In this economy, many people are struggling with bad credit. It doesn’t help that there are a number of fraudulent companies out there looking to take advantage of desperate consumers.
New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow recently announced that a New Jersey businessman named Stephen Pasch was ordered to pay $805,000 for charging up-front fees at a number of his financial rescue businesses. Pasch owned several businesses that promised loan modifications and foreclosure stoppage, but charged up-front fees before clients signed up. That practice is prohibited by law in New Jersey and many other states.
The courts found that Pasch and his business partner, Ejike Uzor, instilled consumer confidence by falsely claiming that one of their companies, the American Financial Advisory Council, was “non-profit.” In most cases, the services promised never materialized and often made things worse for struggling consumers.
There are a number of companies and organizations out there that will offer car loan advice or mortgage tips. Consumers should be immediately wary, however, over any group demanding an up-front fee. Those struggling with bad credit may instead want to seek the counsel of a non-profit consumer group that can help them get their finances back on track.