Misleading Credit Repair Practices
Understanding the Harm to Consumers
The California consumer attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. advise consumers to think long and hard before signing up for credit repair services. Credit repair companies advertise heavily through telemarketing and mass media but the services do not always live up to the advertised promises. Unwary consumers can find themselves even in worse credit trouble than when they started. There are laws to protect you, however. In particular, the Credit Repair Organizations Act (“CORA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1679-1679j, is meant to protect consumers from misleading, predatory practices by credit repair services but despite the law, some credit repair companies continue to demand advance payments and make untrue statements to consumers and to credit reporting bureaus on behalf of consumers. Our attorneys can represent you if you have been defrauded by a credit repair company. If you have been, and you live in California, call us today at (415)441-8669.
If you are approached by a credit repair company offering their services, it’s important that you know what consumer protections you have. Specifically, CROA prohibits the following practices by credit repair firms:
- Charging for services before they are rendered.
- Making any untrue statement or counseling a consumer to make a statement that is untrue or misleading with respect to a consumer’s credit standing or capacity.
- Making an untrue statement or advising a consumer to make an untrue statement regarding the consumer’s identity or credit history.
- Misrepresenting the services the company can provide.
- Deceiving the consumer in connection with the offer or sale of any credit repair services.
15 U.S.C. §§ 1679a-b.
Keep a few important tips in mind. Do not pay for services before they are rendered. Do not let anyone convince you it is okay to make an untrue statement about your credit history. Do not fall for false promises of what can be done for you. One widespread deception is the claim that credit repair services are superior to other debt reduction services such as bill consolidation, credit counseling or agreements for scheduled payments. Many credit repair companies go so far as to advise consumers to stop making monthly payments on debts. Watch out. Such advice may open you up to lawsuits and further debt collection efforts. Reject the claim that short-term damages will yield long-term credit rating improvement. Such claims may simply not be true and consumers may not understand the risks they are taking or the damage that could result from following bad credit repair advice. Unfair or deceptive practices by credit repair companies may violate CROA and other federal and State consumer protection laws. If you’re a senior, those practices may also constitute financial elder abuse under California law, entitling you to extra damages and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your case.
If you live in California and are the victim of unfair business practices by a credit repair agency, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other consumer attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex securities cases, arbitrations, and mediations; and complicated financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, other types of qui tam and whistleblower cases, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.