Debt settlement agencies in Minnesota are under fire from a government agency for using deceptive means to markets their services.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has begun investigating companies in the debt settlement industry, the latest being two Florida-based agencies suspected of violating state law. One of the companies under the department's scrutiny is Financial Independence and Resource Education, Inc. The company stands accused of forcing a Minnesota resident to pay more money than the person owed, resulting in a higher monthly payment than necessary. The other company facing accusations is Consumer Law Group, based in Boca Raton, for allegedly withdrawing funds from a client's bank account each month without contacting the person's debt holders. As a result, the person was contacted by a collection agency which took actions against her, the news source reports. In a recent article published in the Star Tribune, the commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Glenn Wilson, said that his department has been wrongly portrayed as passive. He wrote that since he took over, he has "made a conscious effort to impose steeper penalties and to bar some individuals and companies from doing business here."