Two charged with deceptive acts, telemarketing in connection with student loans, credit repair

Two owners of a now-dissolved Illinois firm that promised to provide student-loan relief and credit repair services were sued Friday by the federal consumer financial protection bureau, which charged them with violating federal consumer law and telemarketing rules.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), it has filed the complaint against FDATR, Inc., of Wood Dale, Ill., and its owners Dean Tucci and Kenneth Wayne Halverson, outlining five counts of violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), by engaging in deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts or practices, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) through deceptive acts or practices.

The bureau said it was seeking seeks injunctions against FDATR, Tucci, and Halverson, as well as damages, redress to consumers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and the imposition of civil money penalties. It did not specify amounts.

The bureau said it alleges that from 2011 through at least April 2019, the defendants engaged in abusive telemarketing by requesting and taking payments from consumers for debt-relief and credit-repair services before achieving the results it promised and before it was legally allowed to do so under the TSR. CFPB also alleges that during this same period, the defendants used deception in violation of the TSR and CFPA to attract consumers by misrepresenting material aspects of its student-loan debt-relief services.

“For example, the defendants falsely represented that its services would reduce or eliminate student-loan payments and improve credit scores,” the bureau said in a release. “The bureau further alleges that defendants’ violations of the TSR constituted violations of the CFPA. In addition, the bureau alleges that Tucci and Halverson are individually liable under the TSR and CFPA because they knew of, directed, and engaged in the violations described in the complaint and substantially assisted FDATR.”

The firm owned by Tucci and Halverson was dissolved, CFPB said, in September.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Sues Debt Settlement Company FDATR, Inc., and Owners Dean Tucci and Kenneth Wayne Halverson

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