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- Founder & Chairman

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Founder's Blog

In this little space our founder shares news stories, articles, links and private opinions regarding Credit Repair, Debt Management, Public Trust Companies gone awry, Consumer Rights, and the new and often amusing scams criminals try to run on the public at large.

The BBB® is slammed for their pay-for-play, and why I personally condemn them and their rating system.

15, 2017

Who hasn't heard of the Better Business Bureau? Known as the BBB, they rate and are supposed to be the watchdog organization to end all watchdog organizations. Although in truth, they aren't. The BBB has been suspected for years on engaging in negligent activity and employing aggressive and fraudulent tactics to enroll members in their programs.

According to reporting done by The Wall Street Journal and CNN Money, the embroiled BBB is facing a shaming unlike any seen before. They have been shamelessly pushing their memberships on businesses that don't need them or want them, with extortionist type tactics and it's finally been exposed.

The way they work is simple. Agents call up existing businesses which are not currently members. They are told that they have been receiving  reports about that particular business (which isn't true) then they explain that in order to be given a positive  rating so as not to lose business to a competitor, they should sign up with a membership. They can then use the 'BBB Accredited' device on their website and printed material validating that they are legitimate. Well if this sounds shady its because it is. The mafia ran a similar scam and it worked for them for about 100 years. The F.B.I. called it extortion. The BBB  calls it good business.  I call it bullshit.  This is also known as pay-to-play. So it really gives  the small business owner something to think about, to say nothing of the  public. For this reason I, and my company do not use their device nor their services. Many other credit repair  and debt management organizations  do... which is discerning.  I for one don't care for their tactics or rating system, besides, the best rating that could ever be is  a satisfied client and their word of mouth. That's better than the BBB any day. At least that's the way I see it.

The big business of fly-by-night operators and the bigger headache they cause.

February 14, 2017

'I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy...' that isn't a bad way to start a typical conversation in our modern world, but if it's followed by 'for $1,000 dollars he'll fix tour credit', yeah it's a scam.

The FTC and the FCRA state that it is illegal to ask for money up front when dealing with anyone in regards to credit repair. One can't charge prior to doing anything. It's illegal. Even back in the day when I ran my small business I never once charged anyone anything. How could I?

The law is abundantly clear on this. Still, many people will prey on others and not only take their money with no work done, oftentimes what is worse is that they destroy the person's credit file by disputing their name and even SSN. If anyone asks you for money up front or suggests they can erase any debt on any file regardless of its accuracy, go straight to someone that can do something about it. This is fraud. Plain and simple. In fact it's about the only time you'll hear the word 'simple' attached to anything as difficult as managing the credit worthiness of hundreds of clients.

Just like the saying goes, anything overdone is no good, so is the Validation of Debt letter. Here I shall tackle the nonsense of this so called 'big secret' that is anything but.

November, 12, 2016

Anyone searching the web will find a huge amount of so called big secrets to credit  repair. One such 'big secret ' is the Validation of Debt letter. A letter that people who owe money to creditors use to challenge that debt into an instant  disappearing act. On the face it sounds good. Too good. In fact too good to be true. And it isn't true at all.

As if the bright minds that put together the system hadn't realized they left this out of the equation, scammers and amateurs the world over believe in the power of the Validation of Debt.  It doesn't erase factual credit, because as soon as you ask for it they will just pull up the file and, you guessed it, Validate it for you.

We usually get asked if we send in these letters, and we always answer that we do not. As a matter of fact we don't send any letters at all, and when we do it's a certified letter. We submit our claims electronically. Which lessens the carbon footprint and hastens the turn around time meaning our clients pay less on average than with any other firm,

Also, a validation of debt letter is a useless tool with a cool name. That's it. It does nothing for a file, for the correction of inaccuracies or the deletion of questionable information. It's just a fancy word which has been overused and over dressed.

Instead of a validation letter try sending one in that reads pretty please with sugar on top. It may actually work better than this nonsense.

A Clean Slate Credit Consultants as book reviewers?

March 15, 2017

Who doesn't enjoy a good read? Especially on rainy nights and cold mornings. What I like is a good solid historical fiction, maybe even a dreary Victorian era vampire story. However, my reading tastes aside I have had many people ask which credit repair book I'd recommend. And the truth is this takes me aback.

I can recommend a drama, a comedy—hell even a romance. But a credit repair book?

So I looked into it. And while all the books I saw have the 'big secret' and 'winning strategies ' emblazoned on their covers in bright reds and electric blues, not one book can actually do anything for you along the lines of shazaming your debt into oblivion.

See, book publishers sell books, just like conferences book speakers. It's a business, it's all about the dollars. So for those who ask, book publishers do their job and publish books. Conference promoters book speaking's. We, run a business and serve our clients.

Unlike the rest we are responsible for what we say, we are responsible to uphold the laws and guidelines set out by the FTC,  the FCRA and the ATTORNEY GENERAL.

So the best recommendation I'd make off the cuff, would be a Harry potter  novel. It looks fun and full of magic. I'm sure you could find it in any well stocked book store in the fantasy section, right next to all the big secret and quick and easy credit repair books.

The big business of bad debt and the rise of collection agencies waiting to pick up the crumbs...

January 06, 2017

When I started my journey through credit repair I kept asking myself how it was possible to have originally owed $80 dollars to a cable company  and years later have that debt become a $500 dollar affair being collected by an outfit in Utah. 

It took me a good long while to realize that to a creditor the risk of bad debt is a calculated one, because the potential to rake in high interest rates kind of makes it a risk worth taking.

Sounds silly on the face of it, but to the big banks it's the sound of a cash register ringing day and night. People with marginal credit are commonly approved at higher than normal interest rates. Say, 25 to 35 percent. This mixed in with 'promotional' offers that are calculated the way bookies calculate the odds, run in favor of the lender and at odds to the borrower.

Therefore banks make big bucks on those with bad credit, and if some default for whatever reason, they can always lump the debt and sell it in bulk to the next guy in line. It's a write off to them anyway, they toss you onto the credit bureau of their choice which eventually becomes all of them, and they sell your original debt with all the late payment fees and penalty fees attached.

But it doesn't end there, the collection agency now owns your debt (having paid pennies on the dollar for it) and will move heaven and earth to try to collect on it. They employ dirty tactics, threats of freezing bank accounts, garnishing wages, tax returns, and threatening litigation. They call your house, your job, and may even hunt you down via social media (which is illegal by the way) they will do it all, and while it isn't right it certainly works. Many people pay and pay, barely denting the original principal for all the fees thrown in, and if you don't pay, they'll just report that too.

The problem is that many times even when you do pay they don't clear up the reports. They may say they will, but saying and doing isn't the same thing. A client who shall remain unnamed  had played off a massive chain store for an amount owed. He paid through an attorney (collection agencies are oftentimes owned by lawyers)

And was supposed to have the debt removed. It wasn't. To make matters worse, the debt he paid off was sold as unpaid to another collection agency! This is insane but it happens. Every day, across the country, it happens.

That's one reason why consumers should be on top of their credit reports. Madness can happen, and in the world of fraud and identity theft, of miscommunication and social blunders, it does. Stay on top of your score, whether it's with our firm or someone else, or even on your own. Stay on top of it.

Good credit is a big business but bad credit is an even bigger one.  And mistakes happen all along the way. The FCRA  reported on CBS in 2013 that up to 40 million Americans have serious errors on their files. (More about this in the top blog entry) that was in 2013, what amount  of Americans have reported inaccuracies on their credit file in the roughly 4 years since that story?  The top 3 credit reporting bureau's  monitor about 200 million people.  Don't you think it's  possible a few  errors could be reported in there 4 years later?

Food for thought. Stay in the loop, just a word of advice.

The FCRA exposes the truth behind the investigation of the top 3 credit reporting bureau's: Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion®, to CBS.  And it ain't pretty.

Reported, February 10, 2013 by Steve Kroft of 60 minutes CBS broadcasting

Blog entry May 17, 2017

Just like a pink elephant crossing the road in a tutu, you have to see it to believe it. I had read a report on CBS where the FCRA investigated consumer credit disputes with the top 3 leading credit reporting bureau's in the country, how they handle claims and where those claims are sent. (60 minutes episode 40 million mistakes aired February 10, 2013) and the truth is I am not surprised. A bit shocked, sure. But not surprised.

It an older investigation, but one worthy of mention here.

In a world of outsourcing to save a dollar, many companies take their business offshore. Some don't do any work in-house,  much less technical work. I didn't expect to learn that the multi billion dollar credit reporting industry would go along with this program, but it sort of makes sense.

But letters being sent to credit reporting bureau's ending up forwarded to South America or India? What gives?!

I must say, for my part, A Clean Slate Credit Consultants  is vertically integrated downstream. Which means we do all our work and outsource none. By doing this we are on top of every facet of our business which in turn is being on top of our client's needs. I own an American company which serves an American clientele and adheres to U.S. law.

Still, it was sad to read this article, sad to see good hard working Americans be out through the wringer by errors not their own, and debts falsely attributed to them.

It's not just me saying it, some of the most credible news organizations are saying it. The people who work at the FTC and represent the FCRA are saying it. It's a scary thought.

To all those reading this,  take a closer look at your file today. All people are entitled to a free copy of their credit report once a year from all 3  credit reporting bureau's. 

Whether you hire a firm or go it alone, take an interest in your rights, no one else will.

Best of luck.

'New credit identity' how scammers and the criminally negligent push the E.I.N. as the quick fix for Credit Repair.

June 2, 2017

When I heard this I immediately began laughing. As the last of the dry chortles passed my lips I realized that if the Attorney General of the state of Florida thought enough to include it on their site, then they've had a serious amount of complaints. Realizing this, I decided to write an entry here explaining what E.I.N's are and why they cannot fix anyone's credit.

So OK, an E.I.N. is an Employer Identification number. Companies use them because when one forms a company one is essentially creating  an entity. Think of a child, parents guide the child through its development. Through its life, until the child can begin his or her own path. Companies are kind of like a child, and those that run a company, Founders, Chair people, C.E.O.'s, V.P.'s—whatever, they guide the entity. Only they will always have to guide it. It pays taxes, employs others, can contribute to worthy causes or unworthy ones like politics, it can do many things but requires others to act on its behalf. An E.I.N. is like a Social Security number for a company. That's it.

The I.R.S. gives them out, and with them banks, accountants and other professionals can use them to identify the business on official documents.

An E.I.N. cannot fix anyone's credit. It is not a new social security. It is not capable of fixing anyone's credit. It is only for corporate uses. To tell someone that an E.I.N. can do this is criminally negligent. Madness.

There are a few ways to fix issues on a credit file and none of them involve fraudulently trying to hide personal debt or 'erase' it by employing an E.I.N.

I am constantly amazed at the lengths people will go to make a dishonest dollar, but this one takes the cake. If anyone tells you this is possible please do yourself a favor and report them to the FTC and the Attorney General of your state. I'm sure they will protect your identity. Stay away from these scams, that's all they are. And remember if you hear the words 'quick' and/or 'easy' from anyone trying to rope you into giving them money, run and fast.

Hackers for hire selling themselves as Credit Repair experts... hilarity ensues.

January 11, 2019

I have said before that I've seen it all, apparently this is not true. now, where the "EIN" and "Credit Sweep" and "New Credit identity" scams went away, some people are pushing the latest horseshit craze: the hacker repair solution.

Now, while this may sound like a good idea to: those who are at hopes end, the types that jump on fads or the type that are fucking brain dead twits, lets explain why this is really, really not a good idea. In fact, it's less of a good idea than slathering yourself in teriyaki sauce and trying to outrun a Komodo dragon. Even worse of an idea than covering yourself in whip cream and ringing Roseanne's doorbell.

First of all, scum bags, er, I mean enterprising fellows are out there promoting themselves as "hackers" and not the "black hat" evil cyber warrior screwing companies and stuff, but the "white hat" saintly cyber warrior out screwing companies and finding unique ways to double up on burger king coupons or some shit. White or black hat, this approach is bullshit.

The idea that some hacker can actually hack into a CRA (Equifax was hacked, but the hackers took a ton of private info and helped themselves as far as we know, they didn't fix anyone's stuff) to fix your credit files is ludicrous. I mean bat shit crazy insane. Assuming they could get in, imagine the legwork it would take to actually achieve it, and what's worse, they'd have to hack all 3 bureaus, otherwise it would be pointless. So hackers bill themselves as these ultra secretive types, who get a kick out of wreaking havoc for shits and giggles, but to actually think one could hack all three bureaus to erase your Capital one card debt and give you that spiffy 850 score... well that's just fucking nuts.

So to whoever the hell reads this out there, think twice before you give some guy who sells himself as a hacker, your personal information. there is no quick solution to anything as delicate as a credit score. but if you're the intrepid type that thinks they can bypass security safeguards, the DHS and don't mind federal prison, by all means give this a shot.

What the hell happened to Credit Karma's Community Page?!

January 22, 2021

Corporate America fucked us long ago, this isn't news. Yet every day the dildo slips in further. The newest outrage is Credit karma being sold to Intuit who intuitively fucked the world when it robbed them of their community forum board.

Credit Karma sold itself as consumer education, but that was bullshit. The score they gave away? Useless bullshit no lender uses. The real reason of CK's being, was selling advertising and pushing those same toxic products you would routinely ignore in your spam box and on the side banners of your online chat rooms (back when such things were in vogue). Credit karma was the big leader in direct business to consumer (B2C) advertising and salesmanship, ok maybe not salesmanship, more like blushitship. They'd get a consumer to believe that shitty vantage score was real and then get them to click on and apply for all sorts of products. As was wont to happen, the consumers would get denied and their credit dinged, yet CK would make money off each one. How much? You're guess is as good as mine pal, but the company did post BILLIONS in revenue.

It eventually got in trouble for misleading people and then they made a bullshit attempt to mark data on the site as "educational" and a "tool", but that did nothing to staunch the blood flow from the open wound of the poor bastards who kept throwing themselves up against those credit card offers and toxic loan products, and with each denial, plummeting to their demise.

Credit karma was bullshit on wheels, but it did have one single saving grace: The Credit Karma community forum boards. Run by moderators (I was one 1 of the top voted moderators with over 3,700 posts and over 31k people upvoted) and fielding more than 200 hundred questions on everything from mortgages, to credit scores, to interest rates and how to actually balance finances. The forum was home to thousands of pages broken down by category. Real Estate, taxes, Credit, Credit Scores and much more.

The forum ran for years, people all over the world searched it up and asked away. Then CK decided to sell itself to Intuit who promptly did what all corporations do when they pretend to give a shit about the public but really give a shit about their profits, they cut out the forum, its mods and it's thousands of pages of helpful, humorous and outright hilarious content. Gone was the green and puke gray pages filled with light and understanding. Now consumers get to dredge up and sift through the detritus of paid advertising and self appointed gurus that don't even know how to spell the word. Consumers bombarded on every side by bullshit and nonsense, have to schlep themselves through Reddit threads and MyFico forum advertising pitches by those scammers who are able to sneak past their auto computer mods. Fucks sake man. What the hell is the world coming to when we can't even share advice in a room without having the hatchets out?

Intuit doesn't seem to want to bring back the forums, instead they have their articles which of course push more and more toxic options on consumers just looking to figure shit out. Intuit may be the tax people but they are also a bunch of bastards.

So if you're wondering where the forums went, wonder no more.

To those consumers who believe Credit karma is still there for you and actually give a shit about educating consumers, think again. Emptor caveat, at least that way you don't have to flinch when you feel the second dildo slip inside.

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