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Jul 14, 2014 2:18 PM by KATC

BBB : RMCN Credit Services making phony credit repair claims

Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is alerting consumers to RMCN Credit Services, Inc., a company that claims to repair credit for its customers.

The business has agreed to settle charges with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it provided false statements to credit bureaus about information in people's credit reports and illegally collected fees before performing any services.

According to the FTC, RMCN sent more than a million phony letters to credit bureaus. The company's method for improving consumers' credit reports was to systematically provide false information to credit bureaus and challenge negative information, without regard to its accuracy, through letters disguised as though they were sent by consumers.

Company employees signed the letters using the consumers' names, and often used fictitious reasons for disputing negative items, like "not my account," "paid prior to collection," and "creditor agreed to remove account."

The company currently has an F rating with BBB, the lowest possible. Factors that lowered RMCN Credit Services, Inc.'s rating include BBB concerns with the industry in which this business operates, 20 complaints filed against business, four serious complaints filed against business, government action(s) against business and one complaint filed against business was not resolved.

To see the complete BBB Business Review, click here.

RMCN also charged consumers more than $40 million in illegal advance fees for its services, including a retainer ranging from $900 to $2,000 and a monthly service charge. All of RMCN's fees were collected before the company completed its six-month service.

The Credit Repair Organizations Act prohibits making any untrue or misleading statement to a credit bureau and bars the collection of any money for credit repair service before the service is fully performed.

The company's practice of lying to credit bureaus degrades the accuracy and completeness of information in our nation's credit reporting system. This indirectly harms all consumers because the lack of reliable credit records forces credit grantors to raise their interest rates and reduce credit availability to people with good credit histories.

According to BBB, no one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. The law does allow you to request a reinvestigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this. Everything a credit repair clinic can do for you legally, you can do for yourself at little or no cost.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you've been denied credit within the last 30 days. You can also dispute mistakes or outdated items for free. Ask the credit reporting agency for a dispute form or submit your dispute in writing, along with any supporting documentation.

If you decide to respond to a credit repair offer, the Better Business Bureau suggests you beware of companies that:

  • do not tell you your legal rights and what you can do legally for free;
  • recommend that you not contact a credit bureau directly;
  • want you to pay for credit repair services before any services are provided; or
  • advise you to dispute all information in your credit report or take any action that seems illegal, such as creating a new credit identity by obtaining a federal employer identification number to use instead of a social security number. If you follow illegal advice and commit fraud, you may be subject to prosecution.

It's a federal crime to make false statements on a loan or credit application, to misrepresent your Social Security Number, and to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service under false pretenses.

Start with Trust®. Check with the BBB before doing business at bbb.org. BBB works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.

BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

 

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