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Mortgage Rescue Scammers Get 17 Years in Slammer

mans hands behind bars in jail or prison

Mark S. Farhood, 49, formerly of San Diego, Calif., and Jason S. Sant, 38, of Lecanto, Fla., were sentenced today for their roles in operating a nationwide online foreclosure rescue scam that went by various names, including Home Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today, and used various websites, including walkawaytoday.org and sellfastusa.com, to deceive hundreds of vulnerable, distressed homeowners into ... Read More »

    Rachel Slapped Down Yet Again

    ftc

    Deceptive Robocallers Permanently Shut Down In FTC Settlements The Federal Trade Commission has continued its crackdown on illegal robocallers, with two more companies agreeing to settle charges that they used prerecorded calls to trick consumers into deceptive credit card interest rate reduction scams. Under separate proposed settlements, the defendants behind Treasure Your Success and Ambrosia Web Design will be banned ... Read More »

      Serial Debt Relief Scammer Busted Once Again by FTC

      ftc

      Under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission, the defendants in two Tampa, Florida-area operations that allegedly bilked consumers of millions of dollars are banned from providing various types of financial services used in their schemes. In the spring of 2012, at the request of the FTC, a court shut down the two operations. According to the FTC, the defendants used ... Read More »

        Consumer Assistance Project Agreement for Student Loan Services – Review

        black-hole

        Yesterday I had a consumer complaint and a story about Consumer Assistance Project, a company claiming to offer student loan elimination services. After writing my story I received a copy of a consumer agreement that was sent to them by Consumer Assistance Project. What follows is a plain language review of what the agreement says. And this one is a ... Read More »

          Consumer Assistance Project Website Raises Real Concerns. Be Careful.

          Big Scam Dog

          A reader just submitted a complaint report about a company called Consumer Assistance Project. The consumer said the company said that for a fee they could “help eliminate debt and because I am a teacher, it was to be very successful.” The fee charged is alleged to be $5,698. This of course raised substantial red flags for me since there ... Read More »

            CFPB and FTC Want Debt Collectors to Tell You When They Can’t Sue

            Black Leather Flogging Whip and money on white background. Not i

            On August 14, 2013, the CFPB, jointly with the FTC, filed an amicus brief in Delgado v. Capital Management Services, LP, et al., a case on appeal to the Seventh Circuit. The brief urges the Seventh Circuit to affirm the district court’s refusal to dismiss a class action complaint alleging that a debt collector’s letter offering a settlement of the ... Read More »

              Not All Debt Settlement is Bad. Ask the Rural Housing Service.

              abandoned

              There has been so much written, and a lot by me, of deceptive and poor debt settlement actions taken by consumer debt settlement companies that apparently have no clue what they are doing in the field. For many years I have defended the use of debt settlement in the right situation. The problem has been debt settlement was sold as ... Read More »

                FTC Slams Phony Payday Lender to Ground

                ftc

                At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has halted a Tampa, Florida-based operation that promised to help consumers get payday loans. Instead of loans, the defendants used consumers’ personal financial information to debit their bank accounts in increments of $30 without their authorization, the FTC alleged. Claiming to be affiliated with a network of 120 ... Read More »

                  Payday Lenders in Texas Try to Dodge Law

                  payday loan

                  by Paul Kiel ProPublica Alarmed by the explosion of high-cost lending in the state, cities across Texas have passed ordinances to prevent the cycle of debt that short-term, high-cost loans can create. But some big lenders are finding clever ways around the laws — like giving away cash for free. TitleMax promises to “make getting cash easy!” To get a ... Read More »

                    Direct Student Aid Commercial Catches My Attention

                    Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 1.03.01 PM

                    A recent commercial for Direct Student Aid caught my attention. It seems the company is advertising it can offer some sort of special help for people who are having student loan problems. A secret shopper call, which you can hear below, found out the company charges between $799 to $999 for a service consumers can get for free from their ... Read More »

                      Vanguard Consumer Solutions New Effort by Jeffrey Hyslip & Macey

                      Travelers Reflection

                      A tipster (send in your tips here) let me know about a website for Vanguard Consumer Solutions called FDCPA Help at fdcpahelp.com (ownership hidden). For those not familiar with Hyslip he was part of the Legal Helpers Debt Resolution debt settlement company that was the focus of a number of complaints. Apparently Hyslip is now trying to help consumers beat ... Read More »

                        Western Sky Financial Pulls up Stakes

                        Western Sky Financial Heads Into Sunset.

                        You know those pesky Western Sky Financial payday loan commercials that have infected our televisions? They will soon be a thing of the past apparently. Western Sky Financial had been making payday loans all over the United States and charging problematic interest rates. The company felt they were exempt from state laws because they are owned and operated by the ... Read More »

                          What to Wear and Say at Your Bankruptcy Hearing

                          You don't need to dress like a fashion model but nobody is going to kick you out if you do.

                          Actually, when it comes to what to wear, just don’t dress for a cookout. But as far as what to expect at your bankruptcy hearing, this article by Cathy Moran is great advice. Going to court for your first meeting of creditors? What are they going to ask me?, you wonder. My bankruptcy clients imagine a quiz on the contents ... Read More »

                            More Florida Land Trusts Busted: Cambridge Land Trust and Hartford Land Trust

                            wtf

                            Thanks to a great reader, word out of Florida is more land trust schemers have been the unfortunate focus of law enforcement. The interesting part is how they all tie together. “The Florida attorney general’s office shut down two more South Florida land trusts Monday, continuing a yearlong pursuit to stop multiple intertwined firms from selling a complex foreclosure rescue ... Read More »

                              Massachusetts One Step Closer to Regulating Debt Settlement

                              law books

                              Collections & Credit Risk is reporting the State of Massachusetts is a step closer to regulate for-profit debt settlement companies operating in the state. Debt settlement companies would have to disclose their fees and create a budget analysis before enrolling consumers. “The longer Massachusetts waits, choosing not to oversee this industry, the more consumers will be taken advantage of by ... Read More »

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