Consumer update: Action against charity operation & ITT debt relief

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There has been major action against an alleged bogus charity operation and thousands of students of a now-defunct college are getting relief from their debt.

Former ITT Tech students are getting $330 million in debt relief, which includes $11.9 million for students in Pennsylvania.

ITT abruptly closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations and actions by the U.S. Department of Education.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says ITT students were afraid of losing credits they had earned and were then pressured or coerced into accepting loans with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program.

Now thanks to a settlement with PEAKS, that student loan debt has been canceled for 35,000 borrowers.

The action for PEAKS borrowers follows debt relief for ITT students who used a lender called CUSO, which was accused of high-cost predatory and deceptive loans last year.

RELATED: More info from the Pennsylvania attorney general's office

FTC MOVES TO SHUT DOWN BOGUS CHARITY OPERATION

The FTC is acting to shut down an alleged bogus charity operation accused of scamming consumers out of tens of millions of dollars.

The complaint alleges the operation claimed to collect donations on behalf of various groups, promising to help homeless veterans, retired and disabled law enforcement officers, breast cancer survivors, and others in need but, in fact, the organizations spent almost none of the donations on the promised activities.

The proposed settlements would permanently bar the defendants from charity fundraising business and require them to pay back money for use by legitimate charities.

One of the accused operates out of New Jersey.

RELATED: News release on FTC action

RELATED: FTC documents on action
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