The remaining defendants in a deceptive student loan debt relief scheme are permanently banned from providing all student loan debt relief products and services in settlements with the Federal Trade Commission.
The settlements with Jay Singh, the two corporate defendants he controls, and seven other corporate entities resolve charges the FTC in brought in November 2019 against these and other defendants alleging that they lured borrowers by using fraudulent ads, pretending to be affiliated with the Department of Education, and promising to reduce or even eliminate consumers’ monthly student loan payments and principal balances in exchange for illegal upfront and monthly fees.
The stipulated order against Singh, American Financial Support Services Inc., and US Financial Freedom Center includes a monetary judgment of $7,557,001.10, which was partially suspended due to an inability to pay after the payment of $743,386.00. The stipulated order against the Arete Financial Group and related corporate defendants imposes a monetary judgment of $22 million, which is partially suspended based on their inability to pay. It also requires them to forfeit all of their frozen funds held by the receiver. The Commission plans to use the money recovered in this case for consumer refunds.
In addition to the bans on debt relief services, the orders also prohibit the defendants from making misrepresentations in connection with the sale of any products or services or violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The Commission vote to approve the stipulated final order against Singh and his companies was 4-0. The Commission vote to approve the stipulated final order against Arete Financial Group and related companies was 4-0.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, stop deceptive and unfair business practices and scams, and educate consumers. Report fraud, scams, or bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Get consumer advice at consumer.ftc.gov. Also, follow the FTC on social media, subscribe to press releases, and read the FTC’s blogs.