For-profit debt settlement companies often make big promises to consumers that they can’t keep. They target consumers in financial trouble with promises to negotiate with their creditors to reduce or even erase debts, encouraging consumers to stop paying their creditors and start paying the debt settlement company instead. But oftentimes, consumers are left worse off after signing up for “debt settlement” than before, with possibly even more debt and lawsuits from debt collectors.

In 2017, Dean Schreiber turned to Bedrock, a debt settlement services company, for help managing his debts. Mr. Schreiber received a welcome guide brochure from Bedrock which…

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