Streams

Backstory: Debt Settlement Companies

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This week the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs announced it is issuing 15 subpoenas to companies that promise “debt settlement” services—but in many cases seem unable to deliver. DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz joins us to explain the investigation and why the debt settlement industry represented the single greatest consumer fraud of the year.

Guests:

Jonathan Mintz

Comments [7]

thatgirl from manhattan

debt "settlement" can be a huge fraud, alongside a basket full of other "financial services", all developed in the wake of institutional credit abuses like shifting interest rates, overdraft protection "credit", and the like. the AG has been investigating these abuses. how can we differentiate what the city is doing, versus NYS, on these matters? or are they working together?

Aug. 11 2011 02:01 PM
Emma from Brooklyn

Leonard, please ask this guy some tough questions! What does he mean the financial empowerment centers have "reduced" clients' debts? Does that mean the debts are erased forever? I SINCERELY doubt it. I suspect he means merely that a particular debt collector gives up and the debt owner sells the debt to someone else who then resumes collection efforts? I'm sure it doesn't remove the debts from people's credit reports. I think the Commissioner is really mincing words here -- typical from the Bloomberg admin -- fluff over substance.

Aug. 11 2011 01:58 PM
Jeannine from New Haven

My husband is involved in one of these companies and we received a court notice a few weeks ago. What can we do as our next step once you are involved? I would love to settle his debt ourselves but am afraid it may be too late? It has been about 4 years now of dealing with this awful company.

Aug. 11 2011 01:54 PM
Katherine Jackson from LES

Why is this kind of fraud different from the deceptive mortgages that were being offered by legitimate banks during the housing bubble?

Aug. 11 2011 01:54 PM
Emma from Brooklyn

This guy is such a sham. On what basis would the Dept. of Consumer Affairs declare debt settlement the top fraud when he himself admits they've barely had any complaints on this topic? What a press hound.

Also, what kind of enforcement power does a puny city agency even have over these companies? Probably not much. I really doubt they'll be able to shut these guys down or even respond to their subpoenas.

And isn't it a little premature to do press conferences and radio interviews about the simple issuance of subpoenas? Why not wait until they get actual results? How many lawyers do they even have anyway? I've barely heard of them doing anything other than issuing piddling fines to laundromats.

All this looks very fishy to me.

Aug. 11 2011 01:53 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Is BuCCS legit? I think I heard they were, but I don't remember from where. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen their ads lately.

I'm glad DCA is going after these leeches!

Aug. 11 2011 01:52 PM
barent

these are crimes against humanity,i'm not engaging in hyperbole.

Aug. 11 2011 12:18 PM

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