My name is Walter and I’m currently a senior psychology major at [XXXX] College. I have amassed over $10,000 in credit card debt from buying everything from a computer, Playstation 3, and even a High Def Television. As you can see, I really didn’t need any of the things that I bought and it has been really tough trying to pay off these bills and finish school.
In a normal day for me I have like 5 or 6 different creditors call and harass me about paying my debts. I tried a company that said they can legally erase my debt called “The Credit Card Solution” and I just found out that this company was a scam and I have already paid out over $3,500 to them. Likewise, I’m about to graduate this year and I have no idea what my next move should be.
What is the best solution to get out of debt. Also, is debt settlement or debt consolidation and what is top rated program out there.
So sorry to hear that you were yet another victim of “The Credit Card Solution” that was run out of Texas. “The Credit Card Solution” promised that it was a solution for people that wanted to:
- Stop making payments immediately
- Restore their credit – Fico score above 750
- Invalidate their unsecured debt in 12 months
- Stop harassing phone calls TODAY
- Increase their monthly cash flow
- Protect their assets
- Avoid Bankruptcy
- Become financially free
None of those statements were true. In fact, TCCS and Bob Lindsey enjoyed the attention of the Texas Attorney General and managed to land himself in big trouble.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, on July 9, 2009, charged a Houston-based credit repair firm with violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The state’s enforcement action names Jubilee Financial Solutions LP, also known as The Credit Card Solution (TCCS) – a self-proclaimed “debt invalidation” business – its parent company, Jubilee Financial Management LLC, and the companies’ owner, Robert Mitchell Lindsey.
Court documents filed by the attorney general requested an asset freeze, which was granted by a Harris County district judge. The state sought the asset freeze because investigators believe the defendants are improperly withholding $500,000 in customers’ payments that should have been applied to debt relief services.
Through various Web sites – including www.thecreditcardsolution.com – the defendants claimed they could eliminate credit card and other debts by helping customers fight credit reporting agencies, dispute debts and sue debt collectors. The defendants also promised access to legal services, which they claimed could yield monetary damages from lawsuits against debt collectors.
Marketing materials obtained by state investigators shows the defendants claimed their “debt invalidation” program can eliminate customers’ debt in as little as 12 to 18 months by relying upon federal consumer protection laws. In videos on the defendants’ Web site, Lindsey claims that TCCS has “gotten rid of $150 million of credit card debt.”
According to the state’s enforcement action, the defendants are unlawfully operating an unregistered credit services organization (CSO). Under the Texas Credit Services Organization Act, CSOs must register with the Secretary of State and obtain a surety bond or surety account. The defendants have done neither.
TCCS also offers an Affiliate Information Package online, which gives interested individuals the opportunity to market and sell the defendants’ services. However, court documents filed by the state indicate the defendants’ affiliate program is subject to the Texas Business Opportunity Act, which requires vendors to register with the Secretary of State and obtain surety bonds or surety accounts. The state’s enforcement action charges TCCS with failing to comply with those requirements.
The state’s enforcement action also charges the defendants with multiple Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) violations, including not providing services as advertised and withholding information about goods or services when entering into a transaction.
The Credit Card Solution operated a tantalizing scam that easily draws people in. It made claims and promises that were unfounded but sounded plausible.
The sales pitch was:
With the exception of the government, no other entity which enters anything on your credit reports does it in the legally prescribed manner. Therefore, they are not in compliance and can be challenged. If you, as a consumer, have tried to have a negative entry removed from your credit reports, or even paid a company to attempt to do it for you, then you know how incredibly frustrating it can be. The CRA’s (Credit Reporting Agencies) are required, by law, to remove any non-compliant entries, although they typically ignore consumer requests to do so. The Credit Card Solution challenges their violations on your behalf. When they ignore the law on more than one occasion, they have created a pattern of non-compliance with federal law. The Credit Card Solution can then give them a choice of a lawsuit or the option of facing a compliance audit/validation review. Either way, they eventually comply with the law and remove the non-compliant items from your credit reports. Watch the video on Credit Restoration for a full explanation of this part of our process.
The Credit Card Solution can also challenges the validity of unsecured debt at a financial institution. A look at the General Ledger of a bank that you supposedly owe, say, $20,000 on an unsecured debt, such as a credit card account, shows that you owe the bank nothing and you owe yourself the $20,000 according to their bookkeeping system. Therefore, that bank can be advised that the debt is not valid whether that debt is still at the bank or has been charged off. The proprietary process that The Credit Card Solution uses is successful in having the bank invalidate the debt. That debt no longer exists. If there is hesitation, the compliance audit/validation review process can, again, be used. Watch the video on Debt Invalidation for a full explanation of this part of the process.
If that bank has charged off your account and sold it to a collection firm, usually an attorney collection firm, that firm can now be notified that they are trying to collect on an invalid debt and must stop immediately or face legal consequences themselves. If that firm has proceeded with court action against you, and you are still pre-judgment, time permitting, The Credit Card Solution can file a federal court FDCPA 1692 lawsuit against the collection attorney(s). The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is an extremely strong deterrent because in 99% of all cases, the attorneys/debt collectors are in violation of many parts of it. The court can be notified that the attorney collectors are being sued in federal court and a stay is requested. The attorneys/debt collectors typically settle out of court. Watch the videos on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for a full explanation of this part of the process.
The Credit Card Solution program has Federally licensed counsel and paralegals. We are affiliated with nationwide network of attorneys who are specialists in this area of the law. You will be represented throughout the process. When an out of court settlement is reached by our counsel on your behalf, you collect monetary damages, the collection attorney will be required to dismiss any court action against you, remove any entries they may have made on your credit report, give back anything taken, remove all liens and garnishments, and destroy the debt.
This entire process normally takes an average of 12 to 18 months. At the end of the process, your credit reports will reflect no negative entries and you will have no unsecured debts since they will have been proven to be invalid. If The Credit Card Solution decides to employ the compliance audit/validation review process on your behalf, near the end of this process, you will receive a Grievance Report form allowing you to relate any bad behavior by any attorney or judge involved in any proceeding against you. The Federal Government has the authority to impose fines, penalties, sanctions, and even damages against any party they think warrants any such action based on their behavior. They might take as long as two months to complete this process. Each compliance violation can result in as much as a $2,500 fine. The judge can face the same situation. The The Credit Card Solution proprietary process has been successful to the point that the FTC process is rarely employed. It is always there if necessary and is a process that most people in violation of federal law do not want to face.
While all of that sounds like something you might want to jump at, it was really nothing more than a ploy to rope consumers in to pay large up-front fees to get NOTHING!
In fact TCCS was never anything more than a marketing arm of Robert Lock and the Credit Collections Defense Network (CCDN).
Anyway, so where does all that leave you Walter? Lighter in the pocket but still in debt. The sad part is that if you have used the $3,500 towards paying off your debt you would have been further ahead than where you are right now.
Your next move should be to graduate, get a job, and start repaying what you owe. If you have $300 or so each month you can use for debt repayment now then contact a debt management or credit counseling group and get on a payment plan.
However I suspect that you don’t have those funds available each month or you would have already made payment arrangements.
If you find it is not possible for you to wait to graduate and earn money to repay your debts, then go talk to a local bankruptcy attorney and if you need to raise money to pay for bankruptcy, sell your electronics to do it.
Bottom line, you tried to take a gentle shortcut with TCCS to get out of debt. You got burned. There are no gentle solutions out of debt. Debt settlement is going to be another pit if you try that route. You are going to have to suck it up and work your way out of this or go bankrupt.
Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.
P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.