Those with challenging financial problems are often targeted by scam artists and fraudsters posing as legitimate credit repair companies or credit counseling organizations. Sometimes it’s important when deciding on filing bankruptcy to check your credit score. While there are legitimate groups out there who do actually help troubled debtors, you must be wary. Indeed, in a recent case the con men not only preyed upon innocent debtors, they actually tried to give those worrying about filing bankruptcy the impression they were affiliated with a government agency.
According to a Reuter’s report in Consumer Bankruptcy News on April 20, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California halted the operations of a company that called itself “FTC Credit Solutions.” The company used a false apparent affiliation with the Federal Trade Commission, also known as the FTC, to market bogus credit repair services. Debtors in bad situations and everyday people considering filing bankruptcy trusted this company.
In a complaint filed with that court, the real FTC alleged the company deceived consumers by claiming to be affiliated with or licensed by the Federal Trade Commission. They falsely promised they could remove negative information from credit reports with a guarantee of a credit score of 700 or above.
Tips on Dealing with Credit Score Companies before Filing Bankruptcy
There are some common sense tips worth remembering. Just because a letter or document bears a government seal or sports an official government-sounding name, does not mean it is a legitimate agency. This can usually be verified by calling the legitimate agency at numbers published for the agency in telephone directories or government websites, usually ending in the “.gov” designation. People considering filing bankruptcy often feel they have very limited options, but it is also good to remember that if promised results sound too good to be true, they probably are.
When in doubt, you should do business with local companies which have a long-established history in the community. Of course, the best possible option is to rely on organizations where you have been referred by people you know and trust.