– A Final Consent Judgment has been
entered against the defendants sued by the
Office of the Attorney General and its Division
of Consumer Affairs for allegedly offering
credit repair and credit counseling services
that consumers paid for but did not receive.
United Credit Adjusters, Bankruptcy Masters
Corp., United Counseling Association, Inc.,
and Credit Bureau Controls Corp. were ordered
to pay $500,000 in civil penalties and $86,918
in reimbursement to the state, under the Final
Consent Judgment issued on July 28 by Superior
Court Judge Thomas W. Cavanagh, Jr.
Ezra Rishty and Ahron E. Henoch, both of whom
were officers of the defendant companies,
are personally responsible for paying $15,022
in restitution to 17 consumers. Both men,
along with their firms, are permanently banned
from doing credit counseling, credit repair,
debt adjuster and bankruptcy work in New Jersey,
under the Final Consent Judgment.
settlement sends a clear message to those
who think they can profit from the misfortune
of others during these difficult economic
times – you are wrong. We will find
you, hold you accountable and help the consumers
that you have harmed,” Attorney General
Anne Milgram said.
state alleged in its lawsuit that the defendants
required payment in advance during initial
consultations and then, after receiving payment,
failed to provide consumers with credit counseling,
credit repair and/or bankruptcy services.
Contrary to defendants' representations and
advertisements, consumers' credit scores were
not raised nor was negative information eliminated
from credit reports. There was no admission
of liability or wrongdoing by the defendants
in settling this matter.
in financial trouble are vulnerable to frauds
as they seek help and they need to be cautious
before paying money to hire anyone who offers
assistance,” said David Szuchman, Consumer
Affairs Director. “If the result promised
sounds to go to be true, it probably is and
the consumer may end up in a worse situation.”
companies had maintained offices in Lakewood,
Howell and North Manasquan.
check whether complaints have been received
against a company doing business in New Jersey,
consumers can contact the Division at 1-800-242-5846
(toll-free within N.J.) or at 973-504-6200.
Consumers can file complaints with the Division
on its web site at www.nj.gov/oag/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm
or by calling the telephone numbers listed
Roger Hines led the investigation of this
case. Deputy Attorneys General Jeffrey Koziar
and Cathleen O'Donnell of the Consumer Fraud
Prosecution Section represented the state
in this matter.