November 9, 2017 / 8:41 PM / in a year

Freedom Debt Relief will contest U.S. consumer agency lawsuit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The largest U.S. debt-settlement services provider said on Thursday it would “vigorously contest” a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In a statement, the company, Freedom Debt Relief, said the federal regulator “fundamentally misunderstands” its business and erred in accusing it of deceiving consumers in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

“Freedom Debt Relief’s business practices are legally compliant, highly ethical and serve the needs of our customers, saving them millions of dollars over what they would otherwise be required to pay,” the company said.

In a lawsuit filed against the company and co-Chief Executive Andrew Housser, the CFPB charged that the company misled consumers about the services it provides, the fees its charges, and what rights consumers have in the debt-settlement process.

The agency is seeking compensation for affected consumers, civil penalties, and an injunction against the San Mateo, California-based company and Housser to end any unlawful conduct.

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editinmg by Steve Orlofsky

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