Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, an Illinois company claiming to lower its customers’ debt interest rates, agreed to reimburse customers who paid for the company’s services in advance and yet did not receive any debt consolidation. The company will have to pay a reported $2.1 million in a settlement with the state. By law, debt consolidation companies are not allowed to charge an up-front fee. Instead, a firm can only make money once they’ve actually reduced a customer’s interest rate or otherwise negotiated a reduced debt load. Usually, this means making a contract for a certain percentage of whatever the deduction turns out to be. This a necessary protection, as otherwise consumers can be duped into paying for a service that provides no actual benefit. Only truly determined scum would then be able to take advantage of struggling families. So how did Legal Helpers Debt Resolution get around this?