DENVER – Colorado Attorney General John Suthers today announced his office’s participation in Operation Clean Sweep, a joint effort with the Federal Trade Commission and 22 other states to root out unlawful credit repair practices in 33 businesses nationwide. As part of the operation, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office has entered into settlement agreements with two Colorado credit service organizations, and has ongoing investigations into numerous others.
“Especially in today’s credit market, gaining and maintaining good credit is an increasingly important part of financial stability,” commented Attorney General Suthers. “Unfortunately, several disreputable businesses prey on consumers whose credit is less-than ideal, and we will continue to hold them accountable for their deception.”
Attorney General Suthers has entered into settlements with Aurora’s Integrity Credit Fix, Inc., and My Purchase Power, LLC, located in Northglenn. Each company charged fees prior to the completion of their services and failed to provide all required disclosures. Both companies have agreed to cease and desist from violating the Colorado Credit Services Organization Act (CSOA). A dozen other investigations are ongoing.
Credit repair companies typically claim they can erase or repair bad credit. These claims are particularly popular during times of economic hardship when consumers are most vulnerable. Despite these representations, no entity can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and Colorado Consumer Credit Reporting Act allow credit bureaus to report accurate negative information for seven years, and bankruptcies for ten years.
CSOA and similar federal law protect consumers by:
- Prohibiting advance fees for services
- Prohibiting untrue or misleading statements and representations
- Requiring disclosure as to when accurate information can be removed from credit reports
- Requiring disclosure of a consumer’s right to correct inaccurate information, and
- Providing consumers a five-day right to cancel a credit repair contract
Consumers can obtain a free yearly copy of their credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com, or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Consumers may dispute or correct old or incorrect information on a credit report by contacting the credit bureaus directly.
Consumers with complaints about credit repair companies should contact the Attorney General’s Office at 303-866-4494, or download a complaint form at http://www.ago.state.co.us/UCCC/PDF/uccccmpplform.pdf. Additional information about how to correct credit reports is available on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at http://www.ftc.gov/credit.