Law firm to pay $2.1M settlement in debt scam

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the state has settled a lawsuit it filed against a Chicago-based law firm alleging that it unlawfully charged consumers upfront fees to provide debt settlement services with promises to make them debt free.

The settlement with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC will provide $2.1 million in restitution for Illinoisans who paid for debt settlement services but failed to receive meaningful debt reduction.

Also under the settlement, Legal Helpers has agreed to not accept any new Illinois customers.

Legal Helpers couldn't be reached for immediate comment.

"I encourage anyone who might have contracted with this firm to call my office's Consumer Fraud Hotline for more information about how we can help, whether through this settlement or by connecting consumers with legitimate credit counseling agencies," Madigan said. The number is 1-800-243-0618.

Madigan had sued the firm, which does business nationally, in March 2011, alleging it unlawfully charged upfront fees to consumers in Bureau, Champaign, Kendall, Will and Cook counties.