BALTIMORE (May 12, 2011) Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced on May 6 that his Consumer Protection Division has entered into a Stipulation and Agreed Order with the Liquidating Trustee for Movie Gallery, Inc./Hollywood Video (Hollywood Video) concerning the companys debt collection practices.
Hollywood Video hired an independent company to collect outstanding late fees and product fees owed by consumers to the now-defunct video rental company. Collection efforts by the independent collection company were made without proper notice to consumers of amounts claimed to be due and without verification of the accuracy of the amounts claimed to be due from consumers. The collection company added collection fees and interest to the amounts claimed to be due to Hollywood Video and made negative credit reports to reporting agencies about the accounts.
Maryland is committed to insuring that consumers are protected from unscrupulous debt collection companies that engage in fraudulent or illegal behavior, said Attorney General Gansler. This agreement will provide relief from improper collection practices.
Under the terms of the Stipulation, Hollywood Video will immediately rescind any outstanding adverse credit reports and refrain from reporting adverse information to reporting agencies in the future. If a consumer disputes the validity of a collection notice from Hollywood Video, Hollywood will immediately cease collection efforts from the consumer until the account is reviewed and verified to be accurate. In addition, in instances where Hollywood Video asserts that a consumer owes both a late fee and product fee, Hollywood will seek to collect only the lesser of the two fees and will forego collection of any interest or collection fees on the account.
Hollywood Video has agreed that any future purchaser of its customer accounts will be required to comply with the terms of the Stipulation. Consumers who have complaints about individual accounts can contact Hollywood Video directly at Movie Gallery, Inc., Hollywood Entertainment Corp., 7405 SW Tech Center Drive, Suite 130, Tigard, OR 97223 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consumers can also contact the Office of the Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Division for additional information or assistance at 410-528-8662.
Source: Office of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler