June 2, 2009
--Koster says company charges high fees but fails to deliver services--
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster has filed suit against a company that advertised to consumers it could get people out of credit-card debt and lower their monthly payments, but did not deliver the services it promised.
Koster said the company, Credit Solutions of America in Richardson, Texas, marketed to Missourians that it could reduce their payments by fifty percent, lower their monthly bills and get customers out of debt within three years. The Attorney General’s investigation, however, found that the company took customers’ money, but did little or nothing to solve their debt problems.
“Credit Solutions of America promised real relief to consumers who were in financial straits because of high credit card debt, only to leave them in even worse shape because they had to pay the company,” Koster said. “We will continue to aggressively pursue the unacceptable business practices of these companies that offer false promises and deliver only harm.”
The Attorney General said Credit Solutions of America illegally charged customers about 15 percent of their entire debt through an upfront payment and subsequent direct installments from the customer’s bank account. Missouri law prohibits a credit services company from taking money from a customer until all services are performed in full. Koster said the company also is not registered as required to do business in Missouri.
Koster said consumers should be very cautious about claims made by debt-modification companies. He said most of these companies deliver significantly less than they promise.
“These debt-modification companies don’t want you to know it, but they have no more clout with credit card companies than the customer has,” Koster said. “A consumer who does business with a debt-modification company will usually just end up spending money that could be going to help pay their debt.”