Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday that his office is investigating 52 student-loan debt-relief companies.
The companies are all suspected of violating consumer-protection laws and not registering as required by law, his office said in a statement.
Several of the companies are based in California.
Along with not registering in Minnesota, Ellison’s office said the companies are suspected of violating consumer-protection laws by misrepresenting their fees and services and promising student-loan forgiveness, even though the federal government is the only entity that can offer student-loan debt forgiveness.
The latest investigation comes after more than a dozen enforcement actions the attorney general’s office has taken to shut down fraudulent companies of this kind beginning in 2016.
Because of those actions, Ellison’s office said it has recovered and returned millions of dollars to consumers from fraudulent student-loan debt-relief companies.
“Minnesotans just want to be able to afford their lives, and the cost of student loans that too many borrowers have to take out is already too high. The fact that fraudsters prey on borrowers by charging exorbitant fees and making promises they can’t deliver on is offensive,” Ellison said in the statement.
Minnesota residents who suspect they have been victimized should contact Ellison’s office at 651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787, or by completing a Consumer Assistance Request Form online.
Read More: Minnesota attorney general investigating predatory student-loan debt-relief companies – Twin Cities