Are you a victim of a credit repair scam? Credit repair scams are rampant in the consumer credit industry. Even though credit repair companies are governed by both federal and state law, these companies often disregard their legal obligations. The main statute that governs credit repair companies is the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Also known as CROA, the Act prohibits credit repair companies from making false promises, requiring consumers to pay before work is fully performed, or helping consumers create false identities to repair their credit. Many state laws work with CROA to provide consumers with additional protection. Nonetheless, even with these consumer credit laws many credit repair companies continue scamming consumers.
If you are a victim of a credit repair scam here are some tips you can follow to get your fees refunded:
Keep All Documentation
First, keep everything you have pertaining to your credit repair service. Gather proof of your payments, credit reports, letters, notes, phone calls, text messages, and all other documentation you have regarding your case. Without documentation you will have a difficult time showing the credit repair organization scammed you. Even with documentation it may not be as easy as you think.
Request a Refund
Your next step is to request a refund. Many credit repair companies will freely give a refund to prevent you from taking any further action. If it refuses your first request keep trying. Once you escalate your refund request to a supervisor you stand a good chance of getting a refund. Be persistent and be polite.
One way to put pressure on the credit repair company to issue a refund is to file a BBB complaint. This non-governmental agency cannot file a lawsuit for the credit repair scam but filing the BBB complaint may get you a refund. Oddly enough, they actually have a better chance of getting you a refund than complaining to any government agency. It’s about pressure. The BBB puts public pressure on companies which often helps resolve consumer complaints effectively. Filing the BBB complaint also puts other consumers on notice that the company is perpetrating a credit repair scam.
Sue the Credit Repair Company
If the credit repair company continues to refuse to issue a refund you may choose to file a lawsuit against the credit repair company. You can do this on your own in small claims court or you can hire a consumer protection attorney to assist you. If you hire an attorney he will help you develop your claims and most will take your case on a contingency basis so you don’t pay them unless you win. If you go to small claims court on your own you should still consult a consumer rights lawyer who can evaluate your claims and look for possible defenses, tricks, and traps.
Another step you can take is to file a complaint with the FTC. The FTC will not take your case or file a lawsuit on your behalf but it is helpful to other consumers if they can track the companies committing credit repair scams. Do not expect them to help you individually. They won’t.
Attorney General Complaints
Filing a complaint with your local attorney general is also useful to other consumers. Unfortunately, however, like the FTC complaint, an attorney general complaint won’t get you individual assistance. The attorney general will not file a lawsuit on your behalf and, in most cases, won’t get you a refund. If you take this step file the complaint with your local attorney general no matter where the credit repair company is located.
If you are a victim of a credit repair scam, take action. Gather your evidence, file your complaints, and pursue a lawsuit if needed. Don’t let a rogue credit repair organization rip you off and get away with it. If you need assistance contact a consumer protection attorney who can help you.