Banking and Finance Law Daily Additional student debt relief defendants settle FTC charges
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Additional student debt relief defendants settle FTC charges

By Peter Reap, J.D., LL.M.

The two new defendants agreed to a permanent ban on sales of debt relief services and a suspended judgment of $1.3 million.

Two additional defendants involved with student loan debt relief schemes have agreed to settle FTC charges that they tricked consumers into paying illegal upfront fees in hopes of reducing or eliminating their student loan debt, the FTC announced. The two have been permanently banned from selling debt relief services and agreed to pay $11 and $1.3 (suspended) million judgments in settlements with the agency filed in the federal district court in Los Angeles (FTC v. Impetus Enterprise, Inc., FTC File No. X140035, Civil Action No. 8:18-cv-01987-JLS-KES).

Brenda Avitia-Pena, president of Impetus Enterprise, Inc., has been ordered to pay $11 million as part of her settlement with the FTC. The $11 million amount represents gross revenues of Impetus Enterprise Inc.’s student loan debt relief operation. The order against Jimmy Calderon and Capital Sun Investments LLC contains a suspended judgment for $1.3 million, the gross revenues of Capital Sun’s operations. Both Avitia-Pena and Calderon conducted student loan debt relief operations associated with Tuan Duong, who agreed to be banned from telemarketing and pay $11 million earlier this year.

The FTC’s complaints charged both of the defendants with deceptive and unlawful acts or practices in the marketing and sale of student loan debt relief services in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. Both defendants neither admitted nor denied any of the allegations in the complaint. Specifically, the defendants agreed to be restrained from making representations in connection with the advertising or sale of financial products and services including the terms or rates available for loans, the ability to affect a consumer’s credit record, that a consumer will receive legal representation, and the total costs. They also agreed to bans on making certain unsubstantiated claims and engaging in telemarketing practices, and will be subject to compliance reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Companies: Impetus Enterprise, Inc.; Capital Sun Investments LLC

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