AUGUSTA — The state Attorney General’s Office has reached an agreement with a Texas-based debt-settlement company accused of violating the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act through an advance fee debt settlement scheme.

Credit Solutions of America and its owner, Douglas Van Arsdale, agreed to enter into a consent judgment to settle allegations of unfair trade practices.

Since 2003, the company promised Maine consumers it would negotiate with their creditors to settle their credit card and other unsecured debts. The company claimed it could eliminate 40 to 60 percent of a consumer’s debts.

The company collected advance fees of up to 15 percent of the total debt to be negotiated. It held the consumers responsible for the enrollment fees regardless of whether all the debt was settled. Of the 561 Maine consumers who enrolled and paid advance fees, only six had 40 percent of their debt settled.

“Maine consumers in financial distress are particularly vulnerable to deceptive marketing of debt-relief services,” Attorney General William Schneider said in a statement. “Despite CSA’s claims that consumers who enrolled in their program would be debt-free in 36 months, the truth is that debt relief is not a quick fix.”

Under the consent judgment, the company and Van Arsdale will not accept advance payment for services and will not enter into enrollment contracts with new Maine consumers. The company must also pay $150,000 for the costs of the investigation and litigation.