With receipt of $225,000, the state has resolved a case in which 615 Coloradans were financially harmed by a Texas-based debt-settlement company that was operating illegally in Colorado. The Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General’s Office has entered a stipulation and final agency order with the now defunct CreditAnswers and its Chief Executive Officer William Loughborough (D.O.B. 11/02/62).
“When the legislature decided to regulate the debt-settlement industry beginning in 2008, it was trying to address some of the worst abuses in the industry, including lack of clear disclosures and exorbitant fees,” explained Attorney General John Suthers. “This settlement with CreditAnswers continues our efforts to hold accountable violators of that law,” Suthers said.
In February 2012, the Attorney General’s Office accused CreditAnswers of providing debt-management services without complying with the state’s consumer protection and debt-settlement laws. Under the final agency order, CreditAnswers and Loughborough agreed to be permanently enjoined from providing debt-management services to Colorado residents. In addition, CreditAnswers agreed to pay the state $225,000 for consumer restitution, reimbursement of costs and attorneys’ fees, and for educational purposes.
From April 2009 through July 2011, CreditAnswers was a Colorado-registered debt-settlement services provider. Its business practices, however, violated various provisions of the Colorado Uniform Debt-Management Services Act by failing to provide required consumer disclosures and cancellation notices, in addition to other violations.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office registers and regulates debt-management companies, including debt- settlement and credit counseling companies. A list of registered companies is available online. Consumers with complaints against a debt-management company are encouraged to file complaints with the Consumer Credit Group.