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© Copyright 2003, Jim Loy
This page was once part of my page on Lighthouse Credit Foundation and Debt Consolidation. I had a bone to pick with Lighthouse for leaving pre-recorded messages on my answering machine. I've never gotten one of these messages from Credit Foundation of America (CFA) (9501 Jeronimo Road Suite 120 Irvine, CA), but lots of my readers have. One reader claims that CFA calls him every day. From reading the Better Business report (below), this business seems to be very sleazy, and they are obnoxious telemarketers.
Read the Better Business Bureau System report (Reliability Report for Credit Foundation of America), in which they say: "We rate this company as having an unsatisfactory business performance record based on a pattern of serious customer complaints." The report is frightening. Also read Complaints.com. Credit Foundation of America is apparently one of Google's 100,000 advertisers. Notice that there is another Credit Foundation of America in San Antonio, TX; I do not know if they are related.
Also see Reuters: Debt-Counseling Firms Ring Up Telemarketing Gripes.
Do-not-call list: The Federal Trade Commission's http://www.donotcall.gov/ is a list of phone numbers which telemarketers are not supposed to call. Telemarketers should avoid numbers on the donotcall list. If they call you, warn them to not call again. If they call again, they can be fined $11,000. If this works, it will be the best link that I have ever used. I've been on the donotcall list for a couple of months now, and the only telemarketer which has called was . . . Lighthouse Credit Foundation.
I would like to know if this do-not-call list works. Do we get fewer junk phone calls because of it? Do my complaints actually cost them money?
I think that this do-not-call process should be automatic, they call you, you are on the do-not-call list, they lose $11000, and you gain $1000. They're guilty, let them appeal. I'll return the $1000 if they win the appeal.
I also received this advice:
After speaking with the Federal Trade Commission about this company, I found out that because they are a NON-Profit organization, they are exempt from the do not call list.
Here is how you can get your number off of their system.
Call the number 1-800-315-0041 and when you hear the options press zero. They do not indicate that pressing zero will connect you to a live person. Once that person answers, tell them that you have a complaint about the phone calls, ask them to place you on their internal do not call list and then get the name and extension of the person you spoke with. After 48 hours, your number will be removed. Now if they call back, document the call and who called and then inform the FTC. This company can lose their non profit status for harrasing customers who do not wish to be called.
Also see Consumer Federation of America - Report and The FTC's Do-Not-Call-List.
Nonprofit: Personally, I want to know what "nonprofit" actually means. People seem to think that it means nice guy, like charities, Special Olympics, and churches. Technically, I guess it just means that there are no stock-holders (or owner) who get a share of the profit. Any profit probably goes back into the business, and some of this may eventually be paid to the employees in raises and bonuses. As far as I know, the IRS gives nonprofit status, for tax purposes, on a business by business basis, and I would guess that they can be arbitrary about this, except with churches which get nonprofit status almost automatically.
Perhaps you can add this to your complaint page about Credit Foundation of America. My fiance signed up with them last July of 2003 I only discovered that he signed up in January of 2004 at which point, none of his cards were accepted into their program. As it turns out, he responded to their telemarketing call to get him debt free in three years. However, I took a look and noticed that not only were they charging him $39/month, but their payments were not even covering the interest on his two credit cards. I got them to waive the monthly fee, but they to this day have retained the $250 deposit he was forced to pay as a result of their services. It seems you only get that fee returned if you pay off all of your credit cards.
I have experienced nothing but misery as a result of this company. Not only did I have to do all of the calling to get pay off amounts and get his credit card companies to accept their programs, but the amount of time I spent on this little project was ridiculous. I would have to say to get two credit cards paid off, and get his deposit returned, it probably cost me approximately 50 hours of my time. It ended up taking 8 months to get one credit card company to accept their program in the first place. Then, it took another two weeks to get a release that they are now asking me to sign to get his deposit returned and in fact, has a line at the bottom stating In consideration of the payment of the refunded funds, I hereby release and hold harmless, Credit Foundation of America and their officers, directors, managers and agents from any and all claims and causes of actions.
I dont know about you, but it doesnt seem like a very legitimate company to me considering the above language.
From another person:
A phone call from Josh: Nearly all of the other complaining email on this page (below) is about unwanted, prerecorded answering machine messages left by CFA. The Better Business Bureau report (Reliability Report for Credit Foundation of America) and the newspaper report (The Honolulu Advertiser - Credit firm blitzes state) are significantly more negative about CFA.
Tonight, I received a phone call from someone named Josh, who was very upset that I have maligned this fine company, which has helped his roommate Mike get out of debt. He said that he did a Google search for Credit Foundation of America, and got my site first. And he was surprised that my page was so negative and said nothing positive. CFA may be a fine company, but I had not heard anything positive about them until Josh called. He said that he called CFA and they said that my site is hurting their business. He said that all of the "tree huggers" who are on the do-not-call list are putting poor people (who work for telemarketing companies) out of work, and he said that the LA Times reported that 800,000 people have lost jobs because of the do-not-call list. I suggested that most people are not on the do-not-call list, and there were still plenty of legitimate numbers to call; he was skeptical. I tried to ask him what good it does for these poor people to call people who don't want to be called, but he didn't listen to that.
Let me add that, as far as I know, they have not corrected the abuses listed in the Better Business Bureau report. Does anyone know differently?
I also received email from someone else who said that, if you don't want CFA's recorded messages, just delete them. I have to agree with that. But I still find the messages upsetting. The caller pretends to be a live human, who pretends that we have already talked about this, and these are lies. My view is that eventually we will all be inundated by such calls. Our TVs blare with overly loud commercials, our mail is mostly junk mail, our reading material is full of ads (I can't find a page number in some of the magazines because of the ads), our email is full of spam. What next? Will they break down our doors and shout in our ears? I hang up on telemarketers; call somebody who wants to be called.
After having read your complaint page on this company, it left me wondering. I never received any calls from this company, I do not live in CA. However, I have placed accounts with them. While the initialization process was a little painful, once everything started and was signed I have had no problems with them. They appear to be changing for the better from all of my contacts with them. The main reason that I went with them is that when I tried to negotiate with my creditors about my account they would do very little except to say that they would closed the account and 'rip-me-a-new-one' on credit report, and one of credit accounts would not consider an interest rate change, (which I could not even pay because of my situation) at 25% your balance does not have to be very large for the payments to become unmanageable. CFA was able to lower my interest rate and get me payments that I could afford with two of the biggest major national creditors.
Major creditors do not have to deal with you, and if you think I am wrong just try to dialogue with a Bank of America or a Discover Card regarding a situation like these people are experiencing.
While I applaud your efforts to make sure that everybody knows about poorly performing business' I think that you also need allow for the other side.
The main point is that companies like CFA have more leverage with your creditors than you do. Apparently they can get you lower interest rates, and get the creditors to back off.
Class action lawsuit? I received this email:
My name is Molly and I am interested in other individuals who have had personal experience with Credit Foundation of America, specifically, those who signed a contract with them. Please contact me at email@example.com.
This is a bizarre link: http://www.katiesscenteds.com/credit_foundation_of_america.htm. I guess it just means that Credit Foundation of America is an advertiser for Katie's Scenteds.
An email about Lighthouse Credit Foundation said this:
. . . I'm also receiving similar calls from a company called Credit Foundation of America for which I've only so far found an article out of Hawaii. I'm still searching for an address for them, though I know they're out of California.
The Honolulu Advertiser - Credit firm blitzes state
Email: Most of the complaints that I have received are about the messages that CFA leaves on answering machines. I don't know what happens when these phone calls reach a real person. Perhaps a recorded message talks to you, but I have received no complaints about that. I have received these emails:
I have gotten the same annoying calls from Lighthouse Credit Foundation. I just got a new one today and thought I would checked it out on a web search. That search brought me to your site. The new one is John Baker of Credit Foundation of America. I think it is the same guy too. I typed Credit Foundation of American in the search box and got your website. I never found one on Credit Foundation of America. Doesnt just about any legitimate business now days have a website? This ones number was 800-315-0041.
Thanks for your web site. I had a message from John Baker of Credit Foundation of America on my answering machine yesterday and I wanted to check out their web site, but they don't have any. I'm glad to receive the feedback I needed from this web site before calling him back! His phone number is : 1-800-315-0041 and I live in Hawaii.
3. The fastest way to shut a politician up is to tell him/her that you're not registered to vote:
"Credit Foundation of America" AKA Lighthouse Credit Foundation left a voice mail for me today, October 10, 2003. Normally I would have deleted it (I don't listen to prerecorded telemarketers!), but I listened long enough to get the phone # 800-315-0041 and check the do not call registry. They will begin taking complaints on Saturday, October 11, 2003, at 6pm -- regarding any telemarketing calls made after October 1st! (As long as you signed up in time to be on the list, which I did). Thank you for your website - it was one of 3 that came up in Google. Hopefully it will help more people avoid these scams. Personally, I don't give out info on the phone unless *I* have initiated the contact. Now, can we get a do not call list for politicians and charities????
Got a recorded call from John Baker at Credit Foundation Of America. I called the 800 number: (800) 315-0041 and asked for their address. The people who answer the phone are instructed not to give out the address, though they do not know why when you ask them. But I found the address anyway after doing a search, a link on a job posting site appeared. The address is:
9501 Jeronimo Rd
I asked how the operation works - here's the deal:
You give them the list of creditors and you send money to C.F.A. - they take out $39 each month and they make payments to your creditors... They claim that they negotiate with your creditors to lower the interest rates and that's supposedly how you benefit. As you can see, they are just another leech added to your pocketbook. If you're creditors are willing to renegotiate payment balances/interest then you can dso that yourself. But of course, why would they? All that matters though is C.F.A. has its hand in your pocket.
Now, for roughly $40/month per person who is in financial difficulty multiplied by the number of people who are looking for a way out of their problem, you can easily see that this outfit must be making tons of $$!! Given that they operate out of Irvine, California is also a clue that they must be doing pretty well...
C.F.A. claims to be a non-profit organization - this benefits them in many ways.... They can dodge the no not call registry, or so they think. We'll see. I've filed a complaint with the FTC. I hope many other people do likewise!
5. This is good:
I have received numerous recorded calls on my answering machine from a John Baker from Credit Foundation of America. His message states that he is surprised that I haven't responded to the letter that was sent. I find this funny as my phone number is new, unlisted, and I just relocated to the Columbus Ohio area. The number that is given is 1-800-315-0041. Since I received the last call at 12:08p on 10/14/03, I have filed an on-line complaint through the Do Not Call Registry. I hope that this will shut them down. Furthermore, I was a Collection Manager for a very Large Credit Card Issuer (4th largest Portfolio in the world), and here is some free advice for readers:
- If you have high credit card debt and you are having difficulty making a dent in, but are not behind, look at alternate sources of credit to pay off with i.e.: Credit Unions, Home Equity Loans, and other Credit Card Companies. These companies want your Business and may extend much better rates. Pay off the other credit cards and close them. This way you protect your hard earned credit rating.
- If you are in the same situation as above but BEHIND, I would suggest that you make contact with each of those creditors and attempt to make some arrangement and this may help to repair any damage done.
- If you can't get what you need from your credit card companies, then look up the local number for Consumer Credit Counseling. They will put you in touch with the closest office that can assist you. These are organizations that are supported by the credit card companies, they are nonprofit, and do not require a fee. (You may make a donation if you wish). You will lose your line of credit with your credit cards, however, you will pay the agency who will disperse your payments to the companies after a lower interest plan is arranged. This does have a very negative impact on your credit.
- Lastly, if nothing above works. File Bankruptcy. You don't need an attorney to do this, you can get free advise from Legal Aid in your area.
The FTC is currently investigating a number of "Debt Consolidation" agencies that are hiding behind the mask of "not for profit". My work experience has shown that many take your money, let your credit go to hell, send your creditors a cease and desist letter and just about the time your creditors are taking legal action, they attempt to settle. So not only do you go through this hassle but your credit is ruined anyway. You would have less to worry about if you filed bankruptcy. By the way, I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advise. I am only relating my experiences from my work. I hope that this is helpful to your readers.
http://www.creditfoundationofamerica.com/ I found this by typing the phone number in the search engine 1-800-315-0041. Not that it will help anyone. The only way to contact them is by phone or email. They do not list an address. I certainly am not sending them an email who knows what spam Ill get from that!
I too received two messages (recorded) from Jim Baker. He couldn't understand why I hadn't responded to his call offereing me such a good deal. He said it was a non-profit organization, that made me suspisious right than. But still wanted to check this "Credit Foundation Of America" for myself and want to thank you SO much for all the info. He left this number with his last message 1 800-315-0041 and said that he would be there till 11:00. I should besure to have my credit cards and balances when returning his call.Also told me this was not a new loan. These kind of people make me sick and can't understand why someone in government can't go after them and stop them. But thank goodness for people like you who take the time and energy to alert others. Keep up the good work.
8. Although this is interesting, it has little to do with the other complaints on this page:
Thank you for your website...very helpful, if there is any way you could post this, I would be very appreciative:
I am another who has been burned by "Credit Foundation of America," but in a different way. I am a small music publisher with the toll-free number 800-315-0015. Their number is 800-315-0041, but it seems they've been giving out my number for a small percentage of their calls. Results? Not bad, but 10-15 calls a day from people who are angry with "me" isn't particularly fun, and the toll-free charges are starting to escalate. CFA's response is that customer misdialing is none of their concern. Forgive me for assuming that "15" and "41" are not easy enough to mix up to warrant 10-15 calls a day.
I'm looking into legal action, but I first need more proof and hard evidence (such as recordings). If anyone has been called, and the callback number is 800-315-0015, please keep in mind that's my number. If you still have the recorded message...PLEASE either call me and leave that message on my machine, or e-mail it if possible to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
9. This is interesting and informative:
While babysitting the granddaughter this afternoon I caught a telemarketing call from Credit Foundation of America, which consisted of only a pre-recorded message with a number to call back. Since the baby was napping and I had little else interesting to do, I called back and began quizzing. And, while talking with their boiler room drone, I did a little surfing and discovered your site (among others) on the subject.
Finally tiring of the game on the phone I asked them to place me on their do-not-call list and inquired as to why they were calling me when I was on the national do-not-call list. Their answer? They are non-profit and therefore exempt.
Well, this peaked my interest, to say the least, and I decided to invest a few minutes checking them out, since the respondents to your web page seemed to possess a dearth of real information about them.
Here's what I found:
The Credit Foundation of America is a California corporation, number C2480369, filed on 8/8/2002, and listed as active. They are listed as a "Domestic Nonprofit," or "public benefit," corporation with the California Secretary of State's office. Their mailing address is 25 A Technology Dr. #200, Irvine, CA 92618. The agent for service of process is listed as Anthony Cara at that same address.
The (800) 315-0041 number left on their message is good, and by pressing Zero in the middle of their outgoing message when calling them, you get forwarded to a live receptionist (boiler roomer?). So, after getting through to a live person I commenced a little "social engineering" and asked to speak with Tony Cara, and represented myself as being someone with business with him from Houston, Texas. At first they tried to foist me off on some boiler room crony named Tony Something-or-Other else, but I persisted and they finally owned as to there was a tony Cara there and put me on hold while they checked to get him on the line with me. When he did come on the line I chatted him up a bit with some bullshit story about how I had met him at some Jim Billy Bob's party in Houston and wanted to set up an operation like his in Chicago. He played along until my line of patter got weak and he started to become suspicious at which point I asked him point blank if I could contribute to his charitable enterprise, at which time he nastily broke the connection.
So, my conclusions? It's an obvious boiler room operation fronting as a "credit consolidation" business. It is "hot" (that is, in current operation) as of the date of this writing, with Anthony Cara in physical attendance.
Subsequently, I have spoken with an Internal Revenue fraud investigator and given them all I knew about the scheme. While speaking with this investigator I checked the IRS charitable foundation list and got no hit on Credit Foundation of America, or Anthony Cara. (Thousands of partials on "America" and "Foundation," etc., but that can only be expected from the generic name obviously selected to be corporate name white noise.)
Additionally, I have a complaint in with the California State Consumer Affairs Department (yeah, like they have any capital at all to pursue these low-level miscreants!), and am considering a local action for violation of the Nevada State do-not-call list.
Tell your folks it's real; it's alive; and don't bite. Run, don't walk, to file a complaint immediately with the IRS at (800) 829-0433, and with the National Do Not Call Registry (https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx). It doesn't take long to lodge a complaint, and sooner or later the snowball with build into something solid.
Thanks for all the information on your site, which helped me a lot. Don't get angry, just make them a small, entertaining hobby for a time. If they are irritating to us in ones and twos, imagine how irritating we can be to them by the thousands!
10. This is good too:
I just got the same stupid call from Credit Foundation of America. I work a lot from home, so I hate being bugged in the middle of the day by telemarketers, much less someone who claims to be a non-profit organization. I called them once and asked to be put on their do not call list, then they called again about a week later (today, 11/17/03). So, I called again and asked to speak with one of their managers. I got a guy named Tony Pickett who told me that they're a non-profit organization. What I really wanted was a copy of their do not call policy in writing, but he refused to give it because, once again, they're registered as a non-profit organization. He even gave me their exemption number, 29775-465711 (I think that's it). I told them that they had called me twice in 10 days even though I had asked once to be taken off the list. He said he'd check into it and call me back. Yeah right, I'll be surprised if I ever hear from him again.
So, I took the advice of one of the other respondents and filed a complaint with the FTC online and then called the IRS tax fraud dept. The guy I spoke with there was incredibly unhelpful and asked me why I didn't think that they're really a non-profit organization. When I explained that I thought it was a scam and that they make tons of money, he said "So what, so does the Catholic Church, what's the difference?" I said, "The Catholic Church doesn't call me at home period, much less with a pre-recorded message." He then went on to tell me that they COULD call me at home and that the Mormons go around to people's houses all the time on bikes... I'm Catholic, but I've never been called at home by Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Jews, Baptists, Buddhists or any church or religious organization. Nonetheless, I let it go at that. So, if you call the IRS tax fraud dept., don't expect them to be very helpful. I couldn't believe that this guy compared Mormons and Catholics to sleazy telemarketers working under a thinly veiled "non-profit" exemption.
I received a call again today from John at Credit Foundation of America, 1-800-315-0041. I went online to check this out since it sounded totally bogus as well as pre-recorded. Thanks for posting this information on your site! It ws the first thing to come up. I know you are helping tons of people to not get caught up in this scam. I have also received numerous messages from Direct Reservation Centers about a $99 dollar vacation I supposedly registered for. Sometimes 4 times in one day! I am glad to see that you have that scam on your site as well. Thanks so much for helping!!
12. You might want to help this guy out. I will forward email to him:
I received a message on my machine from John Baker of Credit Foundation of America, etc, etc -- you've heard it all before. I called back and asked if they would provide me with a copy of their 501.c3 charter (IRS paperwork that charters non-profits) and, of course, "John Baker" hung up on me. I would like to contact organizations that represent legitimate non-profits to see if they would be interested in taking steps to close these slimeballs down. Anyone who knows of such an organization, please drop me a note and I'll follow up.
Thank you very much for your web site. That's a valuable public service to me.
I received the exact same call from John at Credit Foundation of America described on your pages. It sounded like a scummy scam, so I called to see if I could get them fined.
I called 1 800 315-0041 and pressed 2 to remove my phone number. Then I called back (I believe they have to pay for every incoming 800 call, so I felt good calling back). I asked to find out more about them an their not-profit status. I was connected to a "supervisor" for informed me they were a "public benefit" company. Their number was 29775-465211. Then I got on the web and found your site.
Seems like other shared my suspicions so I called the IRS tax fraud line to report it. The lady there explained that there's not much one can do about them, that she doubts they even are a 501(c)3 company, and that they will frequently change their name and continue misrepresenting. However, if I called 877 829-5500 M-Fri 8:00am-6:30pm EST I could check if they really were registered. Since that's not open, maybe I'll call Credit Foundation of America a few more times.... after all John's really surprised I didn't call him back, and he pays each time I do. :-)
14. (with a new phone number):
Getting many, many phone calls from this company. They are now using the phone number: 866-229-8803. Filed a complaint with everyone I could. Please add the phone number above to your list of numbers used by this company.
The problems with this company persist. I called to be removed from their 'internal' list (after receiving calls at my home and business several times). When I indicated that I would report any further calls to the FTC, I was told by "Mark" that they are exempt and have an exemption number from the FTC so it "won't do any good to report them to the FTC". Instead, I will report them to our state's attorney general for investigation since they oversee 'non-profits' doing business in our state. Thank you for your postings on this company. By the way, "John Baker" is only one of the names used by the same person on the calls I have received over time. I suspect there is no John Baker at this company.
I got one of CFA's calls on my answering machine last night. They seem to be using "Walter O'Brien" as the caller's name and 866-229-8803 as the callback number. I called to ask who the letter they supposedly sent was directed to (I have a former roommate who did in fact have credit issues). Since Mr. O'Brian "only makes outgoing calls", I asked to talk with whoever does their mailing list. They transferred me to 'customer service' at 800-924-5105, which I suspect is the number people who have been sucked into their 'service' use. At that number they eventually admitted they have no mailing list, and an outside sales organization generates the calls. When I asked for the name of the outside organization, they wouldn't give it to me. Since real credit counseling services don't have to lie about sending out non-existent letters, I've reported them to the California attorney general's office. They oversee real charities, and would take a dim view of someone claiming to be a charity while in reality being a telemarketing scam.
For the last 3 months I have recived a call from them, pre-recorded of corse. Well my addatude is you call me i'll call you. So for that day I call them over and over. Soon enough they get mad and just hang up with out saying a word. Well this time I called like I did befor and they called back. Saying that if I don't stop they will call the local cops. So I came up with the idea of saying "half the local cops are friends of mine" he then threatened calling the FBI. So my advice to others who may have the same idea that i had, they do trace your number. I did sugest that they should follow the National Do Not Call List sence the people on that list don't want calls like theres anyways and arn't going to buy there service. He just said on que "we're non-profit." I also told him about what I read on your site. He said "we don't pay the BBB so they gave us that bad rateing." I didn't know the BBB got payed by anyone. Sounds fish, like the whole company does.
Thanks for the wonderful service you are providing here. I too have had problems with these guys. When I ask to be removed from their list, I was also refused an address to notify them by certified mail that I did not want to be contacted by any of their companies any more. With a little help from my local phone company and sheriffs office, I got the telephone number for the Irvine Police (949) 229-8803. When I contacted them and reported the harassment, they transferred me to the local business licensing department of the city of Irvine. If we flood this department with complaints, they may revoke their business license causing them the expense and hassle of moving their business. I doubt that this will shut them down, but we can harass them back a little.
I am also continuingly getting calls from Credit Foundation. A few numbers for you to add to the site. They left me 866-229-8803 as the current contact number. Called them and played all the games listed on your site, i.e. IRS, 501c.3, etc, etc. The customer service rep told me I could find the charter on the IRS website. I told her I checked. Her "supervisor" told her to give me the customer service number of 800-924-5105 and check with them. I asked about the National Do Not Call list, and she stated they don't come under those rules as a result of being non-profit. Just more info for the site. And they are most likely slimeballs as most have concurred.
I have felt the abuse of both Light House Credit and Credit Foundation od America. These annoying prerecorded messages that we can not leagally stop. My proposal, everyone who reads this site send an email to each of the news shows such as Dateline, 20/20, etc. and request they look into this massive abuse of the "Do Not Call" list. Maybe they can get the word out to the public and to our congressmen that the law should be refined and don't be caught sending dollars to them when you can least afford to. These shows have occasionally made a differance causing criminals to be shut down, congress to address issues, inform the public, etc. But, I think the loudest voice will get the shows attention.
You are one wonderfully, beautiful man! I can not thank you enough for your website! Today, I was contacted for the 3rd time by Credit Foundation of America. I am on the National Do Not Call list. I filed my 3rd complaint with my State. They asked if I could send a tape recording of the message CFA left on my phone. I am in the process of doing so. They also stated that I had to prove that the call placed to my home was automated. Your site, and the direction to the BBB in California has given me ammunition. Sort of an exploding bomb on CFA! With the information on your site, and the Better Business Bureau in California, I now can prove that the message I have recorded is "automated". In my state, a company is not allowed to have automated messages when they are soliciting. So now I am going to have $3,000 in my pocket for the 3 different calls placed to my home, and my state is going to fine CFA $33,000 for using an automated system to place calls! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You have no idea how badly I need the money. It is not because I am in debt, it is because I am in need of funds for a bone grafting, marrow transplant surgery. Thank you, once again, for your incredible website!
I got their call today and the caller ID registered this as the dialing number; 949-716-2111. I checked reverse look up and it doesn't show up but I registered a complaint on "Do not call.gov" using that number.
Thank you so much for all of the information on your website regarding the Credit Foundation of America. What's the latest on this company? I received another call from them today, 3/24/04 and it's the same speech that you have posted. Without taking up too much more of your time, I decided to start calling them so they would have to pay for the call. They now have on their automated system an option to be removed from their calling list by pressing "2." I'm afraid that by pressing this number, they'll only increase the calls. Any word from people at your site?
I am one of the many who received a call from Credit Foundation of America. I too called their 800 number to share a bit of my mind about the violation of the FTC laws and National Do-Not-Call Registry. I was informed that they are exempt and was given their exemption number. I gave explicit instructions not to call my number again as I was on the original Do-Not-Call Registry, not to pass my phone number on to anyone, and that I would be looking into their exempt status. As others, I too did a web search for their company, but I actually found their website: http://www.creditfoundationofamerica.com/privacy.htm This website indicates their Postal Address is: 268 North Lincoln Avenue, Suite 10 Corona, CA 92882 They indicate that for questions about their privacy statement to contact: Walter F. Villaume 268 North Lincoln Avenue, Suite 10 Corona, CA 92882 Telephone: 800-939-4152 FAX: 909-898-1710
If you go to the website, you will interestingly find that many of their links do not work. You might also note that they have an e-mail labeled email@example.com That is a pretty unusual department for a "non-profit organization". Another point of interest is the link indicating a "Free Quote." Hmmm, sounds like sales to me.
Upon further research I found that the contact person for this company was also involved in litigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for his operations under the name of Preferred Credit Corporation. Relevant proceedings: "In January 1997, the California Department of Real Estate (the "DRE") suspended the license of Preferred and its top two executive officers for 60 days for mishandling trust funds, failing to supervise employees and other offenses which occurred in 1995. These suspensions were stayed upon payment of a $3,000 fine. In July 1997, the California Department of Corporations (the "DOC") filed a lawsuit against Preferred and its top two executive officers alleging, among other things, that (1) Preferred was delaying loan closings in violation of California's licensing laws; (2) as a result of the delayed loan closings, Preferred was accruing interest on loans prior to the borrower's receipt of the loan funds; and (3) Preferred had changed dates on the refund checks and on internal loan reports to create an appearance that refund checks had been mailed prior to the actual mailing date. Preferred reached a settlement with the DOC on July 3, 1997, without admitting any liability or wrongdoing. The settlement generally provides for the following: (1) Preferred is obligated to complete any refunds not already made to borrowers and agreed to the appointment of a third party to verify the accuracy of the refunds (prior to completion of the settlement, Preferred had made refunds of approximately $1.4 million); (2) Preferred is forming an internal audit department and implementing new operating procedures to prevent the reoccurrence of any funding delays in the future; (3) Preferred's President/Chief Operating Officer, Walter Villaume, resigned and agreed to be barred from employment, management or control of any California residential mortgage lender; and (4) Preferred agreed to pay a fine of $1.0 million. Pursuant to the Preferred Purchase Agreement, Preferred has made certain representations and warranties concerning such loans to ICIFC, agreed to repurchase any loan materially and adversely affected by a breach thereof and agreed to further hold the Company harmless in connection therewith.
You may find it of interest to note that the start date of Credit Foundation of America began in 1997, which was the year of termination of Walter Villaume from Preferred Credit Corporation. Hmmm, I wonder what he is really up to now. It probably wouldn't be a risky bet to figure he's up to no good.
I do not know enough about the practices of this new company to know whether or not they make and keep their promises, but my recommendation is "consumer BEWARE." The mere fact that this company is hiding behind the skirt of "non-profit organization" most definitely should raise flags. Also, any business that thinks someone should give their credit card numbers and account numbers out to a complete stranger could not be on the up-and-up, if you ask me. I want to encourage anyone who is in financial distress not to give out your financial information over the phone to a new business without doing your homework, especially with all the credit card fraud/false identity issues going on.
I also would like to encourage FTC reporting of this kind of abuse of the "non-profit" cloak. I believe it is a gross misrepresentation (stated in the mildest form), and marketing fraud would be accurately but bluntly stated.
I read with great interest all the comments made about the above-named "non-profit" company. After receiving yet another call on my machine this morning, I decided it was time to complain - I've been on the national Do Not Call list for 6 months. Before registering my complaint, I googled the company name and came across your site. After reading all the messages, I figured that it would be futile to go ahead with my plan. I have never returned any of their calls at my son's advice. My call was a little different than the others I've read because firstly, John didn't give a surname and secondly, he gave me a toll-free number that I haven't seen mentioned on your site. That number is 1-866-362-4800. I guess there are a lot of "boiler rooms" all over America!
I just want to say thanks so much for having this page. We have received 2 phone calls from someone named Johnny B. from the Credit Foundation of America. It was one of those things that just struck me as weird especially that they had our phone number (it is unlisted). So I was going to get online and check them out. Thanks so much!!!!!
I can not thank you enough for you site...I recieved a call from a Johnny @ 1-800-315-0041 today...I thought that it may be the answer to my husband's ad my credot card debt. My husband went into the hospital to have his leg amputated in October 2003 and we got behind on the cards due to medical bills and other expenses..Our creditors would not initiate our credit proteciton coverage that we had been paying for to freeze the accounts so we could get caught up....They have been constantly calling up to 10 times a day even after I send them what I can...I am so grateful that my wife decided to check out Credit Foundation of America on the net before we were scammed into a worse situation than we are in now..I think we will just deal with our local Consumer Credit Counseling Service and go from there...We are also on the National Do Not Call List and I am going to file a complaint.. these people are vampires taking advantage of people in desperate situations...Thanks Again and keep us informed..i will check into this site to see what happens with these charlitans...
I been getting a daily ring from that credit foundation like you have. As like you...I luv to go after them and cause grief with complaints and a few other things that I can't mention. We have placed a dead line return device on our phone that returns back to a computer the line it called is no longer in service when a marketing call is incoming. Though this has helped alot, it hasn't ended it completely. The credit foundation has setup a daily hit on our line but our device nukes them before the word Hello is heard. Well, having a home business, I decided it's time to put some return response in my own little way, back to them since they are a live source. Well, I can only say here that they have had a full email box lately and leave the rest for the imagination. I filed my donotcall today and just before we move this month and get our new phone, I plan on grinding the old phone lines into them for some fun and when we move, they can call an empty house. I'll call them as you did, but with another type of charity drive. Anyway, I didn't know if you needed a followup on the company in question, I can tell you though, that their new number is 1-949-716-2111 for calling us and it wasn't hard locating them through that. Well, we have some fun to do...thanks for a helpful website that you have posted.
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