Credit Repair Trickery… says Carol

Unfortunately, one of the fallouts from the bad economy is an increase in people needing and wanting to fix their bad credit. Con artists know that — and are offering too good to be true “opportunities.”

There are many credit repair services that are scams. They trick consumers into paying for services they do not provide or misrepresent their services.

Things a credit repair company cannot legally do are:

  • Misrepresent the amount of money or percentage of debt amount that a consumer may save by using their service
  • Misrepresent amount of time necessary to achieve the represented results
  • Misrepresent amount of money or the percentage of each outstanding debt
  • Charge an upfront fee prior to obtaining a settlement or reducing a consumer’s debt. This ban on advance fees only applies to consumers who sign up for debt relief services on or after October 27, 1010.
  • Lie or advise you to lie about your credit history

The credit repair company must provide a copy of the “Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law” before you sign a contract — plus a written contract with your rights and obligations.

The contract should include the following:

  • Payment amount required
  • A description of the services that will be performed to repair your credit
  • An estimate of the time it will take to complete services
  • Notice of cancellation form that you can fill out to cancel the contract
  • A visible statement letting you know you can cancel the contract within three business days and not be charged a fee

It is not advisable to waive any of your rights, including the three-day right to rescind.

If you feel your rights are violated, you can file a complaint with your BBB at www.bbb.org or with the FTC at www.ftc.gov and the Colorado State Attorney General’s office at www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov.

It takes time to repair your credit. Start working on it today and start the slow road to a healthy credit rating. It will not happen overnight.

Do you have any other tips?

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About Carol Odell

Carol J. Odell, is the CEO of the Better Business of Southern Colorado and has been with the BBB for twenty years. Even before her BBB life she was involved in the community as a volunteer and co-owner of a manufacturing business. She is a published author, speaker, wife, mother, and grandmother --- and enjoys all of these roles.