We’ve all heard the saying, “where there’s smoke, there’s
fire.” Just as sure as that statement was, is, and always will be,
there will always be those who attempt to profit on the misfortunes of others.
The credit repair service, First Time Credit Solutions (FTC Credit), was
accused of targeting and swindling Spanish-speaking customers, promising
them credit repair. FTC Credit charged roughly 7,000 customers thousands
of dollars each for purportedly effective credit repair. The Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) shut down FTC Credit’s operations in March of 2015.
On August 4, 2015, the FTC investigation of FTC Credit culminated in a
$2.4 Million settlement ordered to be paid by the company’s former
marketing director, Guillermo Leyes.
The actions of FTC Credit highlight an alarming problem prevalent in the
debt relief industry. It should come as no surprise that FTC Credit’s
name gives consumers the impression that they are a legitimate enterprise
connected with the federal agency. Consumers should proceed with caution
when dealing with a credit repair agency that attempts to mislead consumers
into believing that it has any affiliation with the federal government.
No such agency exists.
It is also imperative for consumers seeking credit repair to make informed
decisions about their options. A reputable company will not manipulate
you. Many swindlers prey on the misfortunes of consumers, using fear tactics
to convince them to enlist their services.
Research is the key to making an informed decision. It is not as simple
as picking up the phone and hiring someone to delete negative reporting.
Companies that promise such an option are a scam. Consumers should be
aware that results are never guaranteed.
Nobody has the ability to magically change your credit report. Fixing errors
takes time, effort, and more time. While there are countless agencies
that promise a cleaner credit report, only a select do so through a proper
means of dispute. These select few will never promise results, but will
work diligently to ensure that all avenues have been exhausted to achieve
accurate credit reporting.
Aside from shutting down FTC Credit, the FTC placed a lifetime ban on Leyes
and FTC Credit’s three other directors (former CEO Jimena Perez,
former general manager Maria Bernal, and former CFO Fermin Campos) from
ever operating another credit service business.