BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Attorney Wayne Stenehjem said Thursday he has ordered a student debt relief company to issue refunds to consumers and stop doing business in the state until it meets licensing requirements.
Stenehjem's office started an investigation into California-based Students Loan Services, LLC, after receiving a complaint from a woman who had paid the company almost $900 and did not see any reduction in her debt. In the course of securing a refund for the woman, investigators determined that the company was not licensed in North Dakota.
The company had contracts with 18 North Dakota residents. It has agreed to cancel agreements and issue refunds to any of its customers in the state who request them, Stenehjem said.
Student loan relief companies offer to help reduce or eliminate loan payments and debts by submitting applications on the consumer’s behalf to the U.S. Department of Education. Stenehjem said these companies charge significant fees for results the consumers could have obtained for free.