In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint alleging that numerous individuals and entities, doing business as “Payday Support Center” or “Infinity Client Solutions,” deceptively promised to resolve consumers’ loans via a “hardship program.” According to the FTC, the business targeted consumers with outstanding payday loans.
Upon enrollment, consumers ceased making payments to their lenders. The Commission alleges that the defendants, however, failed to deliver the promised debt relief services, worsening consumers’ financial difficulties after having spent hundreds of dollars for no loan reduction or settlement.
Pursuant to two stipulated final orders announced last week, the defendants are banned from all debt relief-related activities and are otherwise prohibited from misrepresenting the characteristics about any products and services. The defendants are also barred form profiting from consumers’ personal information and failing to dispose of it in a proper manner.
Given the defendants’ financial condition and inability to pay, each order imposes a partially suspended judgment of more than $23.7 million. The full judgments are due immediately in the event that the FTC determines that the defendants misrepresented their financial situation.
The debt settlement industry remains in the regulatory crosshairs following recent sweeps. Marketers must remain diligent with respect to policing their own and end-user advertising partner compliance.
Contact an FTC and state attorney general defense lawyer if you are the subject of a regulatory enforcement investigation or action, or if you are interested in implementing preventative compliance measures.
Richard B. Newman is an Internet law, online marketing compliance, telemarketing compliance and regulatory defense attorney at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns across all media channels, regularly representing and defending clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, complex commercial litigation defense, SPAM law compliance and litigation defense, intellectual property transactional and litigation matters, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements.
HINCH NEWMAN LLP. ADVERTISING MATERIAL. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. No person should act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney. Information on previous case results does not guarantee a similar future result.