Released by Roger Hudson, CoAG.gov
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman is announcing that through the settlement of several cases, nearly 5,700 Colorado consumers will be receiving refunds totaling approximately $2.2 million. The majority of the settlements resolved issues with companies that were providing debt settlement services that violated the Uniform Debt Management Services Act.
“The harm to these consumers is especially egregious because the victims were desperately seeking debt management services and already in extremely vulnerable positions,” said Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman.
The largest of the recent settlements against the debt settlement companies was with California-based debt settlement provider, Freedom Debt Relief. Pursuant to a Consent Judgment, Freedom Debt Relief agreed to revise the agreements and disclosures it uses with Colorado consumers and pay consumer refunds. The other debt settlement companies paying refunds include, Century Negotiations Inc., Orion Financial Group and Prestige Financial Solutions, Inc.
Also included in the refunds to be disbursed are monies going back to Colorado consumers that borrowed money from Allied Cash Advance Colorado. Allied offered consumer loans that violated the Uniform Consumer Credit Code by exceeding the permitted rates. Approximately 2,700 Colorado consumers will be receiving refunds from this settlement. Checks to consumers will be arriving the first two weeks of December from a third-party administrator.
“Colorado consumers must be aware of the terms of the loans and their rights under the law,” warned General Coffman. “Many online lenders are unlicensed, which often leads to the loan being much more costly as maximum allowable rates are exceeded and additional fees are not disclosed.”
A list of licensed lenders can be found on the Attorney General’s website at www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/uccc. Consumers with complaints against a debt settlement company or a lender are encouraged to file complaints at that same website or call the Consumer Credit Unit at 720.508.6012.