The men behind Hylan Asset Management have agreed to pay $675,575 in fines and shut down the company after being accused last year of buying and selling millions of dollars in fake debt portfolios and Worldwide Processing Group LLP, one of the agencies used by Hylan to collect on its debts, has agreed pay a fine of $118,000 and is barred from engaging in deceptive or misleading collection practices.
The settlements were announced Friday by the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General of New York.
Andrew Shaevel and Jon Purizhansky, the principals of Hylan Asset Management, have agreed to “dismantle and never again seek collections” on its debt portfolio, according to a published report. Shaevel and Hylan were accused last year of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using illegal tactics, including failing to provide required notices about the debt and consumers’ rights to dispute the debt, and threatening to contact, or contacting, family members or other third parties, according to the FTC, to collect on debts that some individuals did not owe.
An attorney representing Hylan Asset Management and Shaevel said the company admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement. The company had stopped collecting on its portfolio when the complaint was filed last year by the FTC and New York AG’s office. Hylan had made about $24 million in its collection and debt buying efforts between 2014 and 2018.
“If there was any phantom debt in the debt portfolios that Hylan purchased, Hylan’s principals were unaware of it,” Vacco said on Friday.
When asked by The News whether Hylan officials now realize they were trying to collect on some phantom debts, Vacco said, “I’m going to stand with the statement I’ve already given you.”
Vacco said that even though the company thought it could prevail at trial, the expense of doing so was cost prohibitive and the amount reached in the settlement, “was a small fraction of the cost to litigate,” and allowed everyone “to put this matter behind them.”
Months after the complaint was filed, Shaevel said in an interview that he regretted getting into the business buying and selling debt.