Mass. debt management company to refund Md. clients

April 14, 2010|By Eileen Ambrose | eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said Friday that a Massachusetts debt management company has agreed to refund about $55,000 in fees to more than 800 Maryland clients.

American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is licensed to do business here by state regulators, violated Maryland law by adding on fees for a financial education program and newsletter, state regulators said. The fees ranged from $39 to $114 for education and $2 a month for a newsletter. Maryland's debt management law prohibits add-on fees.

American Consumer Credit Counseling said in a statement that it has cooperated fully with Maryland regulators ever since it was notified of the error and has issued full refunds to affected clients.

"We have also adjusted our internal policies to ensure that we remain fully in compliance with all State of Maryland requirements and regulations, said Steven Trumble, president of American Consumer Credit Counseling. Our clients have always had the option of electing to receive our educational materials, which are not a requirement or condition of participation in the Debt Management Program. In addition, our set-up and account maintenance fees are well below the fee restrictions set by the State of Maryland."

Trumble added that the group tries to keep abreast of all the varying laws and regulations in the states where it operates.

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