Those mysterious debt collectors who call insisting you’ll be in legal peril if you don’t pay them big bucks are in hot water themselves, accused in a nationwide crackdown of harassing and threatening consumers, often about debts that don’t actually exist.
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday highlighted enforcement actions filed in recent months against two South Carolina-based debt collection firms accused of bilking people out of a combined $17.2 million, as well as settlements with three other firms accused of using pressure tactics and other shady practices.
Ironically, the firms that agreed to financial settlements were unable to pay the full amounts.
While consumer complaints about debt collectors have dropped slightly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, the commission’s consumer protection chief, Andrew Smith, anticipates that will change as collectors increasingly target people experiencing crisis-related financial hardship.
Of more than 85,000 debt collection complaints from consumers this year, the FTC said nearly half pertained to debts that didn’t exist or to abusive and threatening practices.
“Now would be about the time that this would start — that we would start to see consumer complaints associated with financial distress caused by the pandemic,” Smith said. “This might be debt collection complaints; it also might be complaints about various credit repair organizations or debt relief, mortgage relief and debt settlement.”
The commission, working with other federal agencies and authorities in 16 states, is also launching a campaign to give consumers tips on what to do when confronted with a debt collection call. It includes a tip sheet with potential red flags, such as a collector refusing to provide the name of his or her company, the amount of debt or the original creditor.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who joined a media conference call on the initiative, dubbed Operation Corrupt Collector, offered frank advice to older people who are often seen as easy marks for dubious dialers.
“Senior citizens, as I always say, they’ve earned the right to hang up and to be rude,” James said. “Most seniors are not rude, but when it comes to individuals engaging in illegal conduct, they should hang up and report the collector to the FTC immediately.”
James’ office was involved in two of the three settlements featured in the crackdown. Both companies based in the Buffalo area were permanently banned from the debt collection industry under agreements reached in December and February.
One of the companies, Hylan Asset Management, was ordered to pay a $6.75 million judgment but had that slashed to just $676,575 because of an inability to pay. The owner of the other company, Campbell Capital LLC, had its $1.7 million judgment slashed to $30,000.
In the two pending cases in South Carolina, filed in July, authorities have obtained temporary restraining orders halting the companies’ operations, freezing their assets, and putting them under the control of a receiver.
National Landmark Logistics LLC and Absolute Financial Services, LLC, both based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, are accused of using deceptive robocalls and trickery such as claiming to be from a mediation or law firm rather than a debt collector, threatening legal action and using a target’s personal information to make it seem as though the threats were real.
According to the FTC, National Landmark Logistics LLC took in more than $12 million through the tactics, while Absolute Financial Services LLC pocketed more than $5.2 million. In many cases, the commission alleges, National Landmark Logistics had no right to collect the debt it sought or there was no debt to collect in the first place.
A lawyer for National Landmark Logistics LLC declined comment. A message seeking comment was left with a lawyer for Absolute Financial Services LLC.
Seven days out is your guide to entertainment events, concerts, festivals and activities in Escambia and Santa Rosa County.
Monday Night Blues
7 p.m. Monday, June 14. Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. Seville Quarter and the Blues Society of Northwest Florida are bringing the “blues” back to the Seville Quarter Entertainment District. The event features live blues music and “BBQ and Bud” food and drink specials. More info: 850-434-6211 or sevillequarter.com.
Ghost & Graveyards Tour
5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, June 15, 17 and 19. Go Retro, 610 N. Spring St. From fear to laughter and somewhere in between, Go Retro offers the ultimate Halloween experience for adults. This riding tour covers a wide area with stops in the Commercial Business District, Seville, Sanders Beach, North and West Hill. There is a stop at a cemetery and sometimes the driver can arrange for you to visit a haunted house. Designed for mature audiences; parental guidance is strongly advised. More info: 850-466-5220.
Bands on the Beach
7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 15. Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach, Pensacola Beach. Pensacola Beach’s popular outdoor summer concert series with performers for every musical taste. Featuring a lineup of regional artists, Bands on the Beach delivers an eclectic musical experience throughout the entire summer. This week features Elvis Remembered with Shane Tucker. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Free. More info: 850-932-2257 or visitpensacolabeach.com.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 15. Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. Enjoy jazz with Melodious Allen and The Funk Heads in Lili Marlene’s. More info: 850-434-6211 or sevillequarter.com.
Tunes by the Dunes Summer Concert Series
7 p.m. Thursday, June 17. Sand Crab Pavilion, Navarre Beach Park, 8649 Gulf Blvd., Navarre. Tunes by the Dunes is a free summer concert series hosted by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Enjoy a relaxing evening at the Sand Crab Pavilion for live local music and food vendors. Spectators are encouraged to bring beach blankets and lawn chairs. This week features Platinum Premier Band. Free. More info: 850-939-3267 or navarrechamber.com/tunes-by-the-dunes.
Friday through Monday, June 18 through 21. Flounder’s Chowder House, 800 Quietwater Beach Road, Pensacola Beach. Cash awards and prizes await the angler who weighs in the top three fish in 21 different species. In addition to the rodeo, there is the Step One Automotive King Mackerel Challenge with a separate buy-in and cash and prizes awarded to the boat that brings in the biggest king mackerel. There also is the In-Shore Challenge and the Academy Sports and Outdoors Junior Rodeo. The weigh-in will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission: Prices vary on type of fishing; free for kids. More info: 850-434-2800.
7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 18 through 27. Pensacola Little Theatre, 400 S. Jefferson St. At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s Landing townhouse, the deputy mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce. Gathering for their 10th wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room, and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken, and wife, Chris, must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity. More info: 850-432-2042.
11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, June 18 and 19. DeLuna Lanes and Peter B’s Sport Grill, 590 E. Nine Mile Road. Cosmic Bowling is glow-in-the-dark bowling with a dance club atmosphere. The event features a light show, fog machine, and music. Before Cosmic starts on Saturday nights, attendees can enjoy karaoke in the sports grill. Admission: $12. More info: 850-478-9522.
Black Beauty Expo
10 a.m. Saturday, June 19. Onyx Event Space, 4400 Mobile Highway. The Black Beauty Expo is a gathering that allows for Black women on the Gulf Coast to encounter new products, network, learn, and connect. This year’s theme is all about the #Queendom. The expo features guest speakers discussing health, hair, beauty and politics. VIP ticket holders enjoy access to The Beauty Bar, where they can receive free services from local licensed beauty professionals and the Brand Builders Level Up Room, where classes will be held on credit repair, homeownership, investments, and brand building. Free for general admission. VIP: $20. More info: 850-446-8436.
5:30 a.m. Saturday, June 19. 8649 Gulf Blvd., Navarre. GOAT is an international kayak fishing event, showcasing Navarre as the premiere fishing destination of Florida. Watch the fish weigh-in at Windjammers by the Pier, along with live music starting at 3 p.m. More info: goatkft.com or [email protected]
Baby Shark Live!
2 p.m. Saturday, June 19. Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E. Gregory St. Baby Shark Live! is based on Pinkfong’s viral earworm and global dance phenomenon, Baby Shark. Fans of all ages will delight as Baby Shark joins up with his friend Pinkfong to take an adventure into the sea, singing and dancing through new and classic songs including Five Little Monkeys, Wheels on the Bus, Jungle Boogie, Monkey Banana Dance and, of course, Baby Shark. Tickets: $49.50, $44.50, $39.50. More info: 850-432-0800.
Fish House Craft Beer Festival
3 p.m. Saturday, June 19. The Fish House, 600 S. Barracks St. The annual Craft Beer Fest will feature more than 50 beers with a portion of the event proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. Tickets: $30. For ages 21 and older. More info: 850-912-6622.
Bet Your Life Casino Murder Mystery Dinner Show
6 p.m., doors; 7 p.m., show; Saturday, June 19. Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. You’re attending a promotional gathering for the final round of the Champion’s Hall International Poker (C.H.I.P.) tournament. With such high stakes something is bound to go wrong, but when someone winds up dead it will be up to you and Detective Gunn to go all in and solve the case. Tickets: $59. More info: 850-434-6211 or sevillequarter.com.
Youth Talent Show
7 p.m. Saturday, June 19. The Gordon Community Art Center, 306 N. DeVilliers St. All youth ages 8 to 18 are invited to share their talent at the Gordon Community Art Center’s Youth Talent Show. Three judges will score and encourage the performers. All performers will receive a prize. The top three scores will receive an award of $50, $30 or $20. Admission: $2 entry fee (includes one complimentary ticket); $5 general admission. More info: 850-857-8961.
Never miss a story: Subscribe to the Pensacola News Journal using the link at the bottom of the page under Stay Connected.
Read or Share this story: https://www.pnj.com/story/entertainment/play/2021/06/12/black-beauty-expo-celebrates-queens-beer-fest-quenches-thirsts/7622183002/
Davenport, United States, 06/11/2021 / CreditFixed /
In recent years, many Americans have been struggling with their credit. As a result, there has been an increase in people looking for help to correct errors on their poor credit reports and get back on track. With so many credit reporting companies out there promising quick fixes and miracles, it can be challenging to figure out which one is the best credit repair company for you. That’s where CreditFixed comes in.
CreditFixed is an independent consumer financial protection bureau established with the mission to provide their readers with well-researched and informative articles about credit repair. They have tested many credit repair companies that offer real solutions and results to help you make the best decision for your financial future.
CreditFixed selected the best credit repair services for their most significant pros and cons, fair credit reporting act, main complaints from past customers, credit repair packages and pricing offered by each company they review, as well as creditor interventions.
7 Best Credit Repair Companies Recommended By Creditfixed.Com:
With a success rate of 56 million items removed and 500,000+ users since 2004, Lexington Law is still the industry’s leading credit bureau with the highest download on App Store. Their credit repair process is done by experienced lawyers who want to help you rebuild your report. However, there are no guarantees of success.
Credit Saint offers free credit evaluations with a 90-day money-back guarantee. They are missing a mobile app for credit monitoring. Still, they have the highest rating from Better Business Bureau as a proof of a legitimate credit repair company and provide transparent information about how many challenges their member has faced.
Sky Blue Credit Repair
Sky Blue Credit offers free credit counseling and a 90-day money-back guarantee, winning the heart of their clients as one of the most legitimate credit repair companies. They have been in the business since 1989, and it offers a $79 monthly fee for 15 disputes.
Credit Repair provides free consultation through their attractive website and easy-to-navigate mobile app that has FICO score tracker. This credit repair service uses personal finance tools and credit repair software such as InquiryManager. The primary drawback is that their credit repair packages come with an initial upfront cost, and there’s no guarantee of success.
The Credit Pros
Founded by Jason Kaplan, this credit repair agency partners with FICO-certified experts for tailored and personalized services and identity theft protection. They offer a free credit consultation but sadly do not offer any guarantees.
The Credit People
Unlike most credit repair companies, this credit repair organization offers $79 one-package offer with unlimited disputes and a guaranteed result in 60 days.
Ovation Credit Services
Slightly different than the other credit repair services, Ovation Credit offers one-on-one assistance from a personal case advisor with fast track service.
Is Credit Repair Companies Worth It?
There is no credit repair company without its pros and cons, so it is essential to know what you’re looking for before deciding to use one of the platforms. The most popular benefits about hiring these services include:
– A higher FICO Score
– Higher chances of approval when seeking loans or mortgages in the future
The drawbacks associated with credit repair agencies may vary depending on what your goals are, as they can be costly if not watched closely. This comes down to how much risk someone is willing to take on by opening up new accounts at high rates while repairing their credit scores.
CreditFixed is run by Gerald Dunigan, a 13-year experienced finance consultant specializing in the credit repair industry. Their mission is to provide well-researched articles to help users find the best options to fix their bad credit reports and avoid credit repair scams. Check on more information on their website, https://creditfixed.com.
DISCLAIMER of Liability. IN NO EVENT SHALL OUR PR COMPANY BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOST PROFITS OR LOST OPPORTUNITIES, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES IN ADVANCE AND REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE OF ACTION UPON WHICH ANY SUCH CLAIM IS BASED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY CLAIM ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH ANY OF THE CONTENT, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, AUDIO, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND VIDEOS, OR OF THE ACCURACY, RELIABILITY, OR LEGALITY OF ANY STATEMENT MADE IN OR OMITTED FROM ANY advertisement, sponsorship, endorsement, testimonial, opinion, or other product-related or service-related statement or review appearing in the Websites or in ANY post or article distributed via the Websites.
Hiring a credit monitoring company to track your credit score is an ideal strategy in debt management, as it enables you to be up to speed with your FICO credit scores. Most importantly, in case of identity theft, you also protect yourself from any possible credit fraud.
A credit monitoring company can dispute a credit report on your behalf and notify your credit company about fraudulent transactions that you may not be aware of. If this is recorded on time, your credit score can be repaired and restored on time to give you back control over your finances.
As you identify a credit monitoring company to work with, below are important factors to consider: –
1.Reliability and Timeliness
A credit monitoring platform should alert you in real-time whenever there is any change in your credit report. According to NBC News, 60% of complaints on credit bureaus are about erroneous entries on credit reports captured during the credit pre-approval processing. The complaints result in delays in approvals, costly follow-ups, and sometimes credit declinature.
To avoid such inconveniences, you should only consider credit monitoring platforms that track your credit score in real-time and alert you of any changes within a few minutes.
Pricing is vital since you should only sign up for a credit monitoring service that you can afford. Most platforms offer different plans covering select services such as credit card reports, dark web surveillance, information breach notifications, social media insights, identity theft insurance, and more.
The vital consideration is to ensure that the service that you opt for covers your areas of vulnerability. For instance, if you are an Instagram fashion influencer, you should consider a credit monitoring service that tracts identity and credit card theft on the social media platform.
Pricing largely determines the benefits available, but there are hundreds of free options to consider if you cannot afford the monthly subscription fee. However, free services only offer basic alert services, and there is no guarantee whether the notification is done in real-time.
If terms and conditions are friendly and the warranty terms are friendly, you should consider the credit monitoring service after careful consideration. For instance, one of the best platforms reimburses you up to $1m when you lose funds following identity theft. On the other hand, other applications can offer identity restoration services in their packages, which is ideal, especially if you have a busy schedule and don’t have spare time to follow up with specialists after identity theft or credit fraud. Furthermore, some applications offer credit repair services to help you improve your FICO credit score after a breach.
The options are unlimited, but the strategy of getting the best credit monitoring services is to identify your vulnerabilities first before finding a service with optimal benefits.
4.Ease of Getting Credit Reports
The Federal Law compels the three credit agencies to give credit reports for free once a year. But the intervals are far apart, and you cannot rely on them if you want to track your credit score. When signing up for credit monitoring, one of your considerations is the frequency of getting the credit report, whether monthly, quarterly, annually or twice a year.
Most importantly, you should generate your credit report from the platform with ease whenever needed.
5.Terms and Conditions
Data protection conditions should be central for any credit monitoring site, given the sensitivity of financial and personal information. Hence, you should read the terms of the agreement, and there should be a declaration where it states that your data shall not be shared with another party without your consent.
While state data protection laws are consumer-centric, you should always take your time before checking the box for agreeing to the terms and conditions.
6.Ensure That the Company Is Licensed, Bonded, and Insured
A licensed credit monitoring company is accredited and allowed to transact the class of business at the federal and local levels. This is the first sign that the service offered is legitimate. Secondly, you should only consider companies that are insured. When a company is indemnified, you can recover your fiscal loss following a breach of professional duty. On the other hand, Bonded is an assurance that you may be compensated once the credit management company fails to perform a specific duty within the promised time. For example, alerting you in real-time about a suspicious transaction fails to perform a particular duty as per the sales contract.
Legal Disclaimer: MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.