There are many legitimate credit repair companies out there that can actually live up to their claims. But, unfortunately, you’ll also find a few scam artists disguised as legitimate companies. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. For example, if a service claims that it can fix your credit instantly with a 100 percent rate of success, you should probably walk away.
This type of company may be in violation of both the Credit Repair Organizations Act and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act. They might even violate criminal laws and invite you along for the ride.
How Credit Repair Companies are Regulated in Georgia
Credit repair companies are banned in Georgia, with certain exceptions. See O.C.G.A 16-9-59. In fact, Georgia makes it a misdemeanor to operate as a credit repair company or to even be affiliated with one. The only exceptions to this law is if the credit repair company operates as a non profit under Chapter 501(c)(3) of the IRS Tax Code. Still, if a Credit Repair Company meets one of the exceptions and legally operates in GA, you should know that consumers in all states are protected by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). And under this Act, any company that advertises itself as a for-profit credit repair clinic or service must:
- Provide consumers with a written statement that outlines their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
- Not make false claims about what they can and cannot do.
- Provide the consumer with a written contract that clearly outlines the services that the company is expected to deliver.
- Not accept payment from a consumer until the work is completed.
- Allow a customer to cancel a contract within three days of signing.
In addition to these federal regulations, credit repair companies that operate in Georgia must comply with the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act (GFBPA). This means that they may NOT:
- Offer to remove information from your credit reports that is negative but accurate.
- Create a new credit identity for you with an Employer Identification Number (EIN). These types of numbers are meant for business use only. Also, creating a new credit file for a consumer with an EIN is called “file segregation,” and this practice is illegal.
- Tell you to stop making payments to your creditors.
- Direct you to ignore the IRS, letters from collection agencies or any legal document that you receive.
If a credit repair service ever offers you a “new” Social Security Number, you should RUN. This is an illegal practice and anyone that advocates such should be thrown in jail. Resist the temptation to even consider getting another social security number because it’s only a matter of time before you get caught and prosecuted.. So why risk it at all?
Free and Legal Credit Repair for Georgians
There are legitimate credit repair clinics in the State of Georgia, but you need to be careful about who you’re willing to trust. Before contacting any company that offers consumer credit repair, you should do some research. Check out online reviews and complaints (if any) to get an idea about the service’s track record.
Or, if you’re pretty sure that mistakes and inaccuracies on your credit reports are hurting your credit rating, Credit Repair Lawyers of America can help. We can get these errors removed for you – legally – and we’ll do it for free. We can do free credit repair, not just because we are such nice guys, but because the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows us to get our fees and costs from the defendants. Hence, we do not charge our clients a fee.
Let’s get the conversation started about how we can get you better credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (888)293-2882 or email him at [email protected]. Visit our site at Credit Repair Lawyers of America at www.creditrepairlawyersam.com.