Washington is among 12 states' attorneys general taking action against fraudulent credit repair companies as part of "Operation Payback," a nationwide crackdown announced this morning by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. In all, the 12 states and the FTC filed law suits against 13 firms.
The Washington State Attorney General's Office has filed a lawsuit against DTM Financial Services of Walpole, Mass. in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
The violations outlined in Washington's lawsuit against the DTM Corporation include:
- Asking consumers for money in advance with the promise to "clean up" their credit records. That violates FTC telemarketing rules.
- Representing to customers that all negative information can be removed from their credit reports, including bankruptcies and charge-offs. In fact, if the information on a consumer's credit record is accurate and current, reporting agencies typically will not remove that information.
- Promising to create a new "clear" credit file by telling the customer to apply for credit using a tax identification number instead of a social security number. That is illegal. Anyone who knowingly makes false statements in the process of applying for a loan or other transaction is in violation of the law.
- Claiming its program is "100 percent legal." It is not.
In Washington, the company advertised extensively in several editions of the "Little Nickel Want Ads."
Consumers calling the toll-free number in the advertisements heard a record message which starts... "We would like to tell you about the secret that credit reporting agencies don't want you to know about. And that secret is that anyone, anyone can create a new, clear credit file for themselves in just days..."
The company also does business as USR Publications, USR Credit Restoral, Ray-Pro Credit and Financial Services and Ray-Pro.
Washington Attorney General Contacts:
Paula Selis, Assistant Attorney General 206-464-7662
Janice Marich, Public Affairs 206-464-6432
Chuck Harwood, Director
Seattle Regional Office 206-220-6350
Victoria Streitfeld 202-326-2718
Bonnie Jansen 202-326-2161
NOTE:A Bothell woman and a Bellingham couple are among consumers who were victimized by this credit repair scam. They are available for interviews. For information, please contact Ms. Marich at 206-464-6432.