State

AG files lawsuits alleging student loan debt scams

CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed lawsuits against two companies for allegedly scamming people who are repaying student loan debt.

The lawsuits filed in Cook and Champaign counties allege deceptive practices for charging upfront fees for phony services or for services that are already free.

Madigan told reporters Monday that her office received dozens of complaints. She says there are more companies that do the same thing and she'll be aggressive about targeting them.

The lawsuits name Chicago-based First American Tax Defense LLC and Frisco, Texas-based Broadsword Student Advantage LLC. Messages left at the companies weren't immediately returned.

The companies allegedly charged people up to $1,200 up front for sham services.

Madigan's tips for avoiding such scams include never paying for information about how to pay back student loans.

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