The Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced today that the Adams County District Court entered a consent decree in a case involving the now defunct, debt-settlement company, Orion Financial Group and its owner Eric Thompson.
In January, the attorney general’s office accused Orion, which has been based in Westminster, of providing debt-management services to Colorado consumers without meeting the required registration and regulatory requirements under the state’s consumer protection laws.
Under the consent decree, Orion and Thompson agreed to be permanently enjoined from providing debt-management services to Colorado residents.
In addition, a $70,000 judgment for consumer restitution was entered against Orion and Thompson. If they default in making payments under the consent decree, they must pay an additional $479,442.
From August 2009 through March 2010, Orion provided debt management services to 165 Colorado consumers without being registered to do so.
Its business practices violated various provisions of the Colorado Uniform Debt-Management Services Act by failing to provide required consumer disclosures, cancellation notice and website information in addition to other violations. In order the continue to avoid Colorado’s registration and reporting requirements, a year ago, Orion Financial Group sued the state in Adams County District Court asking that the court exempt it from sanction on the ground that it was an agent providing back-end debt management services and was not the actual debt management company.
The Colorado attorney general’s office registers and regulates debt-management companies, including debt settlement and credit counseling companies. For a list of registered debt management companies and information on filing a consumer complaint, please visit this Colorado Attorney General site. These type of companies typically claim to help consumers with overwhelming home, auto and credit card debt.
Consumers should not contract with a debt-management company unless it is registered to provide services in Colorado, according to the attorney general’s office.
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