Nearly four years ago, federal regulators shut down a debt relief company — Morgan Drexen — accused of deceiving customers with promises of reducing their debt and charging illegal upfront fees to do so. While that company eventually paid $170 million to resolve the allegations, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Monday sued a related company using the same playbook. [More]
Federal law bars debt relief services from receiving upfront fees before they’ve even renegotiated a single debt for a customer. But one student loan debt relief operation allegedly took in nearly $3.6 million in illegal fees, only to enroll borrowers in programs that are already available for free.
Back in 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Morgan Drexen, accusing the debt relief company of deceiving customers with promises of reducing their debt and charging illegal upfront fees to do so. Today, the Bureau announced a federal district court approved a final judgement requiring the company to pay $132.8 million in restitution and a $40 million civil penalty. [More]
Last December, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against Student Loan Processing.US, a debt relief operation, that allegedly reaped millions of dollars from thousands of consumer by promising to provide repayment benefits that come free of charge with federal student loans. Today, the agency took steps to put an end to the organization once and for all. [More]
Even though it’s incredibly easy to slap a government agency’s logo on your website, that doesn’t make it okay. Just ask the two debt relief companies that have been ordered to stop using Department of Education logos to mislead student loan borrowers. [More]
Nearly 7,000 additional former students of defunct for-profit chain Corinthian College will have their loan debt erased by the federal government. While the $103 million tab sounds like a lot, it’s only a fraction of the billions of dollars that Wyotech, Heald College and Everest University charged in tuition. [More]
Being in debt can be paralyzing, leaving some people with the feeling like they’ll never climb their way out of the hole. So when a company promises it can help ease that burden, it might some like a good idea to spend even more money in the hope that you’ll ultimately be pointed in the right financial direction. Federal regulators say one debt relief operation took in $67 million from customers in need of help, but most of that money just went to the firm’s fees while the customers’ debts continued to pile up. [More]
The Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission make a pretty effective pair when it comes to putting an end to companies and operations taking advantage of consumers. Just a day after the regulator and state’s attorney general teamed up to sue a company behind medical alert robocalls, the two entities announced they shut down a debt relief scheme that took million from consumers with credit card debt. [More]
CFPB Asks Google, Bing & Yahoo To Help Stop Student Loan Debt Scams That Imply Affiliation With Feds
The Internet is teeming with scammers, fraudsters, and hustlers determined to part consumers from their money, and as a $1.2 trillion venture, student loans often present an attractive avenue for these ne’er-do-wells. In order to better protect individuals from such schemes, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is enlisting the help of the country’s major search engines. [More]
Senators Chastise Govt. For Making Money Off Struggling Student Loan Borrowers, Not Offering Enough Relief
For several years now the government has offered federal student loan forgiveness programs aimed at helping borrowers to avoid defaulting on their debts. While recent reports have shown that the popularity of the programs has exceeded expectations, a group of six senators say the Department of Education could do more given the billions of dollars in payments it receives from federal loans each year. [More]
It’s probably safe to assume that consumers stuck in the payday loan debt-trap have enough financial issues without being deceived by a company promising to make their debts disappear. There may be one less unsavory debt relief company around after the Federal Trade Commission sued to stop an operation that targeted millions of consumers. [More]
Student loan borrowers have enough to worry about, so they shouldn’t have to deal with being hounded by so-called debt relief companies promising to provide consumers with repayment benefits that actually come free of charge with federal loans. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action to put a stop to two such relief scams that reaped millions of dollars from thousands of consumers. [More]
Charging up front for debt-relief services without any actual results for the customer is illegal. But despite that, says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a payment processing company processed millions of dollars worth of illegal fees from consumers.
Being elbows-deep in debt is a scary thing, so when a service tells you that you can “become debt free and enjoy financial independence” and that it can reduce how much you owe by “70 to 80 percent on average including all fees,” it might be tempting to give it a shot. But don’t be shocked when you end up scammed out of whatever money you have. [More]
We occasionally have the TV turned on in the background here at the Consumerist Batcave, so we know that anyone in the market for a sketchy debt-relief firm has many, many options to avoid calling. But now there are a few fewer questionable companies littering the daytime airwaves because the Federal Trade Commission has halted the operations of four services that allegedly made false claims about being lawyers, debited money from people who did not actually order the services — oh, and failed to get any significant debt relief for the customers that actually signed up.
With many Americans still weighed down by debt, there seem to be an endless number of firms out there offering to help save people from the quicksand. Alas, not all of these people are completely on the up-and-up.