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Borrower Beware: Academic Debt Alliance LLC

Loans, Student Loans
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This company is on the NerdWallet Student Loan Watch List. The list flags student-loan businesses and individuals hit by enforcement actions, court judgments or liens, or bad ratings from the Better Business Bureau. Learn more in Who Gets Listed. Have you dealt with this business, or encountered a suspicious student-loan company that NerdWallet public interest reporters should investigate? Let us know at watchlist@nerdwallet.com.

Academic Debt Alliance LLC agreed in 2016 to stop providing debt adjustment/settlement services in Georgia and to pay penalties and refunds after the state attorney general said the company had used illegal debt-adjustment practices. The company continued operating nationwide.

The attorney general said Academic Debt Alliance, also known as Academic Alliance, collected illegal and excessive upfront fees and made misleading statements on its website.

Enforcement actions:  The company agreed under the settlement filed in a Georgia court to cease operations and refund about $28,000 to consumers. The company also agreed to put a boldface notice on every page of its website saying its services are not available to Georgia residents.

ADA also agreed to immediately stop budget counseling and pay a $5,000 fine. Under the agreement, the company did not admit violating Georgia law.

ADA continued soliciting business nationally, charging borrowers to complete U.S. Education Department loan-forgiveness and consolidation documents that they could fill out themselves for free online.

Website: https://academicdebtalliance.com/

What the company claimed to provide: Assistance to student-loan borrowers, helping customers complete documents to qualify for debt forgiveness or consolidation

Based: Lake Worth, Florida

Management: Blaine Burdette, Melissa Burns and Richard Eyring.  ADA is a member of the Association for Student Loan Relief.

Source: Georgia attorney general’s office

This updated entry clarifies that the Georgia attorney general forced Academic Debt Alliance LLC to agree to stop providing debt adjustment services to consumers in the state and to pay a fine and restitution to former customers. The agreement was filed with a court, not ordered by the attorney general or the court.