Florida debt relief company owes $9.9M for fraudulent practices
In recent years, many residents of Fort Lauderdale have faced financial challenges. Some of these citizens were able to scale back on their spending and make ends meet. Other people filed for bankruptcy in order to find relief from creditors. Still others hired debt relief companies to help them reduce their credit card debt. Unfortunately for some consumers in Florida, the company they hired was unable to live up to their promises.
A debt relief company and its three Florida-based principals have settled a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC accused the company of misrepresenting its services and charging customers without their consent. According to the complaint, Innovative Wealth Builders, Inc. (IWB) promised to help customers with their credit card debt by reducing their interest rates. The company was unable to live up to these claims.
Another company, Independent Resources Network Corp. (IRN), is also being pursued for their part in the scam. The FTC alleges that IRN processed payments for IWB. This case is still in litigation. On the heels of the settlement with IWB, a judge has ordered the company to stop misrepresenting their financial services and to pay $9.9 million.
If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, it is important to remember that you have legal options. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to ignore the debt and let it continue to pile up. Bankruptcy can eliminate your debt and give you a fresh financial start. An lawyer may be of assistance in this area.
Source: Consumer Affairs, “Fraudulent debt relief operating shuttered,” James Limbach, Sep. 11, 2013