Debt Relief Industry Sued or Sanctioned

Debt Relief Company Uses Notaries to Meet With Consumers. Notaries Turn the Company In to Regulators.

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?

Sincerly,
Steve

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READ  Beware of Offers to Help Settle Debt Says Wisconsin State Journal



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.

2 Comments

  • I’m glad to hear the notary turned them in. This kind of stuff makes my skin crawl.

    With the new FTC regulations having passed, I was wondering what the debt settlement companies were going to do to get around the lack of upfront fees. It looks like they’re going to try to be “creative” – not that I expected anything less.

  • I’m glad to hear the notary turned them in. This kind of stuff makes my skin crawl.

    With the new FTC regulations having passed, I was wondering what the debt settlement companies were going to do to get around the lack of upfront fees. It looks like they’re going to try to be “creative” – not that I expected anything less.

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