Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FYI: FTC Shuts Down More Credit Repair and Loan Mod Scammers

The Federal Trade Commission obtained a court order banning eight companies and their principals from selling credit repair and mortgage relief services, and requiring them to pay more than $7.5 million for deceiving consumers throughout the United States.  A copy of the Order is attached.

The FTC charged seven of the companies and three officers with making false promises that they would improve consumers’ credit scores by removing negative information such as late payments, charge-offs, collections, inquiries, delinquencies, judgments, and accounts discharged in bankruptcy.  According to the FTC, the defendants charged consumers up to $2,000, including illegally charging an advance payment of $300, and failed to provide written contracts and other materials required by law. 

The FTC also asserted that various of the defendants falsely claimed they would help consumers get mortgage loan modifications or stop foreclosure in all or virtually all instances. The court entered default judgments against all of the defendants except Gerald Serino, also known as Jerry Serino, after they failed to respond to the lawsuit.

The credit repair defendants are United Credit Adjusters, Inc., doing business as United Credit Adjustors and UCA; United Credit Adjustors, Inc., d/b/a United Credit Adjusters and UCA; United Counseling Association, Inc., d/b/a UCA; Bankruptcy Masters Corp., National Bankruptcy Services Corp., Federal Debt Solutions, Ltd., United Money Tree, Inc., Ahron E. Henoch, Ezra Rishty, and Gerald Serino. The loan modification defendants are The Loan Modification Shop, Ltd., Casey Lynn Cohen, a/k/a Casey Lynn Collins, and Rishty.

The court order prohibits the credit repair companies and their owners from selling credit repair services, and it bans the loan modification companies and their individual owners from selling mortgage loan modification and foreclosure relief services. The order also prohibits the defendants from misleading consumers about financial goods and services, such as loan terms or rates, how much a consumer will save by enrolling in a debt relief service, and credit terms other than those a lender actually offers. The order also bars the defendants from misleading consumers about any good or service, such as refund terms, government affiliation, and total cost.

In addition, the order bars the defendants from trying to collect payment from their customers, and from selling or otherwise disclosing their customers’ personal or financial information. The order imposes a $7,500,334 judgment against the credit repair defendants, and a $32,710 judgment against the loan modification defendants. Litigation will continue against Serino.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks.


Ralph T. Wutscher

Kahrl Wutscher LLP

The Loop Center Building

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2100
Chicago, Illinois  60602
Direct:  (312) 551-9320 

Fax:  (866) 581-9302
Mobile:  (312) 493-0874




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