The folks over at the Connecticut Department of Banking, otherwise known as the people you don’t want to F with, have reached out and touched Universal Debt Services, Inc. in New York.
The State assets the following:
1. Respondent is a New York corporation with offices at 100 Veterans Boulevard, Massapequa, New York, and One Cross Island Plaza, Suite 100, Rosedale, New York.
2. Respondent offers debt settlement services via the Internet.
3. From at least March 2010 through March 2011, at least five (5) Connecticut residents, while physically present in this state, each entered into an agreement with Respondent for services to attempt to negotiate a possible settlement of all or some of each of the Connecticut resident’s unsecured debts with their creditors. In connection with such agreements, the Connecticut residents paid a total of $8,860.67 for such services.
4. By letter dated December 13, 2011, the Division sent a letter to Respondent requesting, among other things, (1) a list of all Connecticut consumers who have received services or are represented by Respondent; (2) the name of the consumer(s); (3) the date of the contract and/or service agreement with a detailed description of the services offered or rendered; and (4) an itemization of any and all fees paid and/or due. Response to such letter was due no later than December 28, 2011.
5. By letters dated January 17 and March 8, 2012, Respondent provided a list of the amount of fees paid during the period of March 2010 and March 8, 2012.
6. By e-mail dated April 27, 2012, an examiner with the Division asked whether Respondent could provide refunds of the fees collected from its clients and requested that when such refunds are made by Respondent that Respondent provide the Division a copy of any letter sent to each client and a copy of each check sent to such client.
7. By e-mail dated July 18, 2012, Respondent replied to the April 27, 2012 e-mail, and stated that it was not in a position to refund all of the fees at one time, but was hoping to make refunds one client at a time and would forward the requested information to the Division. To date, evidence of such repayments has not been received.
8. At no time relevant hereto was Respondent licensed to engage or offer to engage in debt negotiation in this state, nor did Respondent qualify for an exemption from such licensure. – Source
So the State is now taking action and has let Universal Debt Services know they now have a cease and desist order and notice of intent to impose a civil penalty.
How many times do I have to say, you don’t mess around when it come to Connecticut?
And from a glance at the Universal Debt Service site, this isn’t there only problem. They are still using old marketing methods the FTC has advised against like this one on time.
Man, and some smart attorney would love to tackle them with this message.
Can someone in the industry please call them and help them out, before it becomes another unfortunate black on on the debt relief industry. Please!
But wait, it gets even better.
On the testimonial page for Universal Debt Services they even list a testimonial from someone they say is in New Have, Connecticut, where they are already aware they are not licensed. They also list a testimonial from someone in Cosangoe, Vermont, and you guessed it. Vermont does not show them licensed there either. – Source, Source
I didn’t check the other states they list on their testimonial page.
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