After years of being ripped off, people in Antioch, Brentwood, Hercules, Pinole and across the country are seeing justice. In its first criminal referral, the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal consumer watchdog, has referred a case for criminal prosecution against Mission Settlement Agency, a debt settlement company. The indictment was filed in federal court, charging that the debt settlement company’s manager and three employees “systematically exploited and defrauded” customers who sought to settle their debts. Rather than helping consumers, Mission Settlement Agency took about $14 million from its customers between mid-2009 and March 2013, keeping the lion’s share and paying out only $4.4 million to creditors. And of an additional $2.2 million in fees charged to customers, the indictment states that the debt settlement company “never paid a single penny” to creditors.
This is just the latest debt settlement scam to be closed down by federal authorities. The topic is discussed further in The Ugly Facts About Debt Settlement.