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CONSUMER LOAN BUSINESS PAYS $25,000 TO SETTLE STATE'S ALLEGATIONS

 HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A California-based consumer loan business with 35 offices in 27 Pennsylvania counties has paid $25,000 to settle allegations it violated state debt-collection regulations by making improper calls to consumers at work, Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. announced.
 The payment was required under terms of an "assurance of voluntary compliance" negotiated by Preate's office with Security Pacific Financial Services Inc., 10089 Willow Creek Road, San Diego.
 Preate said Security Pacific paid $3,000 in 1989 to settle similar allegations.
 The latest action was filed today in Erie County Common Pleas Court by Deputy Attorney General Daniel R. Goodemote, attorney-in-charge of the Erie office of Preate's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
 Preate said the company allegedly violated the state's Debt Collection Trade Practices Regulations, in part by calling debtors at their place of employment.
 The regulations prohibit debt collectors from telephoning a debtor at work unless the collector has been unable to contact the debtor through telephone calls or visits to the debtor's home during the preceding 30 days, the Attorney General said.
 "Collectors also are barred from contacting a debtor at his or her job if the collector has been told that the employer prohibits such contacts," Preate said.
 He said Security Pacific also allegedly violated regulations prohibiting debt collectors from disclosing the existence of debts to third parties and limiting the frequency of calls to debtors.
 Although not admitting wrongdoing, Security Pacific agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty and $15,000 in costs of investigation.
 In November 1989 Security Pacific paid $3,000 in costs of investigation under terms of an assurance alleging that the company made improper calls to debtors at work.
 "I urge consumers to pay their debts promptly," Preate said. "But I will not permit debt collectors to harass consumers or to otherwise violate state debt-collection law."
 Security Pacific has Pennsylvania offices in Allegheny, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon, Montgomery, Montour, Lancaster, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Schuylkill, Snyder, Venango, Washington and York counties.
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 /CONTACT: Jack J. Lewis, assistant press secretary of the Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211, or at home, 717-657-9840/


CO: Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MK -- PH005 -- 7567 11/24/93 10:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 24, 1993
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