Blog Enforcement Watch May 31, 2022

Court Temporarily Shuts Down Alleged Credit Repair Pyramid Scheme Following FTC Complaint

 

 

​On May 31, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had filed a complaint against a group of related companies and its owners for allegedly scamming consumers out of more than $213 million through operation of a credit repair scheme.

The FTC alleges that the company violated Section 5(a) of the FTC Act (FTCA), multiple provisions of the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) in connection with an allegedly “sprawling bogus credit repair scheme” targeting consumers with low credit scores.

According to the FTC’s complaint, the company purports to offer a credit repair service which the company “falsely claim[s] [] improve[s] consumers’ credit scores by removing all negative items from their credit reports.” However, the FTC alleges that the company’s services, in fact, “are rarely effective and in many instances harm consumer’s credit scores.” ​The FTC calls these representations deceptive and allege they violate CROA, and constitute an advanced fee ​under TSR and CROA in the complaint.

The defendants allegedly also sell an another purportedly ineffective product that “supposedly sends rent payment information to credit bureaus.” According to the FTC, such information is typically not a part of consumer credit scores, nor is it accepted by credit bureaus if sent by consumers.

Further, according to the FTC, the company combined the bogus credit repair services with “a hard sell to join a pyramid scheme” in which consumers sell the “worthless” credit repair to other individuals.

In response to the complaint, the Court issued a temporary restraining order temporarily shutting down the credit repair operation.

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