Knock It Off, N.C. AG Tells Attorneys

     RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) - Chicago-based Legal Helpers Debt Resolution and its four attorneys continue to suck money from people they ripped off years ago, the North Carolina attorney general claims in court.
     North Carolina sued Legal Helpers Debt Resolution and its four principals in Wake County Court. They also operate as Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns.
     Since 2010 the company, a Nevada corporation based in Chicago, has been offering "a deceptive and illegal debt settlement scheme to consumers in North Carolina," Attorney General Roy Cooper says in the complaint. "Under the scheme, which is prohibited by North Carolina law, LHDR solicited consumers with large amounts of unsecured debt and promised it would relieve them of their debt burdens by negotiating down their outstanding debt obligations. In fact, LHDR's debt settlement operated as a classic advance fee scam, designed to extract up-front fees and so-called monthly 'maintenance' and 'service' costs from financially strapped consumers whether or not any useful services were performed. As shown below, consumers rarely obtained debt settlements through the defendant and often ended up in far worse financial positions."
     Cooper claims the defendants stopped soliciting North Carolinians in April 2012. "However, KHDR continues to collect money from North Carolina consumers previously enrolled, and continues not to perform the debt settlement services promised to consumers, thereby perpetuating significant harm to North Carolina consumers."
     Also sued are LHDR managing attorney Jeffrey Hyslip, of Chicago; principal owner, manager and general counsel Jason Searns, of Littleton, Colo., who "is not and never has been licensed to practice law in North Carolina;" Highland, Ill. attorney Jeffrey Aleman, another principal owner and manager who is not licensed to practice law in North Carolina; and Chicago attorney Thomas Macey.
     Cooper seeks refunds to consumers, rescission of contracts, civil penalties for unfair and deceptive trade and other violations, civil penalties, costs and an injunction.