In September 2016, the FTC announced a court order banning the operators of an alleged mortgage relief scam that preyed upon distressed homeowners from the debt relief business. The final orders banned the defendants from selling secured or unsecured debt relief products or services, and prohibited them from misrepresenting any financial or other products or services. The orders imposed a judgment of more than $1.7 million. The FTC’s July 2014 complaint alleged the defendants claimed they could lower consumers’ mortgage payments and interest rates or prevent foreclosure, pretended to be affiliated with a government agency or consumers’ lenders or servicers, and illegally charged advance fees for these services. The FTC announced additional settlements in the case through March 2020.
In May 2021, the FTC sent payments totaling more than $147,000 in full refunds to people affected by the student loan debt relief scam.