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FTC bans hundreds of mortgage assistance and debt relief operations

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On the heels of the FTC’s List of Banned Debt Collectors comes the sequel: The FTC’s List of Banned Mortgage Relief and Debt Relief Companies and People. Why would someone be banned? Well, here’s the story.

Debt relief is any program or service – such as debt settlement or debt consolidation – that offers to renegotiate or change the terms of a consumer’s unsecured debt. That means things like credit card or student loan debt. What they offer might include reducing the balance, interest rate, or fees owed. Mortgage relief is similar, but for home mortgages, and can include foreclosure prevention and defense or loan modification.

The law is clear: mortgage and debt relief operations can't charge a fee until after they get the promised mortgage or debt relief results. They also can’t misrepresent their services or mislead people about the results of their programs.

And any company crossing that line will end up in trouble with the FTC – like the student loan debt relief cases just announced by the FTC. Some companies have to pay what we call “monetary relief” – basically, handing over their ill-gotten gains. And some can wind up with limits on their business activities. Companies also are monitored by the FTC to make sure they comply.

But, sometimes, the behavior of a debt relief operation is so egregious that the FTC asks the courts to permanently ban the company or person from the industry. The FTC has sued over 500 companies and individuals who broke the law. Nearly 300 of them have been banned, and there have been hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments. And now that list is public, along with the details of the cases.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, check out our free materials to help you deal with your debts and avoid scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


It's about time! Thank you, FTC.

Good work FTC...thanks for the list.

I will spread this. Thanks.

You should check out My education solutions from San Antonio TX. They were formerly Debt Free Angels. They took $20k in fees from me before settling any debt.they are now a 501c3.

Please report this to the FTC at Give as many details as you can. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcment database.

Does this apply to mortgage protection insurance companies. It is hard to know who is legal. Everything is where anyone can get your information.

You might be asking about mortgage protection insurance. That's a type of life insurance that pays some or all your mortgage if you aren't able to pay because you lose your job, become disabled or die.

If you own a home, you might get offers for mortgage protection insurance in the mail or from your lender. Mortgage protection insurance is not the same as a mortgage relief program.

If you're looking for mortgage relief because you're having trouble paying your mortgage, you'll find tips and information in this FTC article: When Paying the Mortgage is a Struggle.

This is what we all waited for!

I think it is an unfair. You do not look the esence of the problem: Humans. The principal enemy of Human Kind is ignorance, and you do not help

I like seeing this

Student loan debt is a hard subject

I have been on the do not call list since 2011. I get robocalls just about every day to offer assistance with my credit cards. Blocking the telephone numbers is useless. The next day I will get a call from a different number and location. Why aren't these people held accountable for their nuisance calls?

Please Make your Long Articles Printable. Like the Bad Mortgage companies..

My bank sold my mortgage to Bayview Loans and they took out a double payment. I have contacted them and done all they have asked and still am not able to get my money back. I am on a fixed income and this put my checking account into negative status. I have never been late on a mortgage payment in 64 years. Is there something else someone can do except wait 2 months for them to "review" the materials to prove they took 2 payments and just return my money?

You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They will forward your complaint to the lender, and the company has 15 days to respond.

Older adults can find programs that help pay for food & medicine at Also, the ElderCare Locator has lists of local programs that offer help with finances, health care, home repairs, housing, transportation and other topics for older adults.

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