For all of you who have not seen this I recommend checking it out and then reading this release. It can be found at the FTC’s website at:
Let me start by saying that I agree that a company that lies to a consumer, or does not perform services at all, should be held responsible and liable for their actions. However to attack an entire industry based on a few “Bad Apples” is wrong and illegal see the below legal definition of libel.
An untruthful statement about a person, published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Because libel is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. Libel is a form of defamation, as is slander (an untruthful statement that is spoken, but not published in writing or broadcast through the media).
Now tell me if it’s just me, or is the FTC is on a “Witch Hunt”?
Before we answer that question lets take a few points from the FTC’s comments and how they compare to the legal facts.
1) Lydia Parnes repeatedly mentions that “No company can legally remove accurate and timely information from a credit report”
While Lydia Parnes is correct She fails to provide a complete explanation that according to the FCRA a consumer or company hired by a consumer may have unverifiable information removed. Please read the below taken from Section 611 5 A of the FCRA
(5) Treatment of Inaccurate or Unverifiable Information
(A) In general. If, after any reinvestigation under paragraph (1) of any information disputed by a consumer, an item of the information is found to be inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified, the consumer reporting agency shall–(i) promptly delete that item of information from the file of the consumer, or modify that item of information, as appropriate, based on the results of the investigation;
2) Lydia Parnes repeatedly mentions that “Negative information can be reported for up to seven years, and some Bankruptcies can be reported for up to ten years.”
While Lydia Parnes is again correct these items “can” be reported for those periods of time. However no where in the FCRA does it stipulate that they “must” be reported for those periods of time. As a matter of fact no where in the FCRA does it state that any information must be reported ever. In the United States of America the credit reporting system is voluntary.
3) Lydia Parnes now presents a Mr. Daniel Duke from Texas. Daniel proceeds to tell his tale of woe, It is filled with inconsistencies and libel. Daniel Duke first states that he called a Credit Repair company and they offered to provide service for the amount of $1200. Daniel now says so I sent them $900. Does anyone else see the problem here? Daniel is upset some time later when the company will not release the work because $300 is still due. Daniel also says in his comments that Mortgage Brokers and Banks are no help but he closes his statement with “So even your Mortgage Broker will help you allot” Daniel Duke also commits libel by making a statement that “Every one of those are probably crooks” Referring to the 10,000 Credit Repair companies that his bank told him existed in the State of Texas.
While we sympathize with any consumer that has been victimized, We feel that Lydia Parnes and the FTC purposely allowed this consumer to publicly stone an entire industry based on his opinions. What Daniel Duke, Lydia Parnes, and the FTC failed to discuss were the facts surrounding Daniel Duke’s complaint. Did the company provide Mr. Duke with a contract? What services did the company offer to provide Mr. Duke? And most importantly, what were Mr. Dukes responsibilities under the contract? We already know that according to Mr. Duke he only sent in a partial payment to the company. Did Mr. Duke not do something else on his part to cause the failure of the company’s credit repair efforts? (We are not taking sides however if you are going to make allegations publicly you should provide facts)
4) Lydia Parnes now offers to take questions, A woman from Oklahoma calls in that is in the Credit Repair business, asking how she can separate her company from the “Bad Companies”, and if there is any resource available that the FTC can recommend, for consumers to find reputable Credit Repair Companies. Lydia Parnes says “The FTC does not endorse any Credit Repair company or any other Type of Company for that matter” and immediately after saying that Lydia Parnes endorses Not for Profit Credit Counseling companies. And then Lydia Parnes allows Mr. Daniel Duke an angry consumer with what appears to be an agenda in my opinion jump in to say: “Most of us in the real world have real jobs that we do for a living. And that’s why I think that Non profitable corporations are the only way to go. They are not doing it because that’s their source of livelihood. How up front and honest and how fair to the consumers can you be when that’s your money to make money off them. So I’m playing the Devil’s advocate if your charging somebody to help them you’re probably more interested in yourself than you are helping them.”
In my opinion Lydia Parnes and the FTC allowed Mr. Daniel Duke to not only commit libel against every legitimate credit repair company but every other legitimate business in the United States of America that works for a profit.
5) Lydia Parnes continues to take questions from callers but continues to avoid any topic that may present a positive image of Credit Repair companies.
In closing may I suggest to Lydia Parnes, the FTC, and Mr. Daniel Duke who clearly stated that negative items in his report were not accurate, A new plan “Operation Accurate Credit Report” because after all the real culprit in this whole mess plaguing or Nation are these so called “Big Three” Credit Reporting Agencies. It’s no big secret that it is the Credit Reporting Agency that is responsible for maintaining accurate and verifiable reports for each consumer. See section 607 (b) of the FCRA:
(b) Accuracy of report. Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.
Now according to the US PIRG (US Public Interest Research Group) 79% of all Credit Reports contain errors see it here:
The fact is that every day legitimate credit repair companies have already launched “Operation Accurate Credit Report” by performing the valuable service to consumers that even though can do it for themselves do not possess the knowledge to be successful. These companies help the client Dispute Inaccurate, outdated, and unverifiable information. The amount of red tape these consumers must go through to get this done often causes them to give up. A legitimate credit repair company understands the process and knows what steps are required. In addition to Dispute services legitimate companies provide credit education to consumers, and advice on adding positive credit to the consumers file.