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CFPB Shuts Down Student Debt Relief Scheme

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reached a settlement with student debt relief company Timemark, Inc. and related individuals (collectively, “Timemark”) to resolve allegations that it charged illegal advance fees to consumers seeking to renegotiate their student loans in violation of the Telemarketing Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act.
  • The complaint alleged that, among other things, Timemark charged consumers hundreds of dollars to file paperwork—available for free from the federal government—to reduce or eliminate monthly student loan payments, requested up-front payment prior to performing any debt management services, and telemarketed these services through online ads prompting consumers to call the company.
  • Under the terms of the proposed stipulated judgment, Timemark will be subject to a judgment of $3.8 million that will be partially suspended due to defendants’ inability to pay, and will be permanently banned from providing debt relief services.