Student loan debt relief scams are a huge problem in Illinois and every other U.S. state. In fact, these scams are so problematic for consumers that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken action in a big way. This organization, along with 11 other states (including Illinois) and the District of Columbia recently launched “Operation Game of Loans.” This initiative targets groups pushing phony student debt relief programs and brings action against them. Already, Operation Game of Loans has brought 36 actions against deceptive companies. Allegedly, through deceptive practices, these scammers brought in more than $95 million in fees from consumers already struggling with debt.
Why Student Loan Debt Relief Scams are So Damaging to Illinois Consumers
According to the FTC’s website, more than 42 million Americans currently carry student loan debts. Collectively, their balances total more than $1.4 trillion. This makes student loans the second largest segment of U.S. debt behind mortgages. So, clearly, student loan debt affects a large number of Illinois residents. A lot of consumers in the Prairie State struggle to keep up with payments, or, even worse, deal with debt collectors while trying to emerge from default.
Desperate for a solution, many of those saddled with student loan debt in Illinois turn to debt relief services. Granted, there are legitimate companies that work to get consumers back on track with their student loan payments. However, too many companies offering “student loan debt relief services” collect fees from their clients and give them nothing in return. This, of course, is one of the worst things that can happen Illinois residents juggling student loan debt with the daily cost of living.
FTC Acting Chairman, Maureen K. Ohlhausen summed up the Game of Loans initiative quite well in the following statement:
“Winter is coming for debt relief scams that prey on hardworking Americans struggling to pay back their student loans. The FTC is proud to work with state partners to protect consumers from these scams, help them learn how to spot a scam, and let them know where to go for legitimate help.”
For Illinois consumers who want to learn more about Operation Game of Thrones, the FTC has published all of the details about the initiative on their website.
How Illinois Consumers Should Deal with Abusive Student Loan Debt Collectors
In addition to looking out for student loan debt relief scams, Illinois consumers with delinquent student loans should know what debt collectors can and cannot do. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates debt collection agencies. Under this federal statute, debt collectors must follow certain rules about how they conduct their business. Otherwise, if they violate the FDCPA by breaking the rules, they may face fines and other legal actions.
For example, debt collectors may not call Illinois consumers at all hours or make threats that they have no power to keep. So, even if you legitimately owe money, a debt collector cannot threaten you with jail time. They also can’t tell you that they are confiscating your property if you don’t pay up. In addition, debt collection agents may not discuss your debt with third parties or use abusive language with you.
Sadly, student loan debt collectors in Illinois don’t always follow the rules. Many of them get away with harassment and abusive tactics because consumers don’t know their rights. However, you can turn the tables on FDCPA violated debt collectors by contacting Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois. Don’t deal with the harassment on your own. Instead, get an experienced FDCPA attorney to stop the abuse and possibly get you payment for damages.
The Free and Legal way to End Debt Collector Harassment in Illinois
Being harassed by debt collectors is bad enough, but when incorrect collections make it on to your credit reports and bring your credit score down, that’s even worse. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (773) 360-0665 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about how to Stop Debt Collector Harassment for Free, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/illinois/stop-debt-collector/.