Last Thursday, the FTC announced 15 cases against credit repair firms as a
part of "Operation Payback," a joint effort between the FTC and 10 State
Attorneys General. "Operation Payback" is a federal-state crackdown on
fraudulent credit repair telemarketers. Prior to this announcement the FTC
had taken action against two credit repair firms that advertised over the
The Credit Repair Scam preys on consumers who are already in financial
trouble. These criminals charge large sums of money to clean up a person's
credit history. They claim they can remove negative information, no matter
how accurate. This simply isn't true. The only thing that can remove
accurate negative information is time. It takes seven years for negative
information, and ten years for a bankruptcy, to vanish from a credit
These criminals also ask that they be paid up front. That's illegal.
"Federal law now makes it illegal for credit repair telemarketers to ask
for any money until six months after they deliver the services," Jodie
Bernstein, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said.
"Given this information, consumers themselves can put these fraudulent
telemarketers out of business because, in fact, credit repair firms cannot
deliver on their promises to remove accurate, up-to-date information from
consumers' credit records. If consumers never pay until services are
delivered, they'll just never pay." If you have bad credit, don't go to a
credit repair operation. What you need is a legitimate credit counselor.
They won't clear up your credit immediately, but they will help you arrange
your finances so that you can manage to pay off your debts and redevelop
good credit over time.
If you need help, try calling Consumer Credit Counseling Services at
1-800-388-2227. This is a not-for-profit group that will help you in all
aspects of working back to good credit through sound financial management
and repayment of debts. If you feel you have been a victim of a credit
repair scam, call the NFIC at 1-800-876-7060.
Log on our WebSite at http://www.fraud.org, or call 1-800-876-7060.
If you spot obviously illegal operations on the E-Ways, please
forward copies of the messages to NFIC at frau...@psinet.com.
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