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Help Assist Me Default Resolution Services was barred from doing debt-settlement business in Illinois and was ordered in 2016 to pay a $10,000 civil penalty.
The Illinois attorney general sued the company in 2015, accusing it of charging upfront fees between $350 and $1,200 to student-loan borrowers who sought help lowering their monthly payments or getting out of default. The company would then complete an application for federal borrower assistance that is available free to consumers from the U.S. Education Department, the lawsuit said.
Advertisements for the company also erroneously claimed it could erase student-loan debt by enrolling borrowers in forgiveness programs, the state alleged. “Default is Bad,” read one such advertisement. “Forgiveness is Good! Ready to Fix your Loans? We think you should!”
Enforcement actions: An Illinois judge entered a default judgment in 2016 for unfair and deceptive practices. In addition to the fine and the ban on selling student loan relief services in the state, the order voided all of the company’s contracts in Illinois and required restitution of $820 to two consumers.
The Illinois judgment left the companies free to do business in any other state.
What the company claims to provide: Help lowering monthly payments, getting out of default, removing wage garnishments and seeking loan forgiveness
Management: Scott Klein, principal; Derek Kramer, vice president; Cornelius Scott, member
Sources: Illinois attorney general; Cook County Circuit Court; Florida Department of State; Georgia Department of Revenue