Florida targeting debt relief scams

10/15/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has filed charges against fivve debt relief organizations, and is investigating five others for what he calls credit scams.

At a news conference in Tallahassee this morning, McCollum said the state has received more than 1,400 complaints about debt relief organizations, a 62 percent increase from a year ago. McCollum said there were several organizations in the Tampa Bay area that his office was investigating.

The Attorney General said his office has filed two cases this week against companies for making misleading promises on helping customers reducing their credit card debt.

And he said that many of these companies that are exploiting credit card customers nationally are based in Florida.

Brad Ashwell from the Florida Public Interest Research Group (FPIRG) says in these times, many credit card companies are setting up offices to help people resolve their debt.

According to the Attorney General, one of the groups that his office has settled with, New Leaf Associates, told customers that there was a secret legal administrative process to improve credit scores and eliminate debt, which was a complete fabrication.

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