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The Federal Trade Commission won a $2.3 million default judgment against Select Document Preparation, affiliated companies and owners in 2016 for defrauding student loan borrowers.
The company charged illegal fees of between $500 and $800 to lower borrowers’ monthly loan payments, secure debt forgiveness or lift wage garnishments and tax liens, the FTC said in its federal court complaint.
The FTC said the company often did none of those things and failed to refund customers’ money. In some instances, the FTC said, the company entered into forbearance agreements with lenders on behalf of consumers without consumers’ permission, subjecting them unknowingly to further interest payments.
The company also falsely suggested to borrowers that it was affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.
Enforcement actions: In addition to the $2.3 million penalty imposed by a federal judge, the company and its owners were banned by U.S. District Court in California from advertising, promoting or selling debt-relief products.
What the company claims to provide: Lowered monthly payments on student loans, loan forgiveness assistance and help resolving wage garnishments and tax liens.
Based: Los Angeles
Management: Tobias West, aka Tobey West, Toby West and Eric West, owner; Komal West, chief operating officer
Source: Federal Trade Commission; U.S. District Court, California