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When Does a Debt Relief Business Become a Fraud?

I received a tip that was sent to me about a site AmericanCreditAssociation.com. After looking at the site it looked like the typical B.S. fake government debt relief site approach I’ve seen hundreds of times. Nothing to write about there.

But I poked around a bit more a discovered that the American Credit Association is part of a much larger network of web sites that appear to be nothing more than lead collection sites, with testimonials and information that appear to not accurately tell the consumer who they really are.

What was not story became a question worth us all pondering, what information should a consumer know before giving up their personal information? What duty do legitimate debt relief companies have to inform consumers who they really are and what they really do?

Maybe I’m stuck in a traditional mindset of thinking that a company that holds itself out as providing debt relief services should tell the truth. Those companies don’t need a vast network of sites with different names and approaches, they need to focus on delivering quality services to help people.

Let’s look at the American Credit Association as an example.

American Credit Association

American Credit Association

The web site says “Debt relief information and services are provided by American Credit Association, an established, Nationally recognized debt relief organization.” – Source.

Our debt relief company maintains relationships with thousands of creditors nationwide. Furthermore we are licensed, and bonded to provide debt relief. – Source

But here is the thing, the American Credit Association, that says they are located in Florida is not an active or registered business according to the State of Florida. So who are they and how can they be licensed and bonded as they claim?

They claim to be located at 8601 4th Street N. Suite 309 Saint Petersburg, Florida 33702 and have a call center at 7260 Azure Drive Suite 140-523 Las Vegas, NV-89130. The Las Vegas address is actually a mail drop for a company called Mostly Mail and the Florida address links back to the company that actually owns the American Credit Association domain name, TSSR Financial, Joseph Sammarco, 8601 4th Street North, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33702. – Source

So far, it’s still your average run of the mill misdirection story but when I saw the number of sites they were running along with the American Credit Association, I took notice.

Well it appears that TSSR Financial also owns a number of other domains also. At the time of this article all domain names below are owned by TSSR Financial except where noted.

Affordable-debt-solutions.com
Affordable-debt-solutions.org
Affordable-debt-solutions.us
Alliancedebtgroup.com
Americancreditassociation.com
Americancreditassociation.org
Americandebtaffiliation.com
Americandebtaffiliation.org
Americandebtassociation.com
Americandebtassociation.org
Americandebtassociation.us
Capitalnegotiators.com
Chasedebtrelief.com
Citizendebt.com
Citizendebtrelief.com
Community-debt-relief.com
Community-debt-service.com
Community-debt-service.us
Community-debt-services.com
Communitydebtrelief.com
Communitydebtservice.com
Communitydebtservices.com
Consolidationcounselors.com
Consumer-credit-counseling.us
Countrywide-debt-services.com
Countrywide-debt-services.us
Countrywide-debt-solutions.com
Countrywide-debt-solutions.us
Credit-card-debt-programs.com
Credit-card-debt-services.net
Credit-card-help.net
Credit-counsel-america.com
Credit-counseling-usa.com
Credit-counseling-usa.net
Credit-counseling-usa.org
Credit-negotiation-services.com
Creditcardconsolidation.tv
Creditcardinterestreduction.com
Creditconsolidationcompany.com
Creditcounselamerica.com
Creditdebtusa.com
Creditnegotiate.com
Creditnegotiationservices.com
Creditnegotiationservices.info
Creditsettle.com
Creditsettleamerica.com
Creditsettleusa.com
Cutupcreditcards.com
Cutupcreditcards.net
Cutupcreditcards.org
Debt-counseling-service.us
Debt-counseling-services.net
Debt-counseling-services.org
Debt-counseling-services.us
Debt-counseling.biz
Debt-management-companies.info
Debt-management-companies.net
Debt-management-companies.us
Debt-negotiation-services.info
Debt-programs.info
Debt-quote.info
Debt-quote.net
Debt-quote.org
Debt-quote.us
Debt-reduction-programs.info
Debt-reduction-programs.net
Debt-reduction-services.biz
Debt-reduction-services.info
Debt-relief-usa.org
Debt-relief-usa.us
Debtaffiliation.com
Debtapprove.com
Debtapproved.com
Debtask.com
Debtbrokers.net
Debtconsolidation-usa.net
Debtconsolidation-usa.org
Debtconsolidation-usa.us
Debtconsolidators.tv
Debtconsultations.us
Debtcounselingservices.us
Debtfreeus.us
Debtgroupamerica.com
Debtgroupusa.com
Debtinquiry.com
Debtlaw.us
Debtlawfirm.info
Debtlaws.info
Debtnegotiate.us
Debtnegotiationcompanies.info
Debtnegotiationcompanies.net
Debtnegotiationcompanies.org
Debtnegotiationcompanies.us
Debtnegotiationprograms.net
Debtnegotiationprograms.org
Debtnegotiationprograms.us
Debtnegotiationusa.org
Debtprograms.in
Debtprosperity.com
Debtquest.us
Debtquoteus.com
Debtquoteusa.com
Debtreferrals.com
Debtreferrals.info
Debtreferrals.net
Debtreliefcompany.us
Debtreliefusa.tv
Debtservices.in
Debtservicesusa.org
Debtsettle.us
Debtsettlementcompany.us
Debtsolutioncompanies.info
Debtsolutioncompanies.net
Debtsolutioncompanies.us
Family-debt-relief.com
Family-debt-services.com
Family-debt.com
Findcreditrates.com
Freedom-debt-group.com
Freedom-debt-group.us
Freedomcreditcare.com
Freedomdebtcare.com
Interest-rate-reduction.com
Liberty-debt-relief.com
Liberty-debt-relief.us
Loansettle.com
Lower-my-interest-rates.com
Lower-my-payments.us
Lower-your-payments.us
Mycreditnegotiators.com
Online-debt-services.com
Online-debt-services.info
Reduce-interest-rates.com
Reducedebtusa.com
Thedebttree.com
Tssrfinancial.com – Owned by CreditSettle, Joseph Sammarco at same address.
Usadebtquote.com
Uscreditcounselors.org
Uscreditcounselors.us
Uscreditdebt.org
Usdebtbureau.com
Usdebtbureau.org
Usdebtconsult.com
Usdebtconsultant.com
Usdebtconsultations.com
Usdebtelimination.com
Usdebthelp.us
Usdebtloans.com
Usdebtloans.info
Usdebtloans.net
Usdebtloans.org
Usdebtprogram.com
Usdebtprograms.com
Usdebtquote.com
Usdebtreduction.org
Usreducedebt.com

TSSR Financial Doesn’t Even Really Exist

According to the State of Florida there is no company called TSSR Financial. There is a TSSR Corp that was registered on April 14, 2009. TSSR Corp listed their address as 8601 4th Street North, Suite 305, Saint Petersburg, FL 33702 and is owned by Joseph P. Sammarco as president. – Source

Now I am in no way calling TSSR Corp or TSSR Financial a scammer but I did find this warning to consumers on their site, interesting.

There’s nothing worse than a horrid company preying on the financially hurt, nonetheless giving real debt companies a bad name. On a better note, we can help you point out these scammers so their meaningless pitch gets struck-out and straight exposed. – Source

And that seems to return me to my original question I was pondering.

Let’s Look at Some of the TSSR Corp/TSSR Financial Sites

Below you will see some screen shots from some of the sites owned and run by TSSR Financial with some interesting statements from them.

American Debt Association

“American Debt Association is an established, Nationally recognized organization in partnership with the American Credit Association and the US Debt Bureau.” – Source. An alliance between your own two companies. Really?

DebtSettle.us

“Discover the debt settlement difference with a debt settlement company that render 0 complaints from the BBB, and continue’s to provide excellent customer service.” – Source. Could it be that it is because there is no real company called DebtSettle.us?

Debt Group America

They display the logo of The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) but they are not a TASC member. – Source

“If your looking for a nationally licensed and bonded service provider in the debt management industry? Look no further.” – Source. The curious fact is there is no national license for debt relief companies and as far as I can tell TSSR Corp is not a service provider.

“Our services help consumers avoid bankruptcy, lower monthly payments, and reduce the total debt by 50%.” – Source. Making promises to reduce total debt by 50%? Hum, I’m sure the Federal Trade Commission would like to see that.

I noticed a number of the TSSR Corp web sites have the Trust-e, Verisign, and BBB Reliability logos on them but they are just there for show, they actually don’t link anywhere. – Source

A search of the Trust-e site could find no authorization to display the logo or confirm membership. This particular site is also not authorized to display the BBB logo since it is not a BBB accredited business. In fact the BBB report for this site gives it an F and says:

On April 27, 2009 the BBB requested this company to substantiate advertising claims made on its website, www.DebtNegotiate.us.

The specific claims being challenged by the BBB are:

1) “100% Legal debt Relief Done Right, Attorney Based Debt Negotiation Company.”
2) “Proven Results”
3) “Eliminate Collections”
4) “Reduce Debt by 70%”
5) “Become Debt Free Fast”

The company has failed to reply and failed to substantiate their advertising claims listed above. – Source

The BBB Report also lists a couple of additional addresses for the company:

4773 58th Ave N Ste E
Saint Petersburg, FL 33714-1025

12520 102nd Ave
Seminole, FL 33778-3400

1105 Pine Ridge Cir W
Brandon, FL 33511-6278 – Source

Anyway, You Get The Point

So I ask you, does TSSR Financial bend the truth enough in different places, misrepresent the facts of their programs and not provide consumers with enough information to be open, transparent and honest with consumers that visit their sites? Do you feel secure and confident that they are providing reliable debt relief services or just saying what they can to generate leads that will be sent who knows where?

As an industry, debt relief providers need to ask themselves what are the distant borders between puffery and fraud? What truth should consumers have when visiting a web site? Should the statements made be supported, factual, reliable?

For example, the TSSR sites are all over the board on the amount of debt they claim to reduce. It hardly feels those statements are based on fact and if they are not, should they be accepted by the debt relief industry as the mark of a good company, or a fraud?

So post your comments below, at what point do consumers deserve the truth in order to make fully informed and educated decisions about who to seek to professionally represent them with their debt concerns?

I can always use your help. If you have a tip or information you want to share, you can get it to me confidentially if you click here.

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Scott Johnson

    needs to know -
    What state do you reside in? This will significantly narrow the field
    down to licensed providers that are able to help and the laws that might impact
    you. When you identify your state I can provide a link to look up debt relief providers
    that are licensed to offer you a solution.  In addition I will suggest the right questions
    to ask that provider to ensure they have the capability of delivering the best
    results for you situation.

  • Needs to know

    We have $80,000 in credit card debt and have been talking to FreedomDebtGroup. Are they legit?

  • Needs to know

    We have $80,000 in credit card debt and have been talking to FreedomDebtGroup. Are they legit?

    • Scott Johnson

      needs to know –
      What state do you reside in? This will significantly narrow the field
      down to licensed providers that are able to help and the laws that might impact
      you. When you identify your state I can provide a link to look up debt relief providers
      that are licensed to offer you a solution.  In addition I will suggest the right questions
      to ask that provider to ensure they have the capability of delivering the best
      results for you situation.

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