Students hassled by debt relief companies are getting help from New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. He just set up something called the Student Protection Unit, which in its first action issued subpoenas to 13 companies.
Under the umbrella of the state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), the Student Protection Unit is investigating allegations that companies charged improper fees without adequate notice for enrolling students in debt relief programs that are available for free through the federal government.
Cuomo said, “The rising tide of student loan debt has made it more important than ever that we put in place strong consumer protections for New York’s students. Any company trying to sell students a raw deal using misleading or deceptive practices should know that we’ll continue to work vigilantly to root out consumer abuse.”
Debt Consolidation Problems
Many debt relief companies charge fees to consolidate several loans into one. But the same consolidation programs are available for free through the U.S. Department of Education. And the upfront fees charged by the private companies add to student debt.
Private Student Loans
Some companies target those with private student loans. There’s concern that the fees they charge are exorbitant and that the companies make misleading promises.
The DFS Student Protect Unit subpoened information from these companies:
• AlphaOne Student LLC
• Brelvis Consulting, LLC d/b/a The Student Loan Help Center
• Consumer Protection Counsel, P.A.
• Debt Be Gone, LLC
• Default Student Loan Assistance, LLC
• Interactiv Education, LLC d/b/a Direct Student Aid, Inc.
• Omega Capital Advisory LLC d/b/a Federal Student Aid Relief
• Student Consulting Group, Inc.
• Student Loan Relief Center, Inc.
• Student Loan Service
• US Student Loan Helpers, Inc.
• US Student Loan Services, Inc.
• Xtreme Products LLC d/b/a USA Student Loans