a spokesperson for American Home Mortgage, said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

American Home Mortgage is owned by the private equity firm WL Ross & Co., which did not return a phone call for comment by deadline today.

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