DLLR's Commissioner of Financial Regulation Issues Summary Suspension Order Against Mann-Bracken, a Leading Debt Collections Law Firm


BALTIMORE (January 14, 2010) - Sarah Bloom Raskin, Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, today announced that her office, a division of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, has summarily suspended the collections activities of Rockville-based Mann-Bracken, which describes itself as one of the nation's largest debt collections law firms. This enforcement action follows an investigation which revealed that Mann-Bracken was ceasing business activities, such as failing to cash checks that had been sent to the firm in connection with collection related matters. Last week, the firm notified Maryland courts that it "will be closing at the end of the month" and was "working with clients to transfer cases."

"We are determined to make sure that consumers receive the protections they deserve whether collections are done through the mail, on the phone or, increasingly, through our courts. When they do not, we will act and act quickly," DLLR Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez said.

The State Collection Agency Licensing Board, a board within DLLR's Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, issued a summary order today that suspends all of the firm's consumer debt collections activities, including collections actions in Maryland courts, and prohibits the filing of further collections-related cases.

"This is yet another in a string of problems we are uncovering as the collections industry has made a headlong rush for our state's courtrooms," Commissioner Raskin said.

Last month, the Commissioner of Financial Regulation reached an agreement with Encore Capital, Midland Credit Management and related parties to settle alleged violations of federal and state debt collection laws. That settlement included a civil penalty of $998,000 and an agreement to alter certain business practices to ensure that both their litigation-related collection activities and their non-litigation (or "traditional") debt collection activities comply with all applicable state and federal laws. Mann-Bracken represented Encore-Midland, as well as various other businesses, in thousands of collections-related actions initiated in Maryland courts over recent years.

The Settlement Agreement (PDF document, 922KB, download Adobe Acrobat for free) is available online on the Commissioner's website.