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The Federal Trade Commission has stopped a pair of student loan debt relief schemes that it says bilked students out of approximately $12 million by using deceptive claims about repayment programs and loan forgiveness that did not exist. The agency also says the companies falsely claimed to be or be affiliated with the Department of Education and told students that the illegal payments the companies collected would count towards their loans.

After the FTC filed complaints seeking to end the deceptive practices, a federal court temporarily halted the two schemes and froze their assets.