McGraw, debt management company settle

Keith Loria Nov. 8, 2010, 3:20pm


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced on Monday that he has reached a $175,000 settlement with a debt management company that allegedly charged consumers more than allowed by law.

Indiana-based Preferred Financial Solutions, Inc., doing business as CCR Now or Credit Card Relief Now, allegedly charged consumers more than the allowable 2percent of the amount of money deposited by consumers for payment to creditors.

Additionally, the company allegedly was not registered to do business in the state.

Also involved in the settlement were Indiana lawyer Thomas P. Dakich and West Virginia lawyer Travis R. Fitzwater, both of whom assisted CCR Now in providing debt settlement services to West Virginia consumers.

Under terms of the agreement, CCR Now has agreed to finish settling debts for its current customers at no further charge. Past and current customers of CCR Now have until Nov. 30 to file a claim for reimbursement.

"My office will continue to scrutinize the debt relief industry in an effort to protect consumers who are already facing dire financial circumstances from paying excessive fees for services that may leave them in worse shape than before," McGraw said.

"I am heartened that CCR Now has agreed to help its remaining customers in West Virginia for free. If CCR Now can settle credit card debts for less than what is owing at no further cost to the consumer, that is true relief."

Companies like CCR Now develop repayment plans to help consumers repay outstanding debts at a large discount by having consumers make payments to the debt settlers who then claim to negotiate with creditors to reduce the amount of debt owed.

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