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Attorney General DeWine Sues Out-of-State Debt Collectors for Threatening and Harassing Ohioans


(CLEVELAND)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against the operators of a debt collection operation accused of threatening, harassing, and misleading consumers while trying to collect debt.

The lawsuit accuses the operation of using the fictitious business names of “LRS Litigations,” “IRS Equity,” and “Worldwide Requisitions” and using obscene language, threats of jail time, and misrepresentations while trying to collect debt from consumers, but failing to provide proof of the debt.

The operation generated more than 130 complaints to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“Our investigation determined that this operation routinely lied to, threatened, and harassed consumers to try to trick them into paying debts they did not owe,” Attorney General DeWine said. “The people behind this scheme need to be held accountable, and consumers need to know that they don’t have to take this kind of abuse.”

LRS Litigations supposedly had a business address of 600 Superior Avenue East, Ste. 1300, in Cleveland, but an investigation by Attorney General DeWine’s Consumer Protection Section determined that the business did not operate in Cleveland.

The Attorney General’s lawsuit names Mohan Bagga of Duluth, Georgia, Marcus Brown of Buffalo, New York, and Universal Debt & Payment Solutions LLC as defendants.

Filed in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, the lawsuit accuses the defendants of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by:

  • Harassing consumers and using obscene language when trying to collect debt.
  • Placing multiple, harassing phone calls in a short period of time.
  • Failing to disclose a caller’s identity to the consumer.
  • Failing to provide written notices to consumers about the debt they supposedly owed.
  • Using false, deceptive, or misleading representations.
  • Lying about how much or what kind of debt consumers owed.
  • Falsely threatening consumers with arrest, legal action, or imprisonment if they failed to pay.
  • Unfairly threatening to take consumers’ property or wages if they fail to pay.
  • Accepting consumers’ payments in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In the lawsuit, Attorney General DeWine seeks restitution for consumers, civil penalties, and an end to any unfair or deceptive practices committed by the defendants.

Under state and federal law, third-party debt collectors cannot harass or use obscene words when talking to consumers. They also cannot contact consumers without identifying themselves, and within five days after contacting a consumer by phone, they must send the consumer a letter explaining how much the consumer owes and how long the consumer has to dispute the debt. In turn, consumers have the right to request verification of the debt.

Consumers who suspect unfair or deceptive debt collection practices should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.



Lawsuit (PDF)

Media Contacts

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840

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