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Just about a year ago, we told you about a case the FTC brought against a student loan debt relief firm. The FTC alleged that the operators of Mission Hills Federal, Federal Direct Group, National Secure Processing, and The Student Loan Group bilked borrowers out of millions of dollars. The FTC said the companies lured people with false promises to pay down student loans and lower monthly payments. The FTC also claimed the companies lied about taking over the servicing of the loans, which tricked people into submitting loan payments directly to them. In fact, the defendants diverted borrower payments to themselves.

Today, we have some great news to share: a federal court in California has ruled in our favor. What does that mean? The defendants will be permanently banned from the telemarketing and debt relief businesses. What’s more, the ruling also imposes a $27.6 million judgment. The portion of that amount collected by the FTC may be used to refund people affected by the defendants’ scheme. Stay tuned for more information on possible refunds.

If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed by student loan debt, know this: It’s illegal for companies to charge you for debt relief services before they help you, and some of the companies that promise relief are scams. If you have questions about federal student loans, start with StudentAid.gov/repay. If you have private loans, talk with your loan servicer. For more information, check out ftc.gov/StudentLoans.

Here are a few tips to help avoid debt relief scams.

Learn more about what the FTC is doing to help protect consumers. Sign up for our consumer alerts.

 

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14 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Roll Tide
July 20, 2020
Ms. Tressler: Thank you so very much for this wonderful news. As a retiree with 46 years of experience of College Recruiting/Relations for two major Aero-Space companies, I am so happy to hear the result of FTC's fantastic work on behalf of these young people.
ARIVAS60
July 20, 2020
it's wonderful to hear that these scammers were dealt with and innocent people will get refunded!
EDUCATION
July 20, 2020
Good advice
UTexas_Student…
July 21, 2020
I now know I have played into the hands of sooooo many scams. It's not even worth backtracking at this point. I will never give out my information again unless I reverify the sources. To this day, I am getting scam calls that never seem to end. I changed my number in Feb 2020 yet I am still being contacted. Insanity.
Veryconcerned
July 22, 2020
Docuservice.us is one of these companies and they have all of my information.
Fell for it
August 04, 2020
Thank you for the updates. I am a victim of this fraud scam and want to make sure I am included in any reimbursement. I have my original contract and documents to provide as proof.
waverunnermv
August 05, 2020
I've been getting a lot of calls from one alleged company saying the same thing. I kind of thought it was a scam. They need to start putting these people doing these things in jail.
sadteacher
August 14, 2020
I was taken for $1000 by a third party company to work on my student loans...they filed my paper work and they put in the wrong birth date....took me a year or more to fix it and it put me in default. Do not trust any company like that!
Poor gma
September 01, 2020
I was one of the individuals paying Mission Hills for my student loan management. How do I get a refund?
STILL CALLING …
September 25, 2020
This company is STILL CALLING AND SENDING TEXT MESSAGES.
Mabear55
October 09, 2020
They are at it again with just a little different name! Alliance Preparation Services. How did this happen again?
Carrie
November 15, 2020
I was a person scammed by this company and Secure National Processing. I was seeing if anyone had insight into recovering a portion of the finds lost
Smith
June 08, 2021
How do I get included in this claim. I have my contract and other documents as proof?