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FTC: Auto loan lender to pay $5.5 million to settle charges it harassed borrowers, took money

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Auto loans provider Consumer Portfolio Services will pay $5.5 million to settle charges that it harassed people and collected money that consumers did not owe.

The Federal Trade Commission said Friday that the Irvine, California lender agreed to pay more than $3.5 million to refund customers, or adjust 128,000 customer accounts. The remainder of the settlement will be used to address civil penalties.

The FTC says that Consumer Portfolio Services Inc. misrepresented fees owed in monthly statements, called customers at work, which is not permitted, withdrew money from bank accounts without authorization, falsely threatened car repossession and spoke about people's debts to their family, friends and employers.

CPS did not respond to a request for comment.

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