Student debt relief company ordered to give refunds, cease business in North Dakota

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. Jesse Trelstad / Forum News Service
We are part of The Trust Project.

BISMARCK — North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has ordered Student Loan Services LLC to issue refunds to customers in the state and to stop doing business here.

The California-based student debt relief company is not licensed in North Dakota, and Stenehjem says it may not operate in the state until it is in full compliance with the state’s licensing law. Debt relief companies must be licensed by the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions and post a bond with the state.

The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division investigated the company after a woman who had paid the company nearly $900 filed a complaint, saying she had not received services for several months after beginning payments. The company had not taken any steps to reduce her student debt, according to Stenehjem's office.

Student Loan Services, which had contracts with 18 people in North Dakota, has agreed to cancel all those contracts and issue refunds to anyone who makes a request. The company is barred from soliciting new customers in the state until it complies with licensing requirements.

Student debt relief companies charge fees to help reduce or eliminate customers’ loan payments and debts by enrolling customers in federal student relief programs. Nearly all services these companies offer can be done for free.

What to read next
A press release from the Sioux Falls Police Department did not specify whether the individual killed was a suspect, officer or bystander.
The budget includes new expenditures for staff recruitment efforts, such as an employee referral program, advertising and job fairs.
Cases of fraud or alleged fraud have caused uncertainty and mistrust among some consumers in an industry that relies largely on the honesty of producers, processors and packagers to maintain the integrity of the industry.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety is releasing daily updates on crashes and crime in and around Sturgis for the duration of the nine-day rally.