The Idaho Department of Finance penalized GHS Solutions LLC for offering credit counseling services without a license.
Florida-based GHS agreed to refund $303,218.23 to Idaho customers who contracted with GHS when the company did not hold an Idaho license, the Idaho Department of Finance reported. GHS, which must provide restitution by June 1, also paid $15,000 in penalties, legal fees and investigative expenses.
About 143 Idaho residents had entered contracts with GHS when the company was operating without a state license starting since at least July 2008, said Anthony Polidori, supervising examiner with the department’s Consumer Finance Bureau. The company remains unlicensed but can apply for a license now that the department has issued a consent order, he said.
GHS customers had to open a savings account and pay fees, which requires a license under the Idaho Collection Agency Act, the Idaho Department of Finance said. A consumer’s complaint prompted the investigation.
Polidori said the department sees more debt settlement companies entering the market.
“There is a need for some consumers to obtain these services, but we advise consumers to check with our department to determine the company is licensed and in compliance with Idaho law,” he said.