The Russo Law Firm (Official Site)

Logo - black and gold

The Russo Law Firm

The Russo Law Firm's Blog

Another Credit Card Debt Relief Scam Shutdown

Credit card debt can be stressful. Interest rates can be high, and if you miss or can’t make your full payments, that growing balance can be overwhelming. Enter a group of companies that promised to reduce or eliminate your credit card debt. (For a fee.) But did they?

The FTC’s lawsuit against ACRO Services and related companies says no. Instead, the FTC says they operated a deceptive credit card debt relief scheme: claiming they could, for example, clear up your credit card debt. The price? You’d have to sign up for their program, pay an enrollment fee (usually in the thousands) — plus monthly fees for “credit monitoring” services.

So what could you expect from the program? Not much, says the FTC. Once enrolled, it was often hard to reach anyone. If you did, you might get a form letter to dispute your debts — even when the company knew those debts were legit. Even worse, says the FTC, these companies would tell you to stop making payments and stop communicating with your credit card companies. If you followed these instructions, you’d see increased fees, added interest, lower credit scores, and, sometimes, lawsuits from creditors.

If you’re looking for ways to pay off your credit cards more quickly, or get a lower interest rate:

  • Don’t pay upfront. It’s illegal for a debt relief company to charge you a fee before they do anything to relieve your debt.
  • Talk with your credit card company. For free. Call the customer service number on the back of your credit card. Ask for a payment plan that you’ll be able to afford.
  • Consider a reputable credit counselor. They can help you develop a payment plan that works for you.
If a debt collection lawsuit has not been filed against you, then it is typically better to try to resolve the debt issue without the assistance of a debt assistance company as that assistance company is going to charge you a fee that could better be used to pay off your debt.  Please remember that any payment towards the debt restarts the statue of limitations.  The statute of limitations is a law the requires the debt collector to sue you within a specific period of time, typically between 4 or 5 years from the date of your last payment.  If the collector/creditor fails to sue you within that period of time, then you cannot be sued for that debt unless you make a payment or acknowledge the debt.  After seven years the negative tradeline associated with the debt is removed from your credit report.

Call Now Button