Out of Austin, Texas today comes the following warning to consumers.
Two Austin debt-settlement firms have been sued by the Illinois attorney general, which alleges that they use deceptive marketing practices, charge excessive fees and do little to help consumers get out of their financial trouble.
The Better Business Bureau of Central Texas has given Clear Your Debt and SwiftRock Financial Services their lowest rating, an F.
The bureau said it had received consumer complaints about the companies. The bureau said the companies responded by “citing their respective contracts and related disclaimers.”
The Illinois lawsuits, filed last month, name Clear Your Debt, SwiftRock and Orion Processing, which operate in Austin and Lago Vista.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan also sued Debt Consultants of America, based in Dallas; Endebt Solutions, in Long Beach, Calif.; American Debt Arbitration, based in Clearwater, Fla., and Nationwide Asset Services, in Phoenix.
The Better Business Bureau says the companies offer to help consumers settle debts by debiting their bank account a fee each month. But some consumers told the bureau that the companies had not lowered their debt and that they continued to get calls from creditors demanding payment.
One woman said she was forced into bankruptcy because SwiftRock didn’t live up to its promises.