Marketers of Fraudulent Credit Card Debt Reduction Tactics Settle FTC Charges

by San Antonio Attorney

The Federal Trade Commission sued a company based in Ohio for making fraudulent claims on 17 websites they managed that people could easily become debt free by working with a debt settlement company. Ryan Golembiewsk, the company owner, has agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying $390,000 judgment and blocking the fraudulent claims.

Debt settlement companies paid United Debt Associates to refer consumers who answered to the misleading advertisements, based on the complaint.  Some of the websites that were used in the scheme were disputedebts.com, debtreliefemergency.com, legitimatedebtsettlement.com, freedebtreductionhelp.com and DebtDecreaser.com. For each lead that was generated, they earned around $24.60. The defendants referred individuals to either supply their contact details on the internet, or contact a toll-free number for credit card debt assistance.  Those who called were asked to supply preliminary personal information or re-routed to the debt settlement companies, according to the complaint.

The deceptive claims that were used to attract consumers to call them included: getting out of debt in one to three years if the creditors agree; the federal government launched a stimulus package to be used by credit card companies for the benefit of the consumers; and, debt settlement companies can reduce consumer’s debt by at least 50% and also provide an affordable repayment plan for the remaining debt.

The consumer testimonies posted on the websites of the defendants, who made consumers believe that they could quickly eliminate or reduce their debts through the advertised debt settlement services, were not true, the Federal and Trade Commission alleged.  The claims of the defendants could not actually eliminate or reduce consumers’ debts, based on the complaint. They were simply made up claims that the debt settlement companies provided, or ripped information from other websites.

Aside from $390,000 judgment against the company, the settlement prohibits the defendants from assisting or engaging in any form of debt relief service.

 

–  Not all kinds of financial problems are resolved by debt consolidation or debt settlement. You may consider talking to a San Antonio Chapter 7 Attorney to find out if there are other options that may be better for your unique situation.

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