Credit Associates advertises debt settlement services on TV and Radio. Are they a scam?
I suspect that this outfit may be a scam, and I want to hear from anyone who has experience with them. I saw this television advertisement recently:
A serious man in a business suit stares grim-faced at you from your TV screen.
“If your credit card debt is out of control, if you’re over your head in monthly payments,” he says, “there’s a secret the credit card companies don’t want you to know: If you have more than $5,000 in credit card debt, you have the right to settle that debt for a fraction of what you owe.
That’s bad news for the credit card companies, but (enter the hopeful piano music) its great news for you.” Grimface smiles for the first time.
“We are Credit Associates, and we’re offering you free information on how to virtually eliminate your credit card debt with a monthly payment you can afford. To see how much you could save, call now. 1-800-507-4987.”
“Don’t declare bankruptcy. Don’t consolidate. Give us ten minutes and we could save you thousands. After all, we depend on your success, and offer a guarantee so there’s no risk.”
You can see the video here:
The ad immediately drew my attention because it makes a very bold claim: “if you have more than $5,000 in credit card debt, you have the right to settle that debt for a fraction of what you owe.”
I don’t believe this is true. I am a real Alabama lawyer with years of experience dealing with debts in and out of court, and I can say that you DO NOT have the right to settle any debt without the creditor’s consent. And your rights to settlement – at least in Alabama – have nothing to do with how much debt you owe. Personally, I believe that it is just flat-out fraudulent for a business to make this sort of promise in order to get customers.
Of course, making false claims is not entirely new to the debt settlement industry. It is one of the scammiest industries out there. I have had numerous clients over the years who have been tricked into paying money for months and months to debt settlement outfits and still get sued years later by the very same creditors who were supposed to have been dealt with.
If you have hired Credit Associates or a similar debt settlement company and have questions about your rights, please call me at 251.272.9148. Don’t think that just because you’ve already started paying them that you are stuck with them forever. You have rights. Contact us for more information.