Debt relief scams take advantage of people who can’t afford to make mistakes. So it’s good news to hear that the Federal Trade Commission put another one out of business. The FTC reached an agreement with a telemarketer who allegedly defrauded consumers with false promises of debt relief and charged them without their consent.
Jeremy R. Nelson and four companies he controlled agreed to a plan that bans him and them from selling debt relief services, telemarketing, and making robocalls.
The FTC alleged that they called phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, called consumers who had told them not to call, delivered pre-recorded messages without prior written consent, repeatedly called consumers to annoy them, and delivered pre-recorded messages that failed to identify the seller, the call’s purpose, and the product or service.
The awful thing here is that the FTC tried to get money back for consumers, but apparently can’t. There’s a judgement of $4.6 million against the defendants. But it’s suspended because Nelson can’t afford to pay. He does have surrender his bank accounts and investment assets frozen by the court to the FTC.
You have to wonder what happened to the money?
If you have trouble with money, here are a 4 tips for dealing with debt.
1. Avoid debt collectors and debt settlement companies.
2. Find out how much you owe.
3. Contact your creditors and tell them that you are having trouble making payments. Work out a modified payment plan with them. Most companies want the money and will work with you.
4. Visit a not-for-profit counseling agency in your area if you need help. The U.S.Department of Justice offers a state-by-state list of approved counseling agencies.