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The Credit World Players
"All the world is a stage, and all the men and women (and big business) are merely players." William Shakespeare
There are five (5) main categories of companies/people offering "credit advice" or "credit services" such as "credit repair", "identity protection", credit counseling, bankruptcy, and/or "debt negotiation".
1.) PCACC or Professional Consumer Advocate Credit Counselor's:
This describes First Stone®. As required by law, First Stone® Credit Counseling is an approved Consumer Advocate Credit Counseling organization, with a U.S. Treasury/IRS 501(c)(3) certification. First Stone® therefore operates legally under the credit laws of the United States of America, and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Our objective is to help the consmer get out of trouble, get edicated and clean-up their credit files, restoring their good name so they can fully reach their financial and personal life goals.
2.) "Other" Consumer Credit Counseling Companies:
Those are really collection-agencies-in-disguise. The best know is Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS), but now there are several "clones" because collecting money for creditors can be lucrative. However, it can be hazardous to consumer health!
CCCS and their parent company, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), are the largest and most widely known credit counseling group in the U.S. Although they are IRS certified, consumers need to understand that CCCS is really a “non-profit franchise”. You might ask yourself, “Who would buy or sell a ‘charitable franchise’?” They claim they receive nominal fees from their clients, but they actually receive substantial rebates or “Fair-Share Offerings” from the very creditors and collectors that are plaguing the consumer. Additionally, and this is very important, CCCS will not correct your credit files or even improve them. Why? They were created by the credit bureaus and bad news sells. Their only purpose is to get you to pay off all your debt (usually at the full amount, plus some interest) which makes them essentially “collector agencies”.United States of America, and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Our objective is to help the consmer get out of trouble, get edicated and clean-up their credit files, restoring their good name so they can fully reach their financial and personal life goals.
3.) Credit Repair Clinics
"Credit Repair" Clinics - The short answer: all of these are "Scammers"!
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) probably said it best when their Consumer Protection Division Director, Ms. Jodie Bernstein, first essentially stated: "The FTC has never seen a legitimate credit repair company..."
Credit Repair clinics mostly perform by trying to fool or overload those so-called "credit bureaus", the ones Congress named the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA's), by sending "frivolous disputes" with the hope that it will confuse the CRAs into removing negative information. In our opinion, credit bureaus, while not "rocket scientists" are much more savvy than that, and quickly pick up on this technique and then "flag" the consumer's credit file as punishment so that, for years and years to come (7 years, 20 years, perhaps life), any future contacts can be used against the consumer for trying to fool them. Those consumers are now actually "marked" for life or until they find FSCC™ who can actually stop it! By the way, all "Credit Repair" clinics violate The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) and The Federal Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, a.k.a. The Telemarketing Sales Rule, or TSR for short, as well as The Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). If you tell FSCC™ about these scammers, they can help you get your money back! "Forewarned is forearmed."
"Debt Settlement" aka Negotiators
"Debt Settlement" Companies (a.k.a. Debt Negotiators or DS/N's) - The short answer: They are "simply another more recent complex consumer scam"
Debt Settlement/Negotiator Companies claim they can settle all your unsecured debts in about 60 months (5 years) or maybe less for approximately half or 50% (maybe 40%?) of your unsecured debt plus their 15% off-the-top fees which are all charged up front and they get theirs even if you, the consumer, don't. Now the new Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR, enacted 9/27/2010) will stop all that or they and "their friends" will eventually go to jail. First of all, Debt Setllement/Negotiators must now (effective 9/27/2010) disclose all negative aspects like, your credit file is quickly and totally destroyed for seven (7) to twenty (20) years because you immediately stopped paying your unsecured creditors. DS/N's must now additionaly disclose they have no contract with creditors and that many of their consumer customers will also get sued. By the way, the Feds and attorney generals now publish that only 10% of their consumers successfully ever complete these programs; however, customers can now use the new TSR to sue the Debt Settlement/Negotiators.
Lastly, the "mad-as-hell" creditors also extract more revenge by sending consumer customers and the IRS a 1099C tax lien which will stay on someone's credit file and keep them in that "Economic Bondage" situation for fifteen (15) more years, therefore that additional blemish added to the already 7-12 negative years may add up to half a lifetime. Since Sept. 27, 2010, all Debts Settlement/Negotiators have to tell all prospects verbally and in writing what we just explained or you can sue them and their "helpers", like lead providers or TV and radio stations... Again, "forewarned is forearmed!"
NFCC / CCCS - "Fair Share" & DMP's
The NFCC/CCCS - our opinion is these are very sophisticated "collectors"
Again, our opinion, as well as some others, most are actually "collection-agencies-in- disguise" since they fail to disclose to the consumer the creditor rebate - (the "Fair Share Offering" they call it). Collecting money for creditors can be lucrative - CCCS/NFCC is estimated to have grossed between $20 to $24 billion last year - but it is extremely hazardous to any consumer's credit health if they hire them. If one hires the NFCC/CCCS and/or their friends, the companies would be performing what's called a DMP (Debt Management Program) which allegedly settles all your unsecured debts but, it normally takes from three (3) to eleven (11) years to complete a DMP project. However, your monthly payment goes to half but not the debts; in fact, the interest usually continues!
However, all those negative items continue to move forward each month until the payoff which ends in five (5) to eleven (11) or more years and credit file bad news remains all the time plus another 7 or more years ("makes some folks actually feel better though"). But it's just another "Economic Bondage" creditor and credit bureau scam. "Forewarned is forearmed."
Bankruptcy - Chapter(s) 7 or 13
After Bankruptcy Cleanup program:
One could be a bankruptcy candidate, however, to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a.k.a. total unsecured "debt wipeout" (which takes about 100 to 180 days or so...), you must qualify economically and by that I mean, there is now a "means test." However, BK-7 debt wipeout leaves a 10-year credit file blemish. There is also Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 - Re-ogranization - however that is normally a five (5) year project where you would still pay approximately 30% of your unsecured debt with a monthly payment plus attorney and trustee fees plus seven (7) more years of credit report "death" after the five (5) year bankruptcy, unless...
You find FSCC™ for our "After Bankruptcy Cleanup" program. FSCC™ does have the expertise to do true after bankruptcy credit file clean-up... FAST! It normally takes about a year to free clients from that state of "Economic Bondage."
However, our experience has shown that you can usually look forward to seven (7) to twenty (20) years of "credit hell" if the powers that hate you (that's those creditors or their collector friends) actually obey the law themselves. Good luck! Because they normally try to punish consumers until... well let me say, "they normally give up when you die...!"
WHY YOU PROBABLY CAN'T OR DON"T WANT TO TRY TO DO THIS YOURSELF EVEN IF YOU ARE A "GENIUS"...
#1: The system has been stacked against you and all those other “players” will stick together to “punish” you so you will always unquestionably want to pay them first.
#2: The "system players" hold most of the cards except one "wild card" that trumps all others and that is simply "FSCC™" (ask us when you call and we will educate you as to why...)
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First Stone® Credit Counseling™
2701 West 15th Street #541 | Plano, TX | 75075-7541
972.235.1188 office | 972.235.1192 fax
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST
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The First Stone®, First Stone® Credit Counseling™, The CreditMaster®, and The Consumer Fight Back™ and all material pertaining thereto is a Registered Trademark / Servicemark: No.3,093,212. The People's Credit Bureau™ and all material pertaining thereto is a Registered Trademark / Servicemark: No. .3,093,212. Any and all other material herein is protected by Copyright © 1991 - 2017 The First Stone, Inc. All Rights Reserved.