A company that used radio and the internet to offer credit repair services was ordered to cease and desist by the FTC. It didn’t, and now it is facing a massive penalty and a court order to shut down.
According to the FTC, the defendants included Kevin Hargrave and Latrese Hargrave and their companies, including BFS Empowerment Financial Services Inc., Help My Credit Now Credit Services Inc., and Kevtrese Enterprises Inc.
They have been ordered to shut down and pay $6.4M to the FTC.
The FTC stated, “The court found that despite entry of a January 2010 order that barred the Florida-based defendants from deceptively marketing credit repair services, the defendants continued to violate the FTC Act and the Credit Repair Organizations Act by claiming that they could permanently remove negative information from consumers’ credit reports, even when the information was accurate. The court also found the defendants in contempt for charging a $250 ‘enrollment fee,’ in violation of the advance fee prohibition of the prior order.”
FTC continued, “The January 2010 order resulted from a complaint the FTC filed against the Hargrave defendants in October 2008 as part of a federal and state law enforcement sweep against credit repair operations that allegedly deceptively marketed their services. According to the complaint, the defendants advertised on the Internet and radio stations and charged $250 to $270 per person and $450 per couple for purported credit repair services, requiring half or all of the charge to be paid in advance. In their advertisements, defendants touted that they ‘specialize in erasing bad credit!’”
Not only are the Hargraves banned from operating a credit repair service, they are also banned from assisting anybody else to do so.