Attorney General’s office cracks down on false debt adjusters

A case brought by the New Jersey Attorney General against some false debt adjusters shows how easily people can be tricked.

In a recent new release, the New Jersey Attorney General's office described illegal actions taken by four companies that had claimed to be providing debt relief for their clients: Sanders & Associates, LLC, SIHOWA LLC, Stay In or Walk Away LLC and MVP Solutions LLC. The three individuals who owned them were also prosecuted. By claiming to offer debt consolidation services but instead charging a fee and not rendering services, the defendants conned people out of thousands of dollars.

What they were accused of

These companies were known to not notify people before filing for bankruptcy on their behalves. They would even provide false addresses and sign consumer's names as part of their "Stop the Sale Date" program. They were even so misleading as to lie directly to people by telling them they would save thousands of dollars, and even claiming not to accept a profit until successful, which was not true.

The companies were able to trick people into giving them ownership of their homes, and for much lower values than they were at the times worth. These companies falsely portrayed themselves as representatives of their clients, and failed to provide the foreclosure rescue-related services, foreclosure consulting and debt adjustment services they claimed to be providing.

The numbers do not lie

There were multiple monthly payment programs in which consumers enrolled and received no benefits whatsoever. Consumers paid 995 dollars a month for the "Stop the Sale Date" program. The payment could be as much as 1,625 dollars for the "Walk Away Free & Clear" program. The same range of prices was charged to those who enrolled in the "Stay in Your Home" program. Charging customers such fees without providing the promised services clearly violates New Jersey law.

What it takes to become a licensed debt adjuster

The individuals responsible for this were not even licensed to provide debt relief services. Not only does a licensed debt adjuster have to satisfy all of the rules and requirements set out by the State of New Jersey before being able to obtain a license, but also, every year he or she must file an annual report due by May 1. Another important qualifying factor is that a company that is to provide debt adjuster services must be a nonprofit corporation. The corporations involved in the Attorney General's case are LLCs.

People in New Jersey who are looking for advice or legal representation when it comes to dealing with debt may find that a lawyer in the local area who is experienced with bankruptcy law can provide them the assistance they need.