Debt settlement company banned from Missouri

A Florida-based debt settlement firm was recently barred from conducting business in Missouri, and will have to refund any fees residents of the Beehive State paid to it in recent years.

Vortex Debt Group is alleged to have engaged in “deceptive and unfair practices” because it promised to reduce consumers’ debt, and claimed hefty fees for its services without actually helping customers, according to a report from the Office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. Often, those who sought the company’s help were left deeper in debt and with less money to reduce their balances. As a consequence, the company is now banned from doing business in Missouri.

Residents of the state who submit claims with the Attorney General’s Office by April 20, 2012, will be able to have the fees they paid refunded in full, the report said. In addition, the office will send notifications to approximately 300 Missourians who signed up for Vortex’s services.

A number of debt settlement companies may promise to reduce consumers’ debt, but this is not always possible. Typically, these situations must be taken on a case-by-case basis.