W.Va. AG Secures Quick Judgment In Unlawful Debt Negotiator Case

Updated 40 weeks ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey secured a judgment for more than $49,000 against a California-based lawyer after a court found that his debt negotiation firm failed to comply with an earlier settlement.

 
Matthews Law Firm Inc. and Arturo Matthews, Jr., its sole owner and operator, initially agreed to pay $62,000 to resolve a state investigation – an amount they then failed to pay in full leaving an owed balance of $49,548.99.
 
The Attorney General petitioned the court in October to enforce the settlement, which prompted Matthews to acknowledge his failure to comply and consent to a judgment ordering that he pay the outstanding balance.
 
“I am pleased that the owner of this business has agreed to pay for the harm done to West Virginia consumers,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Any business that violates state law will be held accountable.”
 
Matthews Law Firm and its owner, both based in Tustin, California, had offered debt settlement and negotiation services to consumers in West Virginia, a legal practice that is only permitted within the state by practicing lawyers licensed in West Virginia.
 
Debt settlement typically involves consumers who stop payments on their credit card debts and instead send money to a third-party debt settlement company, which upon payment of upfront fees, attempts to use any additional funds to settle the consumer’s accounts for less than what is owed.
 
However, consumers often report that few if any accounts are ever settled despite payment of thousands of dollars for the service.
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