DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced on Wednesday that his office obtained an order barring a Denver-based company from providing consumers with assistance in filing complaints with the state for a fee.

According to an August lawsuit filed by the state, RMI Associates allegedly claimed that in exchange for an upfront fee, it could help victims recover their losses related to a federal consumer-protection lawsuit against Westminster, Colo.-based Dalbey Education Institute, formerly known as American's Note Network.

The court also requires RMI Associates to refund any fees it has accepted from consumers to assist them in filing a complaint with Suthers' office or the Federal Trade Commission.

"This order underlines that consumers should never pay for a service they can obtain for free from the state," Suthers said. "Any private business that claims a 'special relationship' with my office or any other state or federal consumer protection agency is misleading you. You should never pay a fee to file a consumer complaint with the state of Colorado."

Suthers' office warned consumers about RMI Associates' fraudulent services in early August after consumers began filing complaints against the company.

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