AG Ellison: Fraudulent student loan debt settlement company to pay $15K to refund Minnesotans

Friday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a settlement with a fraudulent California-based student loan debt settlement company that illegally collected fees and misrepresented its services.

According to Ellison, Total Rain, Inc.—doing business as Student Aid Group—allegedly falsely promised its clients student loan forgiveness.

The company allegedly charged its clients with initial and monthly fees while enrolling its clients in federal repayment programs, which people can enroll themselves in for free.

Collecting initial fees before rendering services is illegal under Minnesota law regarding debt settlement services, according to Ellison. Additionally, the company failed to register as a debt-settlement service provider, which is also illegal under state law.

The settlement requires Student Aid Group to pay $15,325 in restitution—the amount collected from its Minnesota customers—which will go back to those consumers.

“Minnesotans take out student loans in good faith so they can get educations that will help them better afford their lives,” Ellison said in a statement. “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.”

Minnesotans who have submitted payments to Student Aid Group, or have concerns about other student loan debt relief companies, are encouraged to call the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office at 651-296-3353 if in the metro area, or 800-657-3787 if in greater Minnesota. Submitting a complaint online is also an option.

RELATED: 6 tips from the BBB to avoid scams when applying for student debt relief