The Attorney General of Minnesota has obtained a settlement with a student loan debt relief company that illegally collected fees from individuals and misrepresented its services that will see the company pay the state more than $11,000 and cease operations in the state.
The company, Document Assist Center, is based in California and was accused of falsely promising to have individuals’ student loans forgiven, something only the federal government can do. The company did nothing more than enroll the individuals in federal repayment programs — which individuals could do for free on their own — and charge those individuals upfront and monthly fees for doing so. The company also charged upfront fees for debt settlement services, which is illegal under Minnesota law. The cherry on top of the enforcement action was the fact that the company was operating in Minnesota without registering as a debt settlement provider.
Under the terms of the settlement, the company is to repay all the money it collected from Minnesotans — $11,499, which will be used to repay the company’s customers. The company is also banned from operating in Minnesota unless it registers as a debt settlement provider.
“Minnesotans take out student loans in good faith so they can get educations that will help them better afford their lives. My office is showing once again that when companies take advantage of that good faith to rip Minnesotans off, we will come after them,” said Keith Ellison, the Attorney General of Minnesota, in a statement. “I encourage any Minnesotan who’s been preyed upon by this company or others like it to contact my office so we can hold these bad actors accountable.”