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United Credit Consultants Says the Darndest Things

In a story I’ve been working on for a bit, United Credit Consultants in Minnesota had said something in a press release that caught the attention of readers who brought it to my attention.

It seems United Credit Consultants was saying they had FICO certified negotiators who could provide debt settlement service. But not only did UCC wind up with my attention but coincidently also that of the Star Tribune.

According to the UCC press release, “This rebranded and improved Debt Settlement Program has been rebuilt from the ground up. The creative minds at United Credit Consultants™ have formed and created a specialized program and system that coaches and negotiates debts for consumers to settle or work out a payment solution on collection, judgment and any other negative debt that is in need of settlement.”

“United Credit Consultants™ now has in place FICO™ Certified trained UCC negotiators in this department and program to have a fully serviced department that has a 24/7 active role on settlement for our consumers looking to work on debt settlement when needed. President of United Credit Consultants™ that is located in Burnsville, Minnesota which is roughly 15 minutes outside of the Minneapolis, MN area says; “this specific program and area of service for our clients was a major topic and talking point that was discussed in our creative meetings held at the end of each year” said Mr. McGlynn. He went on by saying; “having this service and program option finally gives United Credit Consultants™ a fully serviced one stop shop for any client and any situation. Having a consumer based company as we do; understanding that everyone’s goals, starting point and time frame are all different and unique which makes this revised program of debt settlement a huge addition that rounds out our platform of options for each individual.” – Source

FICO certification as a bonus for debt settlement services? I reached out to FICO to ask them about their certification. As of yet they have been unable to locate any such approved FICO program.

Repeated requests to Brandon Hopkins of AfterHim Media, the media representative listed for UCC, finally resulted in an answer from Joseph McGlynn of United Credit Consultants who appeared to blame Hopkins for not forwarding my repeated emails and questions. McGlynn said, “The FICO Certification is placed within our program and services is to give guidance and knowledge on the credit rebuilding topic that the importance of credit score improvement is a very high priority to our clients. Any and all collections or judgment settlement that will occur will have an impact onto ones score therefor, having employees FICO Certified is, I believe a very important piece to any choice made on how to handle settlements and when to work them out. These steps would all be based on the clients goals and motivation for the payments.”

When I asked McGlynn for “UCC’s performance stats, including the percentage of all enrollees who eliminated all of their debt using the UCC program” he said, “We, United Credit Consultants™ do not have any specific data to speak of being this is a brand new program that is being set to launch and roll out to our clients we hope in the next 30 – 60 days.”

McGlynn ended up the focus of a recent Whistleblower column by the Star Tribune. What is interesting is McGlynn was not able to offer me any performance results, saying his program was brand new, but appears to have told the Star Tribune “His success in helping consumers is evident in the company’s 278 percent growth in a single year, he said.”

It appears McGlynn and United Credit Consultants have caught the eyes of others as well. Their focus on credit repair, for a fee, is problematic.

The Star Tribune reported, “The company had a rocky start. McGlynn said he previously did not know he needed a state license to operate, but in 2010, UCC was fined $10,000 for failing to obtain a license from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Department spokeswoman Anne O’Connor said the company has since been licensed and paid the fine.”

But on February 28, 2014 the company was issued a cease and desist order by the State of Minnesota, Department of Commerce, “In the Matter of Unregistered Debt Settlement Services Activity of United Credit Consultants.”

The company was ordered to cease offering any debt settlement services and the State wants a list of all past and current “Debt Negotiation Specialists” and/or “FICO certified trained UCC negotiators.” Interestingly that’s the same descriptive language used in the original press release.

But the State is not done yet. They also want:

  • Practices, procedures, guidelines and/or training materials related in any way to Negotiators.
  • Specimen copies of all letters, notices, and/or other communications provided to Minnesota consumers related in any way to settlement services.
  • Copies of all debt settlement training materials.
  • A list of all consumers UCC has provided services for in Minnesota.
  • A list of all parties who provided testimonials and their complete customer file.

The Star Tribune says, “After reviewing UCC’s website, [Department of Commerce, Department spokeswoman Anne] O’Connor said the company “goes against everything the department recommends.”

Attorney General Lori Swanson says on her website that credit repair companies “hardly ever improve a consumer’s creditworthiness.”

McGlynn said consumers should take the warnings from regulators like Swanson and O’Connor “with a grain of salt because they are protecting the masses,” adding that Swanson does not know how he conducts his business.”

UCC Consent Order – Fully Executed by Ale Matos


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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.
  • Crystal C

    Okay this is ridiculous that this thing is still going! Joe and Tara McGlynn have bigger issues than if the “Certified FICO Professional” label is a real thing. Like the raid on their office by multiple federal agencies http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/02/10/concerns-surround-twin-cities-credit-repair-company/
    Janet you are right in that it was a real thing at one time offered by AllRegs however they no longer offer it. Check their website even all the links you provided were dated 2010. So at best it is an outdated certification that they bought for $195 and three hours sitting in front of a computer. Not exactly the “expert” credentials that I am looking for when I want someone to handle my finances. I feel it was misleading for them to use it in conjuction with credit repair qualifications as it was designed for the lending industry but in fairness there is no real education or continuing education in the credit repair industry which is why it is riddled with problems and misinformation and people that have no idea what they are doing. I am glad that they doing something to educate themselves on credit.
    I don’t think that it is unfair to question the certification since it doesn’t come directly from FICO or has anything to do with being quailified to offer credit repair services. If United Credit doesn’t provide information themselves on where it comes from in a forthright or timely manner, then shame on them. As for your rant asking for an apology, it is unclear from whom you are asking an apology or why since your arguement is based soley on outdated and misleading information as evidence, but perhaps you were the one that needed additional information to make an informed decision. I hope that I have enlightened you to the misleading nature of this outdated information and fact that this certification has nothing to do with being qualifed to do credit repair so you can be more careful in the future when vetting a companies qualifications.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

    Thank you for the link. Not sure who the apology request was directed at.

    Also, not sure how that changes the original story though. The McGlynn statement included in the story seems to have covered that and you are right, if the company had just responded with the link when asked, it would have resolved that bit, maybe. But the original statement from UCC was, “FICO™ Certified trained UCC negotiators in this department and program to have a fully serviced department that has a 24/7 active role on settlement for our consumers looking to work on debt settlement when needed.” The Certified FICO Professional program you linked to appears to have nothing to do with debt settlement.

    This PDF provides even more information on the program http://www.allregs.com/pdf/allregsacademy_fico-certification.pdf but does not seem to mention any relationship to debt settlement and a FICO Pro. But let’s not even get started on the industry problems faced when credit improvement or paid credit “repair” services has been tied to debt relief services. At that point we are stumbling into CROA. As McGlynn said, “The FICO Certification is placed within our program and services is to give guidance and knowledge on the credit rebuilding topic that the importance of credit score improvement is a very high priority to our clients.”

    But your clarification leaves a bigger question on what would make a person certified in a “strong understanding of FICO scores” a better negotiator of settlements than someone who is say, a lawyer?

  • Stunned

    Did anyone else see the story about UCC on CBS WCCO Investigates? http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/02/10/concerns-surround-twin-cities-credit-repair-company/

    What does this mean?

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

    Since this is getting so out of hand here I emailed Joe McGlynn and asked him to jump in here.

    Here is what I sent him:

    “Joe,

    Some commenter is blowing up this old story about UCC at https://getoutofdebt.org/62372/united-credit-consultants-says-darndest-things

    I’d be more than happy to post any update you have to the story since it was published on March 10, 2014. Please send on any update you’d like to make, including the performance stats I asked for originally back then.

    I’m concerned various commenters are just defending your company anonymously which can leave others wondering what is going on, why isn’t the company responding if there was an issue.

    If you want to jump in as the representative of the company and answer questions or provide an update to the article, please feel free to. I’d welcome it.”

  • D.H.

    LOL! Kara, they are actively listed on the first page you linked. If you are going to spend all of your time trying to be negative and attack a company that helped me as well as my sister get our credit to where we could buy a house, you would think you would try to get at least the BASIC facts straight.

  • Janette

    Does anyone know anything about this lawsuit against The Minnesota Real Estate Team, Inc., Malmberg Development Corp., Waterstone Mortgage Corporation, United Real Estate Group, LLC, Jerrad Havins, Chaz Irthum, Tara McGlynn, Joseph A. McGlynn, Debt Settlement Solutions, LLC, United Credit Consultants, LLC, Ryan O’Neill, McGlynn Marketing, LLC and Rob Reinke http://dockets.justia.com/docket/minnesota/mndce/0:2015cv00097/145336

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

    So I went back and checked as you suggested. The State does not currently show United Credit Consultants as a licensed debt settlement company. They do show McClynn Marketing, LLC DBA Debt Settlement Solutions but that’s a different company. The change was effective May 5, 2014 https://mn.gov/commerce/banking-and-finance/images/Activity-Report-14.12.pdf , the BBB currently gives United Credit Consultants an F rating, and the State of Minnesota says the United Credit Consultants business license renewal date was 12-31-2014. Maybe the State is slow in updating their records but it shows the company in good standing. Debt Settlement Solutions was registered on March 26, 2014 and has a currently active business license.

    • D.N.

      Debt Settlement Solutions is a sister company of United Credit Consultants. I think that is where the confusion is. It is all McGlynn Marketing DBA United Credit Consultants and McGlynn Marketing DBA Debt Settlement Solutions – Both licensed companies. (And yes, the MN DOC is INSANELY slow with updating the licensing stuff online – that is how they were with my mortgage license when I had it and with my Notary Public license). Based on all of that, it all checks out.

      Also, the personal attacks that you are allowing in your comments with people defaming each other and suggesting they are strippers etc can get you sued. Trust me on this one, I had to close a blog over it (it was cheaper than fighting it).

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        Are you saying UCC changed the registration back then from Debt Settlement Solutions? If you look at my attachments and link in my comment above it shows the MN registration was changed from McGlynn Marketing UCC to McGlynn Marketing DSS in May of 2014. It also shows McGlynn Marketing and Debt Settlement Solutions is a currently licensed company.

        And I don’t get this disagreement, I never said the company was unlicensed. All I said in my article was they had signed a consent order. Period.

    • D.H.

      I went and looked and McGlynn Marketing the parent company for DBA United Credit Consultants IS currently active as a Credit Services company.

      As for the extortion scam the BBB, the BBB also gives Disney World and F, Wolfgang Puck and F and the terrorist organization Hamas and A-. Google 20/20 BBB investigation to watch an amazing video about the BBB.

      Long story short, there is a LOT of inaccurate, false and almost slanderous info being posted here about an organization – and it seems like a massive witch hunt happening as well.

      What (as the author of this blog) is your motivation in working so hard to discredit this organization?

      I feel this is a reasonable question given the fact that I have in less than 5 minutes found the documentation to disprove everything that has been stated about the company.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        I’m confused here. Who is fighting with who? I have no dog in this hunt and no issue with the company.

        What in the world was inaccurate in my article at the time the article was written? I even traded emails with Joe McGlynn for the article and as you can see his quotes are included.

        As far as where the information in the article came from, you can follow the source links to see the UCC press release and the Star Tribune article.

        And at the time of the article I asked McGlynn did not answer my question where the FICO certification came from.

        I asked, “Who is the FICO certification obtained through? When I didn’t hear from you I went to FICO and they said they were unfamiliar with the program.”

        McGlynn answered, “This specific service ( our Settlement Solutions Program) is being created to help our current clients that are currently enrolled into our credit service program ( path to credit recovery program).

        It is a service that will be offered to help round out the improvement for our clients and to add an additional value.

        The FICO Certification is placed within our program and services is to give guidance and knowledge on the credit rebuilding topic that the importance of credit score improvement is a very high priority to our clients. Any and all collections or judgment settlement that will occur will have an impact onto ones score therefor , having employees FICO Certified is , I believe a very important piece to any choice made on how to handle settlements and when to work them out. These steps would all be based on the clients goals and motivation for the payments.

        We, United Credit Consultants™ do not have any specific data to speak of being this is a brand new program that is being set to launch and roll out to our clients we hope in the next 30 – 60 days.”

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        McGlynn Marketing, Inc has a credit service organization license. McGlynn Marketing has an assumed name for United Credit Consultants but United Credit Consultants, LLC is a different entity according to the state. McGlynn Marketing, LLC has two enforcement actions with the state, not UCC. The one that was at the time of the original article and that I referenced was the one on April 23, 2014, after the article above, which said McGlynn Marketing, LLC paid a $30,000 penalty. The reason the Department of Commerce cites is “Respondent charged and accepted monies prior to the full and complete performance of credit services, engaged in debt settlement services while not registered, engaged in deceptive practices, and engaged in false advertising.” The other was in 2011.

    • D.H.

      Also, as for the BBB – anyone can post anything online… Just like this: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/steve-rhode

      See my point? (And brave enough to let this be posted? I am screenshoting this post to verify if you are or not)

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        There is a difference between an authoritative identified source and anonymous comments. I cited no anonymous comments in my original story.

        As for being brave, why are you not brave enough to post under your real identity? My name is Steve Rhode, what’s yours?

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

    What information was wrong at the time of the article publication? All the facts are sourced in the article, including the Consent Cease and Desist Order signed by the company president.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

    So help me to understand what your rant has to do with the article on United Debt Consultants? Is there something in that article that you disagree with or are you just dropping in to vent?

    I invite you and others to read my FAQ page which discusses your California issue you raised. Which was not about software. I’ve written about it and have always been very open about the 2002 issue. See https://getoutofdebt.org/the-getoutofdebt-org-and-steve-rhode-faq

    However I do take great exception to your statements about bankruptcy because they appear to be completely wrong. If you are actually in the debt advice business, God help us all.

    Not only does bankruptcy not ruin your credit for ten years, but there are many situations when it should be the first, not the last option. You can start learning the facts by visiting https://getoutofdebt.org/48288/how-to-know-if-you-should-file-bankruptcy

    • John Brantner

      Steve
      let me ask you this, where do you obtain your knowledge when giving advice to consumers or bashing companies like United CREDIT Consultants? For one you would know that in order to be FICO certified it actually is a certification that comes from NACSO ( National Credit Services Organization) have you contacted them? probably not, because in order for you to contact them you would of had to of known that, which clearly you did not! If you knew anything about the credit services industry ( which from the sounds of it you don’t) you would know having debt settlement advisors who are FICO certified is a major bonus as they know the back end of collection companies and reporting and what they can and cannot legally do. Its a huge plus! Based on your rap sheet within different social media outlooks you would think you would be the last person to believe everything that is heard or written for that matter. After reading the whistle blower article and looking into this company the 278 percent growth rate was to be referred to the growth of the company as a whole and not just the specific program, obviously what was said was taken out of context and twisted, ghee imagine that happened when a women is writing an article….. I didn’t just drop into vent but to show you and everyone else who read your lack of knowledge articles your full of it and only get what you know from the good old handy dandy Google machine and even then the sites in which you receive your information from are not that credible, as we can now all see. I would just stick to what you know and clearly its not debt or credit advising…. oh and for your peace of mind i am not in the debt or credit services industry but i also do pretend that i am and give people horrible advice such as the bankruptcy piece you mentioned.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        All of the sources for the information in the article, are referenced in the article. While I applaud your enthusiasm about the FICO certification, how do you explain the fact FICO has no record of any such FICO approved certification program.

        If you know of the person at FICO that is responsible for sanctioning this certification program, please share that information since FICO has no record of any such sanctioned program.

        Outside of that, what specifically, do you feel in the original article was twisted or misrepresented?

      • D.H.

        FICO Certification is provided by AllRegs Academy who does Education for bankers, mortgage lenders, realtors and other professional fields. The company had specific arrangements with FICO to provide the certification. Who was your specific contact at FICO (since they had actually provided the materials DIRECTLY to AllRegs for the certification)? It seems that contact needs to be educated in the business relationships that FICO has.

      • Kara

        John Brantner- you sure do write a lot of reviews for Joe & Tara McGlynn. Funny, same guy who had a mysterious meeting with me and wrote an email to the Department of Commerce about how little I knew about credit repair…after doing it for 15 years and repairing your credit, Joe McGlynn, oops I mean “John.” Maybe it was because I wasn’t FICO certified. LOL! And then there was the google review about another one of your competitors just recently, John-or I mean Joe. Guys like Joe McGlynn are the armpit of credit repair. YUCK!

      • D. H.

        If you actually repaired this person’s credit and then named them here, you are in violation of the FACT act. Enjoy your lawsuit.

      • Kara

        Oh boy! More proof of what complete idiots you guys are, Joe & Tara. Spouting off things you don’t even know about. FACTA, google it. LOL! Sue me, you seem to be no stranger to the court room.

      • D.H.

        Since I am not Joe and don’t know Tara, I would love to know why you seem so borderline personality about this whole thing? Having worked in finance for 21 years personally, I don’t need to google it. It seems that you might though… That, or simply start acting like a professional.

      • John Brantner

        Kara,

        although i wish i could sympathize with you when it comes to the 230,000.00 fine the DOC slapped you with for running an illegal business practice, i just cant bring myself to that level. I know you get high off thinking you are actually talking to Joseph McGlynn, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Actually, your company had the privileged to cross paths with my sister, whose credit you did not help restore. You charged her up front, sent pointless redundant letters stating accounts on her credit report weren’t hers when in fact that were and you were in violation of the FCRA for doing so!, you never returned her phone calls or emails and when you did, you were too busy to meet with her. Because of your empty promises and lack of knowledge my sister and her daughter lost their house. It was then my father in law referred her over to United Credit Consultants who not only helped her restore her credit but they now live in a brand new town home. My wife and myself then used this company and have had nothing but great results!!! Long story short just consider me the kind of client you want on your side if you treat me right and i am also and can be one you dont want to mess with when it comes to myself or my family! You screwed my sister over Ms. Jackson and i am sorry karma came and bit you in the ass! I think you should really think about who is the hairy armpit or should i say the hairy a**hole of the credit repair industry considering you practiced for how long without being licensed and took advantage of how many consumers. I will continue to write good reviews and defend this company who helped turn a single mothers life around helped my wife and i stay out of foreclosure!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        Thank you for sharing your feedback about this company.

      • Kara
      • John Brantner

        Oh how i do wish i was who you are implying that i am Ms. Jackson, coming up with the brilliant and genius idea of starting a credit repair company and being married to a women who could be a super model, but sadly i am not….. You know what i do find interesting though, the fact that you work for Red Phoenix, now if i am not mistaken isn’t that a credit repair company in the state of Minnesota? If i am also not mistaken, once you have been fined by the DOC and shut down you are legally not suppose to be servicing clients in the credit repair industry in the state of Minnesota? Does Mr. Hudson know of your lovely encounter with the DOC? I can only assume he doesn’t. I am sure Mr. Hudson would not want to be liable, fined or sued for your actions. If i were you, I would Pick my battles, actions and words wisely Ms. Jackson as they have done nothing but get you in deep water so far. Not lets stick to the topic at hand shall we, and thank Mr. Rhode for updating his blog about a company you seem to hate so dearly.

      • D.H.

        So someone called Ms. Jackson works for Red Phoenix? I hope the owners know how she is representing them on the internet! (I think I will update them!) Wonder if they will fire her…

      • Kara

        Weird how you like to deflect the attention off of UCC and to a company who plays ZERO role in this at all. Mudd sling me all you’d like. I did not pay my liscense fee and was fined. Lesson learned…leave people out of this who aren’t involved. You Joe McGlynn and Tara McGlynn are not doing well in an acting role.

      • Credit Oracle

        John,

        Thank you for the testimonial. Opinions don’t matter, results do !!

    • OK4AYL

      John Brantner is UCC, err wait for it, Joe and or Tara McGlynn incognito….LMAO, the TRUTH shall set you free…:)

  • John Brantner

    The truth is he wants you to come to his site so he can sell your information as a lead to a debt consolidation or debt settlement company; the same companies he enjoys bashing. Unfortunately the company he recommends was sued for violating Illinois state law. (Sorry to hear that Cambridge.) Steve is no stranger to getting in trouble with the law such as the case with the state of California issuing a desist and refrain order for his unlicensed bill payment software .Steves personal life experience led him to bankruptcy which is a scenario I consider as the absolute last option since it wrecks your credit for ten years in most cases, not to mention you have to jump through all sorts of means testing hoops based on income and state guidelines…… Steve Rhode seems like a very credible source that knows exactly what he is talking about. HAHAHA

    • jimmy

      Interesting that there are ZERO John Branters living in the United States

  • Jay West

    It is funny how the author won’t post any comments that don’t agree with him

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