InfoSight Spotlight: FTC returns money to consumers harmed by debt relief scheme

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 5,745 checks totaling more than $480,000 to people who lost money to a debt relief scheme that misled its customers and charged illegal upfront fees. United Debt Counselors exaggerated how much money people would save using its services. Its direct mail ads looked like official documents from a bank […]

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 5,745 checks totaling more than $480,000 to people who lost money to a debt relief scheme that misled its customers and charged illegal upfront fees.

United Debt Counselors exaggerated how much money people would save using its services. Its direct mail ads looked like official documents from a bank or attorney, and claimed that typical customers would have their credit card debt cut in half and become debt-free within 36 months. Under a settlement with the FTC, the court banned the defendants from making misrepresentations about debt relief and other financial products or services, and making unsubstantiated claims about any products or services.

The average refund amount is $84.27. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. If recipients have questions about the case, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc., at 855-263-3449.

FTC law enforcement actions led to more than $6.4 billion in refunds for consumers in a one-year period between July 2016 and June 2017. To learn more about the FTC’s refund program, visit www.ftc.gov/refunds. Read the full InfoSight here.

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The League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates represents 342 credit unions in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, with a combined total of $118.63 billion in assets and more than 10.1 million members. LSCU & Affiliates provides legislative and regulatory advocacy; education and training; cooperative initiatives (including financial education outreach); public messaging; information services; and business solutions.

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