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Home > Debt Articles > Illinois Calls Legal Helpers Debt Resolution a Scam, Yet Again. This Time Announcing Settlement.

Illinois Calls Legal Helpers Debt Resolution a Scam, Yet Again. This Time Announcing Settlement.

Well I supposed you have to give props to Legal Helpers Debt Resolution for settling their conflict with the State of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

The State was direct in their continued criticism of the Legal Helpers Debt Resolution legal model for debt settlement.

“This company was fronting as a law firm claiming to help consumers reduce their debt, but in reality, their scheme had nothing to do with the practice of law. The company’s primary purpose was to squeeze thousands of dollars in illegal upfront fees from struggling families for supposed debt relief that never materialized,” Illinois Attorney General Madigan said. “I encourage anyone who might have contracted with this firm to call my office’s Consumer Fraud Hotline [1-800-243-0618] for more information about how we can help, whether through this settlement or by connecting consumers with legitimate credit counseling agencies.”

Madigan filed a lawsuit against the national legal firm in March 2011, alleging it unlawfully charged upfront fees to consumers in Bureau, Champaign, Kendall, Will and Cook counties. The lawsuit alleged the operation attempted to circumvent laws that ban companies from charging upfront fees by using attorneys, who, in some cases, are exempt from the ban, to act as a front for the business. The lawsuit alleged that the company’s services seldom reduced consumers’ debt and most consumers were left in a worse financial state.

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation joined the lawsuit as a co-plaintiff in September 2011 after the company failed to respond to the department’s cease-and-desist order for not obtaining the proper licensing required under Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act.

“Governor Quinn signed the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act in 2010 to stop companies that attempt to prey on consumers who find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt,” said Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation Brent Adams. “This settlement should make clear that we will vigorously pursue companies that try to circumvent the protections of the new law.”

In addition, on June 5, 2012, the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, the entity that regulates licensed Illinois attorneys, filed a disciplinary action against two Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC managing members, attorneys Thomas Macey and Jeffrey Aleman. The disciplinary action alleges misconduct in connection with their debt settlement business. You can read that article, here.

The settlement with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC will provide $2.1 million in restitution for Illinois residents who paid for debt settlement services but failed to receive meaningful debt reduction. Also under the settlement, which was entered in Sangamon County Circuit Court, the company has agreed not to accept any new Illinois customers.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the settlement with the Chicago-based law firm that operated nationwide over allegations that it unlawfully charged consumers upfront fees to provide debt settlement services with promises to make them debt free. – Source

Illinois Calls Legal Helpers Debt Resolution a Scam, Yet Again. This Time Announcing Settlement.
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Bonnie

    Legal Helpers never returned our phone calls, which resulted in a summons, and had to go to court on behalf of them. My husband and I lost our jobs and, had over 20,000 in revolving debt. We had to take a second mortgage out on our house that has been paid off for 16 years, getting my social security check for being over 65 barely covers our utilities and our new mortgage. I just pray that who ever reads this comment will stay far away from Legal Helpers. I don’t want to see another struggling family get taken to the cleaners. Please, be careful who you have helping you!!

  • Lindabirdcell

    We live in Indiana and signed up with Legal Helpers for Debt Relief two years ago.
    Did not know about the lawsuit ’til now.  How can we get out of the contract with them?

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