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Debt Relief Industry

Beware of U.S. Federal Stimulus Package Mailer Promising Debt Help

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A reader sent in a mailer they recently received. I can’t believe these mailers are still being sent out. The mailer says, “You are hereby notified that benefits set aside, through the 2010 U.S. Federal Stimulus Package, in the name of [x] are set to expire as of 1/4/2012 at 12 Midnight E.S.T. If said benefits have not been redeemed, ... Read More »

    Debt Relief Companies – Keep Watching Costs in 2012

    TU2012 Projections

    TransUnion has just come out with their 2012 projections on mortgage and foreclosure delinquencies for 2012. And while I would love to see the debt relief industry explode with new tools to help consumers and greater opportunities, 2012 is looking like more of 2011 when it comes to debt relief industry volume. Additionally, my forecast is that debt relief companies ... Read More »

      United Employee Benefits Hit With Cease & Desist. But Wait, That’s Not All.

      I’ve written some previous articles about United Employee Benefits, a company that made my watch list and was sending unsolicited faxes for debt relief services. Well a tipster (send in your tips here) just alerted me that the company has received an order to desist and refrain from the State of California, Department of Real Estate. The tipster (send in ... Read More »

        Arrest Warrants Issued for Orange County Men Involved in Mortgage Modification Business

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        A tipster (send in your tips here) has just informed me that arrest warrants have been issued for Curtis Melone and Christopher Fox in Orange County, California. A check of the states of the action shows that Curtis Melone is currently in receiving at the jail. The Orange County Court website shows Fox to be a fugitive along with King ... Read More »

          How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off


          Here is a guide to help try to avoid being cheated or scammed by a business or company and check out or evaluate a company for free before you decide to pay them money for services. Over the years a common theme has emerged where people feel they are scammed by a company or taken advantage of and it appears ... Read More »

            Active Duty Soldier Loses Truck to Title Loan Lender and Why This is News

            Jason Cox, an active duty Army Staff Sargent has filed suit against Community Loans of America and Alabama Title Loans over the repossession of his truck. “Big deal,” you might say. But this case does bring up some bigger issues. Active duty military service members are protected by what is called the Military Lending Act of 2007. The MLA applies ... Read More »

              Lawyer Loophole for Debt Settlement Criticized in Minnesotta

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              A very interesting article in the Star Tribune was brought to my attention by a reader. It calls for a closure of the debt settlement loophole in Minnesota that allows attorneys to collect advanced fees. Kara McGuire wrote, “In Minnesota, laws are on the books that forbid charging steep upfront fees for promising to negotiate a deal with creditors to ... Read More »

                United Debt Services Hosts Odd Sweepstakes

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                A reader sent me the link for a contest held by the debt settlement company United Debt Services. The contest page says that United Debt Services, UDS, will hold a contest monthly and the video shown is of the first drawing held on October 31, 2011. The terms of the drawing are: Promotion limited to existing customers of United Debt ... Read More »

                  Fired Credit Counseling Employee Accused of Credit Card Theft

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                  A former employee of Middletown, Ohio non-profit credit counseling group, Christian Credit Outreach managed to charge $15,179 on a company credit card before being discovered and sought. The counseling agency reportedly notified police of the suspected theft and the police said an arrest is likely. And as yet another entry under the ‘crooks are stupid’ category, the employ had purchased ... Read More »

                    Freedom Debt Relief, Chase Bank, & Nonprofit Credit Counseling

                    Ready to Collapse

                    In a recent story that a reader brought to my attention, Freedom Debt Relief did a good thing and fully refunded a disgruntled California couple the $3,290 fee they paid Freedom Debt Relief for advanced fee debt settlement services after they got sued and Chase Bank said they would not work with Freedom. A double pat on the back to ... Read More »

                      Inside an IRS Rejection of a Credit Counseling Organization

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                      In an effort to help people better understand what issues create a problem for the IRS in approving a non-profit credit counseling organization I decided to do a bit of research into recent rejection letters issued and made public. I owe a big hat tip to the friendly people at the IRS for their help in this article. Problems Faced ... Read More »

                        The Consumer Law Group, American Credit Counselors and Michael Metzner Sued in Georgia

                        A reader brought to my attention a class action suit filed in Georgia and now moved to Federal Court. The case is Guzman v. The Consumer Law Group, American Credit Counselors, and Michael Metzner. The complaint is another in a series of complaints we’ve seen where a debt relief company is accused of violating the tough and limited fees imposed ... Read More »

                          Wisconsin Busy Going After Unlicensed Debt Relief Companies

                          The State of Wisconsin is NOT a place to sell debt relief services if you are not licensed by the State of Wisconsin, Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Banking. In the past week the division has gone after Everest Debt Solutions, FDN Solutions, Next Step Resolution, NCD, National Center of Debt, and Asset Retention Group. Here are the most ... Read More »

                            Steven Vanderhoof Has a Bad Day

                            Remember when the Credit Exchange and Steven Vanderhoof were flying high and the world was at their feet. Apparently it’s been a bad couple of weeks for Steven Vanderhoof. A tipster (send in your tips here) just sent in a couple of final judgments against him from his Credit Exchange operation. Seems that he’s just secured a $116,218 judgement and ... Read More »

                              UK Debt Settlement Firm DebtDr Goes Bust Taking Client Funds With It

                              Ready to Collapse

                              A UK based debt settlement company known as the DebtDr has gone bust and took £600,000 of client funds with it. The company was actually Hermes Financial Solutions, Ltd and was run by Jeremy Hockley. The company took client funds and held them on deposit until settlements were reached with creditors. Unfortunately this company ceased trading and the money went ... Read More »

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