If you are renegotiating a significant debt with the help of Credit Solutions of America, it's time to scrutinize their performance and pull out your fee receipts.
Attorney General John Kroger announced a settlement this morning that kicks CSA's operations out of the state and pays out thousands of dollars to customers who brought complaints against the company's illegal business practices.
Oregon legislators last year passed consumer interest laws that Kroger used to shut down CSA's operations in the state, amidst complaints the company charged high fees for services and encouraged consumers to quit paying their creditors.
Oregon consumers also complained that after charging them for services, CSA did nothing to renegotiate their debts, triggering legal action and fines by banks against the consumers.
Texas-based CSA is the largest debt settlement company in the country. It has agreed not to solicit additional clients in Oregon for three years, to complete existing files and withdraw from doing business in the state for three years.
"CSA's existing Oregon customers may be entitled to a partial refund if they are not satisfied with the service they get," Kroger said in a statement.
Oregon's new law protects consumers by limiting fees the companies can charge, preventing misleading advertising, and requiring better disclosures, among other things. The law also requires debt management companies to register with the Department of Consumer and Business Services.
For more information or to check whether a company is registered, call the DCBS Division of Finance and Corporate Securities at 1-866-814-9710 or go to http://www.cbs.state.or.us/dfcs/debt_mgmt.html
As a result of this settlement, four Oregon consumers will receive a total of about $2,600 in restitution. In addition, 800 Oregon consumers who are current clients of CSA are promised a refund of pre-paid fees proportional to any success the company had in resolving their debt if they are not fully satisfied with services rendered by CSA.
Oregon consumers with questions can contact the Department of Justice Consumer Hotline: 1-877-877-9392.