- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana’s attorney general is suing a college test preparation company, alleging it engaged in “unfair and abusive practices” when selling study materials for college equivalency exams.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s complaint alleges The College Network made personal loans for customers at high interest rates with payments beginning immediately, but that relatively few people actually complete its program and earn a college degree.

Indiana has received 492 written complaints against the Indianapolis-based company since 2011, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1IqKQXE ).

The state’s lawsuit says The College Network isn’t a school, but tries to give customers that impression. Zoeller alleges the company does not make it clear that students still must “apply, be admitted, take classes, and graduate from an actual college or university to obtain a degree.”

Indiana is seeking the cancellation of the company’s “unlawful contracts,” restitution for customers and civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.

The lawsuit cites numerous alleged violations in the contract used by the company to extend credit to customers.

“This deceit is unconscionable, and has left hundreds of Hoosiers in debt with nothing to show for it,” Zoeller said in a statement.

The College Network said in a statement that it “will vigorously defend against what it considers to be unfair piling on with repetitive allegations which have no merit.”

“We are proud of our legacy. For more than 20 years, we have helped over 200,000 people pursue their educational goals,” the company said.

New York’s attorney general also sued the company in early June, alleging “false and deceptive business practices.” The company has denied the allegations in New York’s lawsuit.

New York’s complaint names a collection agency owned by Gary Eyler, who’s also owner of The College Network, and a credit union that provided personal loans to the company’s customers.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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