Expert says beware credit repair offers with up front fees

Expert says beware credit repair offers with up front fees

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Lisa Ross said up front fees should raise a red flag when it comes to credit repair offers. Lisa Ross said up front fees should raise a red flag when it comes to credit repair offers.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Money Smart Week in Michigan is designed to help people with financial issues and help them stay out of financial trouble.  Fox 2 is a proud media sponsor.

Financial and consumer experts joined us in the Fox 2 newsroom for a five-hour event where they talked to thousands of people from all over the state on the phone and via an online chat room at myFOXDetroit.com.

Many questions came in about credit and credit repair and whether credit repair companies can really fix your credit.

"Accurate, negative information on your credit report is going to remain there for seven years, and bankruptcy is going to remain there for ten," said Lisa Ross from the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.   

"So you see these ads, we all see them, we heard the radio jingles, they can erase bad credit.  They cannot.  So you need to be aware when you hear these credit repair offers and they're saying they can do that because one thing they're going to say in addition to what they're promising, it's something they can't deliver on so they want up front fees from you, which is against the law.  And so, if anyone's asking you for up front fees, you definitely don't want to do any business with them.  So you need to be aware of that, and you want to report them to the Federal Trade Commission."

As soon as that interview ended, we had a call from someone who was taken for a ride this past weekend by a crooked credit repair company.  The state attorney general's office is on the case.

Click here to read our experts' responses to questions posed to them in our chat room during Monday morning's event.

Visit www.moneysmartweek.org for a listing of some 200 Money Smart Week events in local communities.

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