The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday it is sending refunds totaling more than $223,000 to people who lost money to a student loan and mortgage debt relief operation that was the subject of a federal complaint filed in Los Angeles.

The FTC alleged in the September 2017 complaint that A1 DocPrep Inc., Streamlined Marketing and their owner, Horman Ardalan, falsely claimed to be from the Department of Education, and promised to reduce borrowers’ monthly payments or forgive their student loans in exchange for illegal upfront fees.

The FTC also alleged the defendants targeted distressed homeowners by making false promises that they would provide mortgage relief and prevent foreclosure.

The refunds stem from settlements the defendants reached with the FTC that also ban them from debt relief and telemarketing activities and prohibits them from making misrepresentations or unsubstantiated claims related to other financial products or services, according to the agency.

The FTC announced it is mailing 136 checks, averaging $1,641 each, to consumers who previously filed a complaint with law enforcement. People who receive checks should deposit or cash their checks within 90 days, as indicated on the check.

Recipients who have questions about their checks can call the refund administrator, Analytics, at 844-695-0454.

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