The latest unbelievable resurgence in the debt relief world is advanced fee credit repair. That ship sailed a decade ago, at least.
Companies are telling marketers that they can sell credit repair services and basically “charge whatever” they want to.
But there is this little thing called the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) that prohibits the collection of any fee or compensation before any credit report assistance is fully rendered. Even then, the company may not sell services that are designed to remove negative but accurate information from a consumer credit report.
Credit repair operations seem to be completely stupid when it comes to marketing these services. Basically the premise of the sale and payment immediately violates federal law and leaves the provider swinging in the wind.
This doesn’t even take into consideration the state laws out there that prevent the very same thing.
Oh yes, in addition, before the entity sells credit repair services they must inform the consumer they can do it for free without the help of the company.
North Carolina Credit Repair Idiot – Busted
This credit repair idiot not only engaged in selling credit repair services but pretended to be a police officer to deliver it.
Monterrio Dieshaun Adams, doing business as M&M Business Concepts, LLC, from offering credit repair services and charging consumers advance fees for help with their credit. Attorney general Cooper is seeking to permanently ban Adams’ fraudulent business practices and win consumer refunds and civil penalties.
More than 300 consumer files obtained from the company show that Adams created fraudulent police reports using a computer template to falsely claim that the consumers had been victims of identity theft. He would then send the false police report to a credit reporting agency, like Equifax, with the goal of convincing the agency that negative information on the consumer’s report was a result of identity theft. His goal was to get credit reporting agencies to raise consumers’ credit scores. However, the police report and disputed information was routinely sent back to the creditor for verification, which led to the scheme being discovered. In the end, consumers got no real credit repair help.
According to the police report and affidavit filed during the investigation of this idiot the police investigator stated.
Mr. Parker, SECU’s Credit Reporting Manager, reported that, at his request, Equifax had sent him copies of purported police reports that had been submitted to Equifax by or on behalf of some SECU customers. In reviewing the reports, Mr. Parker observed that the reports contained unusual similarities. For example, the form used for each report was the same, even though they were purportedly prepared by different police departments across North Carolina. In addition, in many instances, the name of the reporting officer was the same; many of the officers’ ID numbers were the same; and many of the reports contained identical case numbers. Further, in all of the reports, in virtually identical language, the purported reporting officer reported that the SECU customer stated that he or she had been a victim ofidentity theft that is, that someone had stolen their identifYing information and used it to obtain credit in their name without their knowledge or authorization. In turn, these purported police reports had been submitted by, or on behalf of, the customers to Equifax, in support of the customers’ contentions that the payment history or other information supplied by SECU to Equifax was incorrect because the accounts allegedly did not belong to them due to fraud, and therefore should be removed from their credit reports.
I obtained a search warrant to search the office of M&M Business Concepts at 3737 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 100 in Raleigh. Sergeant Dunmyre and Detective Embler assisted with the “search and recording of the evidence collected. We entered Suite 100, and I asked for Monterrio Adams. The receptionist called him on the phone, and a moment later a male walked out and identified himself as Monterrio Adams. I identified myself, and told Mr. Adams that I wanted speak with him. Mr. Adams asked that we step out into the lobby, since he had a client in his office.
I asked Mr. Adams if he could explain the nature ofhis business. Mr. Adams said that he “helped people with their credit,” but he was vague as to the specifics of how his business worked. On further questioning, Mr. Adams admitted that he prepared police reports on behalf of clients, that he subsequently sent the reports to Equifax, but that he had not filed these reports with any police departments. Mr. Adams claimed that he did not realize he was doing anything wrong, and that he was “just trying to help people out.”
I asked Mr. Adams for permission to look around his office. Mr. Adams refused, so I showed Mr. Adams the search warrant, and I read it to him. At that time, Mr. Adams allowed us to conduct a search.
Our search of M&M’s office yielded over 250 individual client files that had manufactured or fraudulent police reports inside of them. We discovered an additional 104 client files also relating to credit repair services that did not contain any police reports, but contained some paperwork, such as copies of the client’s driver’s license, e-mail correspondence, or payment records. As part of our search, we seized these two groups of files. Finally, there were approximately 114 additional files that contained only the client’s contact information but contained no other paperwork or information. We did not take these files as part of our search, but I wrote down the names ofthe clients.
As part of our search, we inspected the computer files on Mr. Adams’ computer. On the computer were form templates to prepare police reports, as well as facsimile forms for use in submitting documents, including falsified police reports, to Equifax. Mr. Adams acknowledged to us that he had faxed and mailed documents to Equifax contesting items on clients’ credit reports, and that those documents included false police reports that he or his employees had prepared for purposes of making it appear that clients had filed actual police reports contending they were victims of identity theft. Mr. Adams also admitted to filling out identity theft affidavits online on behalf ofhis customers. – Source
The Lessons Learned
If anyone has approached you to purchase credit repair and said they were going to charge an advance fee or remove negative information from your credit report, report them to me.
If there is inaccurate information on your credit report you can get that removed yourself by contacting the credit bureaus that are reporting the inaccurate information and letting them know.
If you are considering getting into selling credit repair services, here is the best advice you will ever get on this, don’t do it.