Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Federal Trade Commission Cracks Down on Credit Repair Violations

I just read an article on Originator Times about the FTC cracking down on credit repair violations. You can read the article HERE. I have included a quote from the article below.

The Federal Trade Commission was concerned with these federal law violations:

  • illegally charging an advance fee for credit repair
  • falsely claiming that they can remove negative information from consumers’ credit reports, even if the information is accurate and timely
I have to admit that it amazes me that people continue to attempt to remove correctly reported information from their credit report. My mind can't sort out which is more wrong, the company for making false claims or the consumer trying to game the system.

According to the complaint, consumers are led to Home Buyers Consulting Network,Inc. (HBCN), which is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, through its Web sites and by a company that sells lists of foreclosed properties and suggests that it's customers call HBCN if they need credit repair or access to zero or low down-payment home financing. In sales pitches for its credit repair services alone, and in conjunction with pitches for its home-buying consulting services, HBCN makes claims such as: “Our program offers the ability to REPAIR, RESTORE, or ESTABLISH your credit so that you may be able to qualify for 100 % home financing, lower interest rates and better quality credit.” HBCN also offers a “money back guarantee . . . to increase your credit score by 50 to 100 points or delete six derogatory items (from a consumer’s credit report).” HBCN also promises consumers help with finding a home to buy, through a referral to its purported network of realtors and lenders, the complaint stated.

Obviously this company had set up a rather elaborate system to take advantage of people in a state of need and ignorance. I still don't understand how people can fall for this. The following is another quote and advice from the FTC. It's pretty easy to understand and really supports the consumer.

The FTC advises that only time, a conscious effort, and a personal debt
repayment plan can improve your credit report. The first step is to learn what
information is in your credit report. If you find errors or mistakes, federal
law gives you the right to have them corrected – free of charge. Federal law
requires that the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion – provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every
12 months, if you ask for it. To order your free report, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete and mail the Annual Credit Report Request Form. Other credit repair information is available at http://www.ftc.gov/.

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. It's not hard to get your credit back on track and it doesn't take long to do it. You just have to make that decision and commit to it.



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