CFPB Obtains Ban Against Debt Relief CEO Daniel Crenshaw

Washington, D.C – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a draft order to resolve its allegations that Performance SLC, a student loan debt relief company, and Performance Settlement, a general debt settlement company, along with its owner and CEO Daniel Crenshaw , engaged in unlawful involved in charging practices and misleading telephone marketing. Performance SLC unlawfully collected prepayments from borrowers and failed to provide required disclosures. Performance Settlement has been paying off debt without the necessary consumer approval and tricking certain consumers into signing up for its debt settlement services. If granted by the court, the judgment would permanently bar Performance SLC from debt relief services and Crenshaw from debt relief services for five years. It would also prohibit the performance of certain loan settlement and lead generation activities.

The three defendants live in California. Crenshaw is CEO and sole owner of Performance SLC and CEO and majority owner of Performance Settlement. Performance Settlement is a general debt settlement company that negotiates the settlement of consumers’ unsecured debt for a fee of 25% of the amount of registered debt. Performance SLC provided federal student loan debt relief services to consumers by processing and submitting the paperwork required to apply for loan consolidation, loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs offered by the US Department of Education (ED). Performance SLC ceased operations in 2020.

On November 5, 2020, the CFPB filed a lawsuit against Performance SLC, Performance Settlement and Crenshaw in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California. The bureau alleges that Performance SLC and Crenshaw billed more than 9,000 consumers for approximately $10.5 million in federal student loan debt in illegal prepayments. The Bureau also alleges that Crenshaw and Performance Settlement used fraudulent sales tactics to enroll certain consumers in debt relief services. In particular, the Bureau claims that:

  • Performance SLC collected illegal advance payments. Performance SLC provided consumers nationwide with federal student loan debt relief services by processing and submitting the documentation required to apply for ED’s loan consolidation, loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs. ED does not charge consumers to apply for or participate in these programs. Performance SLC charged an upfront fee of between $1,000 and $1,450 before its clients made a payment under their new loan terms.
  • Performance settlement enticed clients to pay for deleveraging services. In speaking with some clients, Performance Settlement’s sales reps told them that the company “qualifies” and “insures” personal loans. After receiving their financial and personal information, the sales representatives informed the customers that they had been rejected for the personal loan. This was a ploy to trick these people into signing up for the company’s debt resolution services. Sales representatives would tell clients that it would be best to sign up with Performance Settlement for debt resolution services. Around 400 individuals have incurred more than $700,000 in total fees as a result of Performance Settlement’s misleading marketing.

Crenshaw were both directly involved in the violations and had the authority to control them. As CEO and sole owner of Performance SLC, Crenshaw oversaw all of its managers and was involved in establishing its policies and procedures, reviewing payment reports, overseeing collections and receiving consumer complaints deemed credible. As majority owner and CEO of Performance Settlement, Crenshaw oversaw the company’s managers, helped create its policies, procedures and sales scripts, and regularly monitored the company’s sales and customer trust accounts.

enforcement actions

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB has the power to take action against entities that violate consumer finance laws, including engaging in any unfair, fraudulent, or abusive act or practice. In addition to allegedly violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the defendants’ actions allegedly violate the Telemarketing Selling Rule. The order, if entered by the court, would require:

  • Defendants are to cease conducting debt relief and settlement activities. The order would permanently bar Performance SLC from providing debt relief services, ban Crenshaw from providing debt relief services for five years, and permanently bar Performance Settlement from soliciting recommendations from companies purporting to make or arrange loans.
  • Crenshaw is fined $30,000. Crenshaw would pay the CFPB a $30,000 penalty, which would be paid into the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund.

The Bureau will work to grant eligible injured consumers full relief from the Civil Penal Fund.

Read today’s order proposal filed in Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st-century agency that implements and enforces federal consumer finance laws and ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. For more information visit ConsumerFinance.gov.

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