CUSTOMERS: Read the Frequently Asked Questions – most issues are addressed there
The Receiver’s office receives questions from consumers on various subjects. Rather than respond to each inquiry separately, we have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) which addresses each of these questions. Click on the FAQs link on the documents section of this page to access. The most recurring questions relate to what should consumers do now and whether refunds will be available – these questions are addressed in FAQ Nos. 3 and 4.
In the past two weeks, many Defendants agreed to a preliminary injunction, asset freeze, and the appointment of a receiver. These Orders are available in the documents section of this page.
November 3, 2017 – Update
Defendants Benjamin Naderi, Alliance Document Preparation, LLC, SBS Capital Group, Inc., First Student Aid, LLC, and Relief Defendants Direct Consulting Group, LLC and Capital Doc Prep, LLC (the “Naderi Defendants”) opposed the FTC’s motion for preliminary injunction, asset freeze, and appointment of a receiver. The Court held a hearing and heard arguments from the FTC and the Naderi Defendants on November 1, 2017. On November 2, 2017, the Court issued a Minute Order (see documents section of this page) finding that the FTC had met its burden and granted a preliminary injunction, asset freeze, and appointed a receiver against the Naderi Defendants.
The practical effect of the Orders is that the Defendant businesses will NOT resume operations. So, if you hired one of the Defendant companies and they have not completed the task, then it will not be completed. If the task has been completed and/or information has been submitted on your behalf, then it will not be affected. The best way to determine what, if anything, has happened with your loan is to check with your loan servicer, who will be in a position explain your loan status. Contact information for the servicers is in the FAQs document on this page and below.
Now that the Orders have been entered, the case moves to the next phase. Some Defendants may choose to reach a settlement with the FTC. Other Defendants may choose to defend the case and proceed until the Court issues a final decision either after motions or a trial. This process will take months, at a minimum.
As for whether you will be able to get some or all of your money back, that will not be known until the case is fully resolved – after either settlement or motions/trial. The Receiver will gather available assets and, at the conclusion of the case, he will transfer the funds which we have been able to recover to the FTC. If the funds are sufficient to make meaningful refunds, the FTC may establish a redress (refund) process. The amount of refunds, if any at all, will not be known until that time.
As we have advised, consumers should reach out to loan servicers to determine the status of their loans. Again, contact information for the servicers is in the FAQs document on this page and below.
We do not expect further updates for some time. If you have a question, the first place to look is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document on this page. If you have a question that is not addressed in the FAQs, you can send an email and we will update the FAQs with an answer.
Companies named in the FTC’s lawsuit:
- Alliance Document Preparation LLC, also dba EZ Doc Preps, Grads Aid, and First Document Aid
- Capital Doc Prep, Inc.
- Direct Consul Ting Service LLC
- Elite Consulting Service, LLC, fka First Grad Aid, LLC, also dba First Grad Aid
- Elite Doc Prep LLC, also dba Premier Student Aid
- First Student Aid, LLC
- Grads Doc Prep, LLC, also dba Academic Aid Center, Academic Protection, Academy Doc Prep, and Academic Discharge
- SBB Holdings, LLC, also dba EZ Doc Preps, Allied Doc Prep, and Post Grad Services
- SBS Capital Group, Inc., also dba Grads United Discharge
- United Legal Center, Inc.
- United Legal Center, LLC, also dba Post Grad Aid, Alumni Aid Assistance, and United Legal Discharge
Individuals named in the FTC’s Lawsuit:
- Farzan Azinkhan;
- Shawn Gabbaie aka Shawn Goodman;
- Benjamin Naderi aka Benjamin Poumaderi and Benjamin Brooks;
- Michael Ratliff;
- Ramiar Reuveni aka Rami Reuveni; and
- Avinadav Rubeni aka Avi Rubeni
Preliminary Hearing Set for November 1, 2017
The Court has now set November 1, 2017as the date for the hearing on whether a Preliminary Injunction should be entered. In the meantime, the Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”), which was entered on September 28, 2017, will remain in effect and Defendants’ business operations will remain suspended. A copy of the TRO can be accessed from the documents section of this page .
NOTICE REGARDING FTC LAWSUIT
The companies listed above have been sued by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive and unlawful practices related to their student loan debt relief operation.
The FTC’s lawsuit was filed on September 25, 2017, naming as Defendants all of the companies listed below, along with their principals. The Court entered a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) on September 28, 2017, which prohibits any further unlawful conduct and appoints a Temporary Receiver to take possession and control of these businesses. The Temporary Receiver has suspended operations and is now conducting a review of the businesses.
The Court has set November 1, 2017 as the date for a hearing on whether a Preliminary Injunction should be entered, which would extend the restrictions in the TRO until there is a trial of the case.
We recommend that you immediately contact your student loan servicer and confirm to them that no third party is authorized to represent you in connection with your student loan account. A list of approved student loan servicers can be found at: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/additionalInformation.action.
At least until the date of the Preliminary Injunction hearing on November 1, 2017, these companies will have very limited operations. Your best source of information is the Receiver’s website. We will post regular updates. If you have additional questions, please send to email@example.com.