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Lisa Madigan Targets Alleged Student Loan Debt Relief Scammers

(CBS) -- The state of Illinois is trying to shut down companies that may be preying on people desperate to get rid of student loans, reports WBBM's Cisco Cotto.

Ruth Varela is a single mom from Richton Park. She attended a one-year medical assistant program at Olympic College (now known as Everest College) in Merrionette Park.

Three years after graduating she lost her job, while she still had $6,000 in student loan debt. She contacted a company called Student Loan Resolve in order to get help.


"They said that I would have an Obama pass, that this was a program that the president had put together for people like myself that were struggling," Varela said.

After paying the company nearly $800 she says she discovered the company had done nothing to help her. That's when she filed a complaint.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urges anyone struggling with student loan debt not to respond to commercials offering a free quick-fix.

"You're dealing with con artists," Madigan said. "They are very persuasive and you are very desperate and they know how to play on your emotions."

Instead, Madigan says call her office first for advice. She is suing five companies in an effort to recover the money they took from students.

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