FTC Imposes $9 Million Judgment on United Debt Counselors
In a recent press release, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had reached a settlement with United Debt Counselors, a national debt relief company, which was accused of exaggerating the amount of money consumers would save by using it services. The FTC said that the company sent official looking documents in direct mail marketing campaigns, and falsely claimed that typical customers were debt-free within three years.
According to the regulatory agency, United Debt Counselors, also known as United Debt Services, told a potential customer that they needed to meet with a sales representative when in fact they were meeting with a notary public to witness their signature on a contract. The FTC claimed that United Debt Counselors charged fees before negotiating Credit card debt, in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which requires that consumers first meet with knowledgeable sales representatives.
The FTC order bans United Debt Counselors from making misrepresentations about debt relief and from charging Advance fees in violation of the TSR. The agency also imposed a $9 million judgment, but suspended all but $510,000.
When it comes to debt relief, if something sounds too good to be true, it typically is too to be true. That’s why it makes sense to consult a debt and credit lawyer, who can ethically and legally leverage consumer laws and negotiate debt settlements.