Tuesday, April 05, 2005

credit counseling program

In addition to the AmeriDebt litigation, Leary explained that the
FTC’s law enforcement efforts currently include several non-public
investigations of credit counseling agencies. The Commission’s
testimony also mentions a February 2004 lawsuit against two debt
negotiation companies (Innovative Systems Technology, Inc., and
Debt Resolution Specialists, Inc.), a September 2002 lawsuit against
another debt negotiation company (Jubilee Financial Services, Inc.),
and numerous cases under the Credit Repair Organizations Act
(CROA), including sweeps like Operation Eraser and Operation
New ID-Bad IDea.

credit counseling companies

The testimony listed several Commission actions, including a
November 2003 lawsuit against AmeriDebt – a large, Maryland-
based credit counseling firm that, according to the FTC’s complaint,
aggressively advertises itself as a non-profit dedicated to assisting
consumers with their finances. The FTC complaint further alleges that
AmeriDebt advertises its services as “free,” when in fact the company
retains a consumer’s entire first payment as a “contribution.”

credit card counseling service

Failure to abide by telemarketing laws. To the extent that these
agencies are not bona fide non-profit organizations, they must comply
with the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, including the National Do-
Not-Call Registry.
“The Commission has pursued a vigorous program to halt fraud and
deception by those who purport to be able to solve consumers’
financial difficulties,” Leary stated.