Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed suit against several companies owned by president Thomas Randall Wells. The charges include allegations that the companies regularly promised customers that all of their negative information could be removed through their credit repair service. Customers were also charged advance fees of $700-800.
First of all, credit repair firms cannot charge advance fees for their services. Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), it is illegal for any firm to charge for credit repair prior to the services actually being performed.
Secondly, no firm may promise that all negative information can be removed from a credit report. Such claims are false, and any firm engaging in such advertising is committing fraudulent and deceptive acts.
Named in the lawsuit are Thomas Randall Wells and the companies that he owns: TRW Ventures LLC, TRW Ventures, Inc., TRW Credit Repair Experts, Inc. and TRW Credit Group LLP.
Dustin McDaniel released the following statement about the lawsuit:
The dispute process is incredibly simple for simple mistakes. Anyone who orders a credit report online (free through AnnualCreditReport.com) may dispute any of their credit records in one minute or less. There is no charge to do so, and easily verifiable mistakes will be corrected within 30 days. More complex disputes such as those which require you to submit corroborating evidence may be completed by mailing in a dispute letter and copies of proving documents within 30 days of ordering the credit report.
Most credit repair scams leave cheated customers with $300-400 less than they had without delivering the promised results. Wells’ firms charged double that.
Since credit repair scams proliferate faster than regulators can shut them down, it is important for customers to understand the limitations of credit repair companies. Most would be much better off going to a credit counseling organization and getting help reviewing their credit report. Many programs offer free credit reviews. Those with a fee rarely charge more than $30 for the session. That way, you understand why records appear on your report and get guidance on removing erroneous data.
Debtors Unite would like to extend a special “thanks” to McDaniel’s office for taking action. We can only hope that some restitution is actually made to victims of the scams. We expect that most of the revenues will be unrecoverable, as is normally the case in such schemes.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
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