Lake Forest Fraud Alert: Federal law prohibits charging consumers until help is provided

New federal laws make it more difficult for debt-relief companies to victimize consumers. The new laws prohibit these companies from charging consumers until they’ve helped them reduce or change the terms of at least one debt.  Since December 2007, the Better Business Bureau has received more than 6,000 complaints from consumers about debt-relief companies. Typical complaints were that the companies charged fees to consumers burdened with debt, but failed to reduce or eliminate debts.

As a member of the Orange County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Advisory Committee, I see a lot of fraud being perpetrated against homeowners.  The good news is that we are systematically going after these criminals and putting an end to their crime spree.  In the mean time, please be very careful when a ‘professional’ asks you to put any money upfront to begin a service for you. (Bankruptcy attorneys are able to charge upfront fees).

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