Consumer Watchdog Takes Its First Action Against Abusive Practices

May 30, 2013
The Hill  

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is, for the first time, taking action against a company for abusive practices that confused or misled the public. The agency brought a complaint May 30 against American Debt Settlement Solutions Inc., a Florida debt-relief company, and its owner, alleging that the firm had charged illegal upfront fees and had misrepresented itself and its services to consumers nationwide. About 89 percent of its clients who paid these "enrollment" fees, many of whom the company knew could not afford them, never had their debt reduced or changed in any manner by the company. The CFPB also accused the firm of violating a Federal Trade Commission law banning fraudulent telemarketing calls. It is seeking to stop American Debt Settlement Solutions' operations, block it from offering debt-relief services, and impose a fine of $15,000 on the company.
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