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Q.What is the Credit Repair Organization Act?

A.There are so many scams offering, for a fee, to erase accurate negative information in your credit file so you can get a credit card, auto loan, home mortgage, or even a job. Don't believe these false and misleading advertisements. The scam artists who run these ads cannot deliver. Only time, a deliberate effort, and a personal debt repayment plan will improve your credit.

According to the FTC, ads promising debt relief may really be offering bankruptcy. Be on the alert for advertisements that offer seemingly quick fixes and avoid them. Similarly avoid Credit Repair Scams. You see and hear their ads everywhere and they all claim the same thing:

"Credit problems? No problem!"

"We can erase your bad credit-100% guaranteed."

"Create a new credit identity legally."

"We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and bad loans from your credit file forever!"

Pursuant to the Credit Repair Organization Act ("Act"), companies claiming to be able to "fix your credit" (a credit repair organization) must give you a copy of the "Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law" before you sign a contract. They must also provide you with a written contract that details your rights and obligations. Read these documents carefully before signing the contract.

The Act also contains specific consumer protections. A credit repair company cannot: (a) make false claims about their services; (b) charge you until they have completed the promised services; or (c) perform any services until they have your signature on a written contract and have completed a three-day waiting period. During this time, you can cancel the contract without paying any fees.

Your contract with any credit repair agency must specify:

  1. the payment for services, including their total cost;
  2. a detailed description of the services to be performed;
  3. how long it will take to achieve the results;
  4. any guarantees they offer; and
  5. the company's name and business address.

If you have been scammed or had a problem, contact your local consumer protection agency, the state Attorney General (AG), the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"). Many of these outfits have either local or toll-free consumer hotlines. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint witht eh FTC, or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Copyright 1999-2018 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.