BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Friday that the state has entered into a settlement with the owner of several credit repair companies.
Coakley's office alleged that Angela Reston, owner of several credit companies operating under the name Trinity Card Services, offered credit services over the Internet nationwide and took unlawful advance fees for credit repair services.
Coakley alleges that Reston charged unlawful advance fees and failed to make required disclosures to customers. In some cases, Coakley alleges, Reston also made false statements to credit companies about customers' credit histories and even sent letters in which she signed the customers' names without their knowledge.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Reston and her companies are no longer allowed to operate in Massachusetts and are required to pay $25,000, which will be allocated to the attorney general's Local Consumer Program.
"Consumers have an important interest in maintaining an accurate credit report, and federal law gives consumers the right to challenge inaccurate or outdated information on their credit reports without charge by contacting the credit bureaus directly," Coakley said.
"Although the impact of low credit scores on consumers' interest rates may be felt even more acutely in the current economic climate, consumers should not be misled by credit repair companies who make claims about fixing their credit that are simply too good to be true.
"Not only are these companies charging fees for something consumers can do for free; they are violating state and federal law when they try to get paid before they perform the services or obtain the results they have promised."