Crime & Courts
Tampa debt relief company under state investigation
TAMPA - The state Attorney General’s office is investigating a Tampa company that advertises relief from student debt but, according to numerous complaints, provided no services after accepting hefty deposits. A spokesman for the Attorney General in Tallahassee confirmed that an investigation of College Education Services LLC is under way, but he declined to provide specifics. The company also does business as College Defaulted Student Loan LLC. The Attorney General’s office released a list of a dozen complaints about the company, which has an office at 7650 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Suite 200. Customers said they paid from $200 to $1,295 for debt relief services, with the typical amount $595. The complaints came from across the country. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division is seeking company records back to Sept. 1, 2010. In a petition filed last month in Hillsborough Circuit Court, the company said that demand was “overly broad” and “unduly burdensome” because it would involve some 5,000 files and tens of thousands of pages of documents.The petition says the companies have not committed a violation of any Consumer Protection act and they are “more than willing to assist” with the investigation. Attorney David Plante, who is representing the two companies, confirmed the petition is seeking to limit the subpoena, but he declined to comment further. College Education Services and College Defaulted Student Loan describe themselves as “in the business of assisting student loan debtors with navigating through the processes of consolidating their student loan debt with the federal government.” They say they provide the services to 2,600 people a year. College Education Services holds an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, which says it has received 49 complaints about the business in the past three years.