CFPB Shuts Down Illegal Credit Repair Company
Today, the CFPB announced it was shutting down a credit repair company that had charged 50,000 consumers over $20 million in violation of federal law. The CFPB charged Prime Marketing Holdings, LLC, Van Nuys, California, with imposing illegal advance fees and misleading consumers about the cost and effectiveness of its services and the nature of its money-back guarantee. The company operated under various names including Park View Credit, National Credit Advisors, and Credit Experts.
The CFPB said the company had violated federal laws concerning credit repair:
- Charged illegal advance fees: Federal law bars companies from collecting advance fees for credit repair services. The company marketing charged various fees before showing that the promised results had been achieved. It also charged consumers fees it falsely claimed were required to obtain special credit reports for consumers and it charged illegal set-up fees and monthly fees of $89.99 per month.
- Misled consumers about the benefits of its credit repair services: The company misrepresented its ability to remove negative entries from consumers’ credit reports and it wrongly advertised its credit repair services would result in an increase in consumers’ credit scores by about 100 points.
- Misrepresented the costs of its services: The company failed to disclose to consumers during sales calls that they would be charged a monthly fee.
- Failed to disclose limits on “money-back guarantee”: The company represented it had a money-back guarantee if consumers were unhappy with the results, but failed to clearly disclose to qualify for the guarantee the consumer had to pay for at least six months of services.
On June 27, 2017, the Bureau filed two related complaints against Commercial Credit Consultants, Prime Credit, IMC Capital, Blake Johnson, Eric Schlegel, Park View Law and Arthur Barens. Park View Law and Arthur Barens partnered with Prime Marketing Holdings from September 2014 to June 2015. Those two complaints alleged unlawful conduct very similar to the conduct alleged here.