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Is Consumer Assistance Project Spoofing a Nonprofit Past?

The signature Marlene Funk says is faked.

I received the following email from a Marlene Funk regarding an article from September, 2013 titled Consumer Assistance Project Website Raises Real Concerns. Be Careful. Marlene Funk was the organizer of the original company the student loan assistance company Consumer Assistance Project grew from. Ms. Funk stated, “I created Non-Profit Guardian Services, which has nothing to do wih Consumer Assistance ... Read More »

Loan Scammers Turn Around and Get Nailed Again by FTC

ftc

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court judge in Florida has issued a contempt order against Bryon Wolf and Roy Eliasson, two key individuals who operated a deceptive marketing scheme since 2009. According to the order, the defendants violated a December 2008 permanent injunction and final order that barred them from making a range of ... Read More »

Don’t Overlook the Insolvency Exemption for 1099-C Cancelation of Debt Income

taxform

It’s that time of year again, when people are receiving 1099-Cs for debts forgiven or canceled during 2013. Perhaps you were in a debt settlement program with successful results, and a lot of debt was forgiven. Or it may be that your creditor decided to formally cancel an old delinquent account to close out their records. You might have taken ... Read More »

Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy Goes Dark

waving

A tipster (send in your tips here) sent in a message about the Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy site had a strange message on it. For those that might not remember, Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy was created when Macey Bankruptcy Law merged with Jacoby & Meyers. As of right now the Jacoby & Meyers website is essentially gone. It does have ... Read More »

New York Goes After Companies Offering Student Loan Assistance

student loan debt

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that his newly established Student Protection Unit took its first official action by issuing subpoenas to 13 student debt relief companies as part of an investigation into concerns about potentially misleading advertising, improper fees, and other consumer protection problems in that industry. In particular, the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Student Protection Unit is ... Read More »

Beware of the Capital Currency Control Certificate Scam

scam

Fictitious correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC and possibly other government entities, is in circulation. Correspondence may be distributed via e-mail, fax, or postal mail. Any document claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or ... Read More »

Student Loan Assistance Insider Blows the Whistle to Warn Consumers

scammer

I’ve been critical of the wave of student loan assistance companies that are exploding on the scene. Some of these companies are charging huge fees for items the consumer can do themselves. The statement below comes from someone who claimed to work inside one of these companies. The company name is less important than the issues they raise about the ... Read More »

TeleCheck Bitch Slapped by FTC Over Inaccuracies

bitch slap copy

TeleCheck Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest check authorization service companies, along with its associated debt-collection entity, TRS Recovery Services, Inc., have agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The penalty matches the second-largest ever obtained by the FTC in an FCRA case. Earlier this year, ... Read More »

4 Mistakes You May Be Making With Your Tax Refund When You Have Debt

Woman Whispers a Secret

by 
Paula Langguth Ryan, Mediator, Consumer Advocate and Communications Consultant Got debt? Thinking of using your tax refund check to play catch up or pay down a balance? Before you act, read this article. Most people who have debt make the wrong choices with their tax refunds. End result: you wind up even more stressed than before you got your ... Read More »

Credit Counseling Agencies Need Credit Counseling Help

stressed man

Richard Burnett of the Orlando Sentinel recently wrote an interesting piece about the realities of modern non-profit credit counseling and how they need help. With demand dropping, existing credit counseling agencies are scrambling to find new avenues of income. Credit counseling agencies are turning to trying to sell student loan assistance and one agency reports having a pilot program to ... Read More »

Mortgage Relief Scams Pay Millions to FTC

ftc

The South Florida-based defendants in an alleged mortgage relief scam will surrender their assets and be banned permanently from providing mortgage relief and debt relief services to consumers under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. This settlement represents the FTC’s largest judgment to date against a purported mortgage assistance relief provider. In 2012, as part of the Distressed Homeowner ... Read More »

Why Paying for Credit Repair is Stupid

Mature woman confused

by 
Paula Langguth Ryan, Mediator, Consumer Advocate and Communications Consultant. Every week, people contact me wanting advice on how to get their FICO or credit score up over the 700 mark. Here’s the first question I ask them: Which would you rather increase by 38% in six months– your FICO score or your net worth? The problem is, raising your ... Read More »

Why You Should Never Pay Sticker Price for College

black-hole

by Marian Wang ProPublica, Jan. 2, 2014, 9:27 a.m. You know all those seemingly great sales during the holidays? It turns out, they are often a “carefully engineered illusion.”  A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal defines what it calls “retail theater,” noting that often the discounts being offered to bargain-conscious consumers are carefully planned out by retailers from ... Read More »

American Express to Pay Millions for Illegal Credit Card Practices

punched-in-face

On Christmas Eve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered American Express to refund an estimated $59.5 million to more than 335,000 consumers for illegal credit card practices. These practices included unfair billing tactics and deceptive marketing with respect to credit card “add-on products” such as payment protection and credit monitoring. American Express will pay an additional $9.6 million in ... Read More »

CFPB Gives Borrowers With Troubled Mortgages a Guide

Real Estate Concept

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a comprehensive guide to help troubled mortgage borrowers. The 104 page guide gives step-by-step directions on what you should expect from your mortgage company if you are struggling. You can read the guide here. The guide also clearly lays out the responsibilities of borrowers as well and is one of the more ... Read More »

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