Fraudulent student-loan-debt-settlement company to pay $15K to refund Minnesotans
(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a settlement on Friday that a California-based company offering fraudulent student loan debt forgiveness will pay the state $15,000 to refund Minnesotans.
Total Rain, Inc., a company based in Irvine, California and doing business as a Student Aid Group, is alleged to have falsely promised consumers student-loan forgiveness, when only the federal government can forgive federal student loans.
Ellison alleges that the company pocketed initial and monthly fees when they enrolled consumers in federal repayment programs, however consumers can enroll in such programs for free.
The company is also to have alleged collected fees up front before performing the promised services, which is illegal under Minnesota law regulating debt settlement services. Additionally, the company was operating without registering as a debt-settlement service provider, as required by Minnesota law.
Ellison says the settlement requires the company to cease operating in Minnesota unless and until it registers as a debt-settlement service provider, and immediately pay the state $15,325 – the full amount it has collected from Minnesotans.
“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,” Attorney General Ellison said. “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.”
Ellison also alleges the company violated Minnesota’s Debt Services Settlement Act, Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act, and Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
To view the settlement, CLICK HERE.