GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A federal watchdog agency is suing a debt collection company and its owner, accusing them of collecting debts without a reasonable basis to assert that consumers owed the money.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed its lawsuit on Wednesday against Beltsville, Maryland-based Fair Collections & Outsourcing Inc. and other related companies owned by Michael Sobota of Ormond Beach, Florida.

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The suit alleges Sobota’s company has failed to ensure the “accuracy and integrity” of information it provides to consumer-reporting agencies.
Sobota said in a statement that a bureau audit of his company didn’t turn up “a single instance of consumer harm.”

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The company collects debts on behalf of large apartment complexes and assisted-living facilities.

The suit says it currently furnishes information to consumer-reporting agencies on approximately 500,000 debt collection accounts.

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