Attorney General Keith Ellison says his office has shut down a "fraudulent" student loan debt settlement company.
Ellison's office issued a statement Thursday saying it has reached a settlement regarding the California-based Document Asset Center that stops the company from operating in Minnesota henceforth, and requiring it to provide refunds to Minnesotans from whom it "illegally collected fees."
These refunds will total $11,499, and it comes after the company had "falsely promised consumers student-loan forgiveness, when only the federal government can forgive federal student loans."
What Ellison's office says the company did, in reality, was "enroll consumers in federal repayment programs that consumers can enroll themselves in for free, then pocketed both initial and monthly fees for doing so."
It also collected upfront fees before performing its services, which the AG says is illegal under state laws regulating debt settlement services.
Document Assist Center was also operating without having registered as a debt settlement service provided in Minnesota.
"Minnesotans take out student loans in good faith so they can get educations that will help them better afford their lives," Ellison said.
"My office is showing once again that when companies take advantage of that good faith to rip Minnesotans off, we will come after them.
"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."