For student loan problems, be careful whom you pay.
Like many attorneys, I give free consultations.
And have a written retainer agreement before I take
any money from clients.
Game of Loans
Full marks to whoever came up with the name for the crackdown on crooked student debt relief providers.
Federal and state authorities are cracking down on multiple purveyors of so-called “student loan debt relief,” alleging that the companies took in more than $95 million in illegal up-front fees from American consumers in exchange for little or no help.
Con men everywhere.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
They know folks weighed down with student loan debt are desperate.
They tell you what you want to here, whatever makes you feel good enough to send them your money.
Officials say the debt relief businesses employed a variety of deceptions, including pretending to be affiliated with a federal debt relief program or a loan servicer, falsely promising to reduce or forgive debt and charging illegal upfront fees. Some of the businesses would invoke real federal debt relief programs – but fail to mention that these programs are free to apply for, narrowly designed and most consumers do not qualify.
Of course, the government does not make it easy to figure out what repayment plans are available for the different student loan programs that it has.
You can find information on the government website, linked to in the quote below.
The FTC says borrowers should be wary of anyone who promises they can reduce or wipe out federal student debt. For accurate information, including repayment plans and a calculator, the government advises consumers to start here.
As listed in the story, but, by no means a complete list of student debt relief scumbags:
The companies include: A1 DocPrep. Inc., based in Los Angeles; American Student Loan Consolidators, based in Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Alliance Document Preparation, based in Los Angeles; Student Debt Doctor, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Student Debt Relief Group, based in Los Angeles. Some of the companies did businesses under multiple different names.
In addition to the five new cases announced Friday, the FTC was granted summary judgment in a case against Student Aid Center, based in Doral, Fla., and won a stipulated preliminary injunction in its case against Strategic Student Solutions, based in Boca Raton, Fla.
Unfortunately, lots of these bad actors are like whack-a-mole, they get shut down one place, and open up across town, or across the web, under a different name.