Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has ordered an unlicensed debt relief company to issue refunds to North Dakota consumers and to cease doing business in North Dakota until the company is in full compliance with the state’s licensing law.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division initiated an investigation into California-based Students Loan Services, LLC, after receiving a complaint from a woman who had paid the company almost $900, but after several months it had not provided the services she had been promised or taken any action to reduce her student loan debt. After the consumer filed the complaint with the Attorney General’s office, the company made a full refund.
Investigators determined that the company was not licensed in North Dakota. Debt relief companies must be licensed by the ND Department of Financial Institutions and post a bond with the state. In communications with the company and its representatives, investigators learned that Students Loan Services, LLC had entered into contracts with eighteen North Dakota residents. The company has agreed to cancel agreements and issue refunds to any of its customers in North Dakota who request it, and to refrain from soliciting any new business until it complies with the state’s licensing requirements.
Student loan relief companies offer to help reduce or eliminate the consumers’ loan payments and debts by submitting applications on the consumer’s behalf to the US Department of Education. These companies charge significant fees for results the consumers could have obtained for free.
For information about student loan forgiveness, visit the Department of Education’s website, www.ed.gov.
Customers who signed up with Students Loan Services, LLC can contact the consumer protection division at 701-328-3404 for assistance in canceling the contract and obtaining a refund from the company.