Not all that long ago I wrote an article about an email Credit Mastery Challenge sent out. You can read it here.
In the comments for that article a reader, Elliott, came forward and make a claim that he had paid for services and asked for a refund in accordance with his agreement and Lang Smith refused to provide it.
I’ve had my first experience wit Lsmithenterprise and it hasn’t been pleasant by any means….I paid him for this service and guess what….NOTHING HAPPENED. He asked me to go through another program of his that involves the use of a CPN, I said ok and after 45 days…..NOTHING HAPPENED…I call and text and email him about a refund and after 80 calendar days….NOTHING HAPPENS, needless to say I’m now out of patience and will stop at nothing to get JUSTICE – Source
I asked Elliott to provide me with documentation to support his claims. The information is below.
I paid Lang Smith $2,000 to repair my credit $1,400 via Paypal (Feb 11 & 16) & 600 via bank wire (Feb 25) before I found out it was illegal to request money upfront for credit repair. He told me it would take 30 calendar days before my negative credit was removed and replaced with 3 primary tradelines, I paid Lang Smith via Paypal to Debt Solutions Unlimited, Inc.
30 calendar days later he said that the company he was going through required more clients in order to process the credit repair, he told me this 30 DAYS AFTER THE FACT. He asked that I stick with him and try his CPN program he sold me upon and he wouldn’t charge me another dime upfront but a backend fee upon getting me funding, he stated this would take 45 calendar days.
He provided a CPN number in 3 days and 45 days later which was suppose to include several tradelines…The tradelines never posted and I requested a refund immediately. He agreed to refund me in 5 business days and to confirm via email and never did so after several emails, phone calls and text messages he never answered me again until now.
He said it would take another 30 days to pay me because he doesn’t wanna throw his “Books” off. He claims to make OVER SIX FIGURES A MONTH but can’t pay me because of tax purposes and threatened to sue me if I slandered him.
Here is what Elliott said about the documents he sent me below.
“Here is the Credit repair app he gave to me to fill out and return, he requested that I make a cash deposit to his bank account, I refused to then he decided to let me pay via PayPal. The broker involved has now confirmed he will help me in any legal action I seek against Lang Smith but I don’t know which direction to go first. Here’s his banking Info, FYI
Bank of America
600 Sea Island Rd
Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
ECR Solutions, LLC
4720 Salisbury road
Jacksonville, FL 32256
As you can see in this document the claim is “We guarantee that all negative entries from all three credit bureaus will be remove in 25 days of order and receipt of full payment or you will be issued a full refund.”
As part of the credit repair services it appears that Elliott was also sold services to provide him with an alternative number to use in place of his Social Security number. This approach uses what is called a CPN number.
The CPN or Credit Profile Number or Credit Privacy Number is a scam I’ve written about before here. As you will see in that article the FTC has said that the practice is illegal.
But it appears Lang Smith was attempting to sell the consumer an additional $14,000 service as evidenced by the additional contract below.
As proof of payment, Elliott provided documentation that showed he made two payments via PayPal and an additional payment via a bank transfer. In total he claims he paid $2,000 towards the credit repair services before he asked for a refund. The records provided show he paid $1,120 through PayPal. At the time of publication I have emailed Elliott to explain in the comments section below why the records show he paid $1,120 through PayPal when he claims he paid $1,400.
The payments Elliott made, according to the PayPal information, were directed to a company called Debt Solutions Unlimited which is run by Dennis Daniels and Donna Daniels. In 2010 Debt Solutions Unlimited changed their name to Shielded Circle. – Source. Shielded Circle is a company I’ve written about before as well, click here.
What appears odd in all of this is that Lang Smith doesn’t put his name or company name on anything and money is headed in all sorts of directions and through different companies. Just look at all the names we have here. On the Credit Mastery Challenge post, Smith identified himself as L Smith Enterprise, and on these documents it looks like money was directed towards ECR Solutions and Ultimate Debt Solutions, Debt Solutions Unlimited, and Shielded Circle.
It’s also interesting to note the agreements for service are not signed by the provider nor identify the provider.
So Who are the Players Here?
Lang Smith identifies himself as the CEO of Credit Mastery Challenge. – Source. He says his website is CreditMasteryChallenge.com.
CreditMasteryChallenge.com says the administrative contact for the domain is firstname.lastname@example.org although the rest of the registration information is hidden.
ECR Solutions appears to be Extreme Credit Restoration Solutions, a company that Smith is associated with as well.
A search of Florida corporate records, where the company claims to be located, could not locate any active corporation by that name in Florida nor any company called L Smith Enterprise. Lang Smith is not an officer with any company called ECR Solutions.
Lang Smith is the person responsible for Credit Mastery Challenge, LLC which is located at the same address as ECR Solutions. 4720 Salisbury Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256.
The Credit Mastery Challenge was formed on 3-22-2010 and according to the most recent company filing he is the responsible party. – Source
Lang Smith is also the responsible person for a another corporation at the same location, Deal Fax. – Source
ECR Solutions says it is the copyright holder of the Deal Fax website. – Source
A further search for ECR Solutions took me to a press release. That press release said the website for ECR Solutions was www.extremecreditrestoration.com and that domain actually takes you to the CreditMasteryChallenge.com website. The release also listed a second site, www.miccreditrepair.com, and that domain also leads to Lang Smith’s company Credit Mastery Challenge website.
In that release Lang Smith is quoted as saying:
Lang said, “I had to come up with a way to break into this market with an honest service that for once, actually did what they are getting paid to do and that is to repair your credit completely, not just 60%. Since 98% of all credit repair companies are scams I figured people would have to start paying attention to the guy offering to pay you $10,000 if he failed to do the job. I owe all my knowledge to my partner really who was a former Equifax insider for 18 years. He taught me everything I know now and I’m very grateful. If it wasn’t for him signing on to my company when I first built this, I would have never been able to make the guarantee that I make still today.”
Lang also went on to say, “I’m the original creator of the $10,000 guarantee. Sure, a lot of people have tried to copy my claim but it will just end up hurting them in the future when they have to pay that money out.” – Source
I could not help but notice the address associated with this press release was Saint Simons, Georgia 31522, which is coincidently the same location as the bank Lang Smith instructed this reader to send his wire transfer.
In fact this interesting website ties the Georgia connection all together. – Source
The Reader Tried to Get His Refund and Was Promised One by Lang Smith
The reader attempted to get the refund he was promised by Lang Smith. Despite the promises of a refund he got this after posting his complaint online.
> On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 7:26 PM, Lang Smith wrote to Elliott:
>> This is an official notice by email letting you know that your actions have promoted my attorney team to take legal action against you and all your assets. I am hereby informing you that you will receive a written notice to remove all postings and slander off the internet that have to do with my name or my company name.
>> You are going to receive written notice to your home explaining the details of this requirement.
>> If in fact you decide not to comply within the time frame the letter is demanding my legal team will follow up with a hefty lawsuit against you. Next, we will take your signed application that we have where you state that you agree there are no refunds and we will present it in court to get a court order to have your posts removed.
>> That’s just the start. We will then file a counter lawsuit against you for slander to start with. Once that’s done I will make sure you receive hefty fines or jail time if you attempt to place your false accusations back on the internet again.
>> This is[n’t] my first rodeo. I hope you know what your getting yourself into. Your life is about to really change for the worst.
>>I suggest you hire an attorney for this. You’re going to need it.
On May 14, 2011, at 9:51 PM, Elliott wrote to Lang Smith:
Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies cannot require you to pay until they have completed the credit repair services they promised.
On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 11:29 PM, Lang Smith wrote again to Elliott:
> Do you really think I would still be in business if I didn’t have a legal way around that?
> Plus credit has nothing to do with this. All I need is a court order and search engines will shut down your links.
> I hope you got more than that. Ha.
> Here’s a freebie since it has nothing to do with your case…
> Read the entire FCRA. There are exceptions.
> Sorry kid you’re not getting out of this by reading a few things on the net.
> Get your 9-5 wallet out.
> See you in Florida court. Hope you show up.
> FYI…it will take more than a few blog links to make a dent in my company.
> Every company has complaints. A company that has no complaints people tend to trust less.
> You’ve done me a favor.
> In fact, I should be thanking you really. So far I’ve had a $23,000 increase in sales since your post mainly because people want to prove you wrong. They are using my service out of pure curiosity. Awesome!
> Good luck.
The sales representative, Peter Cruz, who sold the program to Elliott, sent me an email backing up Elliott’s story.
Peter Cruz says he was a sales representative for the credit repair program and along with Lang Smith and Elliott he was part of a conference call in which Peter states Lang Smith said he would refund Elliott’s money in 3 to 5 days.
Will There Be a Refund?
I’m hopeful Elliott will receive a prompt refund.
Lang, it would be awesome to make this a good news story and post a comment below with information showing your cordial refund was sent and as a bonus, that you still stand behind your $10,000 guarantee.
I contacted Lang Smith by email yesterday and said:
I am currently working on a story regarding your credit repair and CPN services after receiving communications from a reader, Elliott [redacted], who says he paid you $2,000 in advance for the removal of negative items on his credit reports. I have communications from both Elliott [redacted] and his sales representative Peter Cruz that say you promised him a refund but have yet to deliver the refund.
[Elliott] has forwarded me emails where you appear to be very agitated with [Elliott] and it appears you do not intend to issue the promised refund.
I would like to your side of the story to be included in the piece which will publish tomorrow morning. It would be positive if the story ended with [Elliott] receiving the refund he and Mr. Cruz claim you said was forthcoming.
As of the time of publication I have not received any response.