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DEC Credit Corrections in California Makes The News, Not in a Good Way

Here’s the scene.

Wide shot of Beverly Hills residents getting hammered in a bad economy, running up debt and losing retirement savings.

Cut to next scene where Donna Chavez of DEC Credit Corrections collects $1,000 from this out of work, senior, psychiatrist, who was disabled after back surgery. Donna is alleged to have made promises to cut their $100K debt and correct their credit report.

Fade to black.

We see a title, “Six months latter”. Fade title.

Fade in.

Show consumer feeling like a fool for losing $1,000 thinking that their credit would actually get corrected by a company with Credit Corrections in their name.

Jump cut to hand held shot of debt relief company running for cover after debt was not reduced and credit file not improved.

The end.

Damn, it’s a repeat. I thought it was going to be a new show.

From the L.A. Times.

The company, DEC Credit Corrections of Tehachapi, Calif., is run by Donna Chavez. DEC’s website says she started the business “after a bad experience with a credit repair agency who overcharged Donna for repairing her credit file.”

The Rademans paid $1,000 in advance for Chavez’s assistance, according to a copy of the contract provided by the couple. And then they waited for some word of progress.

And waited.

About half a year later, they say they’re still waiting. Meanwhile, they remain buried in debt, struggling to pay their bills.

Chavez told me the Rademans have it all wrong. She said her office hasn’t received any calls or e-mails from the couple for months and has been awaiting additional paperwork related to their finances before proceeding with the case.

“We provide a service to our clients,” Chavez said. “We don’t stiff anyone.”

She also said she never told the Rademans that she could lower their debt. Rather, she said she could help improve their credit scores so they’d be in a better position to deal with lenders.

The Rademans dispute Chavez’s account, but what becomes clear after reviewing their contract with DEC is that they don’t have much to stand on.

The contract makes no promise for reducing debt and says that DEC offers “no guarantees regarding the amount of points credit scores will be raised,” and that the company “is not responsible if clients’ expectations are not reached.”

“It was dumb to sign it,” Rademan admitted. “Promises had been made verbally, but there was nothing in writing.”

For what it’s worth, the Better Business Bureaugives DEC Credit Corrections a grade of F. This is due in part to DEC’s failure to respond to a customer’s complaint and the bureau’s own inquiries, and partly to what the bureau describes as “concerns with the industry in which this business operates.”

Clearly the Rademans got in over their heads through a combination of mistakes and misfortune. In hindsight, they readily acknowledge that running up massive bills on multiple credit cards was a dangerous thing to do.

But consumer advocates and state officials say the Rademans made a bad situation worse by paying $1,000 upfront for a credit counseling service, with no real promise of action in return.

Frequently, they say, such services are little more than scams.

You can read the full article here.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.





About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

25 Comments

  • Just finished my experience with DEC.  BEWARE!!!  And for those that want to call me out, I DID understand was I was getting into.  If you’re a “credit repair” expert, I’m guessing you should know that if your client is trying to qualify for a home loan using VA (According to lender I used), you can’t have any accounts with “Account information Disputed by Consumer” on the credit report.  Because of letters generated by DEC to the bureaus, I have 5 accounts with that status.  DEC’s response in an email to me?  It’s my fault for deciding to buy a home during this process.   Interesting that in mid to late Feb, we informed DEC we were looking to purchase a house and just learned on Friday we wouldn’t qualify.  I guess almost 4 months in advance isn’t good enough.

    The process isn’t rocket science people.  You find out what’s on your credit report, if anything isn’t yours or isn’t accurate, you dispute it with the bureau’s, and they verify it with the creditor.  The creditor reports their findings back to the bureau’s, and the bureaus reports their findings back to you.  If you want to re-dispute it because the accounts truely aren’t yours, that’s an option.

    DEC re-disputing accounts tied to my bankruptcy claiming they weren’t mine was pointless and a waste of time.  My advise.  Save the $1,000 and dispute the items yourself directly with the bureau’s.

  • Just finished my experience with DEC.  BEWARE!!!  And for those that want to call me out, I DID understand was I was getting into.  If you’re a “credit repair” expert, I’m guessing you should know that if your client is trying to qualify for a home loan using VA (According to lender I used), you can’t have any accounts with “Account information Disputed by Consumer” on the credit report.  Because of letters generated by DEC to the bureaus, I have 5 accounts with that status.  DEC’s response in an email to me?  It’s my fault for deciding to buy a home during this process.   Interesting that in mid to late Feb, we informed DEC we were looking to purchase a house and just learned on Friday we wouldn’t qualify.  I guess almost 4 months in advance isn’t good enough.

    The process isn’t rocket science people.  You find out what’s on your credit report, if anything isn’t yours or isn’t accurate, you dispute it with the bureau’s, and they verify it with the creditor.  The creditor reports their findings back to the bureau’s, and the bureaus reports their findings back to you.  If you want to re-dispute it because the accounts truely aren’t yours, that’s an option.

    DEC re-disputing accounts tied to my bankruptcy claiming they weren’t mine was pointless and a waste of time.  My advise.  Save the $1,000 and dispute the items yourself directly with the bureau’s.        

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