Colo. AG files counterclaim against company suing state

By Bryan Cohen | Jan 9, 2012


DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced a counterclaim lawsuit on Monday against a Westminster-based firm for allegedly providing debt management services to Colorado consumers without meeting registration and reporting requirements.

Orion Financial Group and owner Eric Thompson allegedly failed to meet the requirements of Colorado consumer protection laws. The state alleged that it sent Orion letters in March 2010 and September 2011 warning the firm that it needed to register with Suthers' office and make appropriate disclosures to provide debt management services.

"The Colorado Uniform Debt-Management Services Act protects Colorado consumers by requiring that those who 'offer to provide, contract to provide, or provide' debt management services in Colorado be registered with the administrator of the Uniform Consumer Credit Code and refrain from certain activities," the lawsuit said.

"In March 2010, the administrator launched an investigation into Orion's business practices in Colorado. Through that investigation, the state learned that Orion provides debt management services to Colorado residents, but it has failed to register as a provider with the administrator and its business practices violate various provisions of the DMSA."

Orion sued the state in Adams County District Court on Dec. 27. In the lawsuit, Orion requested that the court exempt it from the sanction on the ground that it was an agent that provided back-end debt management services, not an actual debt management company.

According to the state's counterclaim lawsuit, Orion allegedly failed to make proper disclosures to its customers on the agreements that it used to lock consumers into a contract for debt management. The agreements allegedly did not inform consumers of their right to cancel their contract.

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