JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Monday that he has reached a consent judgment with a debt settlement company that allegedly misrepresented its services.

The Mass.-based Elite Financial Services Inc., allegedly charged consumers upfront fees and promised to reduce their unsecured debt. In most instances, the company allegedly never followed through with those promises.

"The debt settlement industry has sought to profit from the fear and stress many Missourians are experiencing in these difficult economic times," Koster said.

"These so-called debt settlement companies prey on consumers who are desperately searching for a way to decrease their debt. These companies promise to magically reduce consumer debt by 50 percent or more, but in reality, most consumers end up worse off by following their advice. These companies will face aggressive consumer law enforcement in Missouri."

The company, which agreed to an injunction, will refund all fees paid by Missouri consumers and has agreed to no longer operate in Missouri. Restitution will be provided to anyone who submits complaints to Koster's office by Dec. 19, 2011.

Notices will be sent to all consumers who allegedly were affected by the company's actions.

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