21st Century Legal Services, Inc. out of California, with 301 unanswered BBB complaints (source), has just agreed to pay almost $300,000 in fines to the state of Wisconsin as the result of a default judgment.
What makes this case so interesting for other areas of debt relief services is that it used local notaries to make in-person visits to gather signatures on documents, much like the way some debt settlement firms are now operating.
In this case the defendant’s would make a sales pitch over the phone and then arrange an appointment to meet with the consumer face-to-face to gather signatures. The face-to-face representatives were local notaries hired by the company who then acted as its representative and agent.
Some of the notaries that were hired to make these face-to-face meetings actually found problematic issues with the services and turned the company in to the State.
The complaint contained instructions to at least one notary involved. The emailed instructions to the notary clearly state that if the notary does not walk out of the appointment with the necessary material, checks, they will not get paid.
The complaint also contained a marketing letter that reads very much like some debt settlement offers. Combined with the marketing and the use of outside agents it begins to sound very familiar. – Source
The website of 21st Century Legal Services appears to be no longer operational. Anyone surprised?
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