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© Copyright 2004, Jim Loy
Lighthouse Credit Foundation may be cleaning up their act. They claim to have stopped their obnoxious phone calls to answering machines (apparently they have not stopped), and they may have corrected other problems which customers have complained about. So far, I have not gotten much info from the Lighthouse folks themselves. Read the Better Business Bureau - Reliability Report about them. Also see Florida Attorney General - Case Number: L01-3-2197 and Lighthouse International's complaint and panda.com/telesleaze. Lighthouse Credit Foundation is affiliated with Integrated Credit Solutions, another company about which people complain. Also read Consumer Federation of America - Report about the sad state of the entire credit counseling industry. Also see my info about the FTC's do-not-call list, below. It is the most useful site that I have ever visited.
Paying your creditors and restoring your credit may take time. I saw an ad for a company which said "Restore your good credit in as little as 90 days." That sounds really unrealistic. It may take years. And it will probably be difficult, even painful. And so, even if Lighthouse is honest, and is good at what they do, there have to be unhappy customers.
I have been involved in warning people that there are complaints about Lighthouse Credit Foundation (see below). "Credit counseling" and "debt consolidation" is what Lighthouse claims to provide. Has Lighthouse cleaned up its act? Is Lighthouse the answer to your credit problems? I don't know. I hope to find out. If you do (or do not) choose Lighthouse Credit Foundation, do so with your eyes open; understand the process. They do not pay your debts and restore your credit without your active participation.
My plans concerning all this: I hope to answer a long list of questions that I have about debt. How and why do credit card companies let you go way over your head into debt (doesn't it hurt them)? What does debt (credit) counseling involve? What does debt consolidation involve? Can you do all this by yourself, without the help of a company like Lighthouse Credit Foundation? What does bankruptcy involve? What is my credit report like? What are the options? And I have dozens of other related and smaller questions.
They have not stopped calling answering machines. Maybe they think that their messages are less abrasive now. I've never heard of these people ever making a direct call to anyone; it is always to an answering machine. I assume the robot caller hangs up if a human answers. Maybe that is who keeps hanging up without saying anything. Here is new (2004) email:
I too received a telephone call yesterday from Kevin Hall, promising a lower credit card rate and instructing me to call back with my statements ready. The message did not indicate debt consolidation or credit counseling...just a lower credit card rate. It seemed interesting, but being suspicious, I decided to do some research about the company on the web before returning his call. Thank heavens for your webpage. What a shame that so many people have been financially hurt by this organization. I know our system of justice is "innocent until proven guilty" but it's too bad that the wheels of justice don't turn a little faster. Thank you for your webpage. Sounds like you have saved many of us from a really big headache.
I am interested in joining a debt management program and have been considering a few options. Lighthouse credit Foundation is one of the companies I have included in my decision to consolidate. I have not received any phone calls from them, rather my friend recommended the program as she has been with them for a few months and says she has really been helped. I know all companies have horror and success stories, if I choose them to takeover my finances,or any company for that matter, I will definitely keep you informed as to the service I have received! P.S. I'm not sure but I don't think not for profit agencies are included in the "Do Not Call List."
I came across your 2004 article on Lighthouse Credit Foundation today after getting a message on my answering machine from Kevin Hall of that company, (800-466-0166). "Please have your credit card statements handy when you call." So apparently they have NOT stopped their obnoxious phone calls to answering machines. Your page was helpful to me, thanks.
My reply: "One of the things that bugged me was that the recorded message lied, pretending he had already talked to me (I don't normally talk to recorded messages, although I am beginning to), and wondering why I haven't called back. It sounds like a scam."
My original article:
© Copyright 2002, Jim Loy
I'm considering dropping my phone service because of all of the stupid phone calls that I get. Only about one in ten is one that I want to receive. The rest are wrong numbers or queries about cracks in my windshield (or similar calls). I want to screen these later ones out, but that costs money. Well, I have received numerous phone calls from Lighthouse Credit Foundation, who I don't want to hear from. All of these were pre-recorded messages which I found on my answering machine. This recorded jerk says he's really surprised that I have not called him about consolidating my debts or some similar bull. He calls his company "a not-for-profit credit agency." And he gave me an 800 number to call. I called the number, in order to tell them to quit bothering me, and was on hold for fifteen minutes before I gave up. By the way, "nonprofit" means you are registered with the IRS and are tax exempt; "not for profit" apparently means nothing.
Today I received a message from Integrating Credit Solutions. Apparently, these are the same people; they keep changing their name and 800 numbers.
I recently got some similar messages from Don Gibson of Direct Satellite (not affiliated with Direct TV), apparently offering a good deal on a satellite TV system; sounds like the same guy. I think I'm becoming paranoid.
One email says that these folks are miraculously defeating caller ID's blocking of anonymous calls, and he is looking for information on how they can do that.
Their WWW page is at Lighthouse Credit Foundation. The legitimate company Lighthouse International assures us that they have no connection to Lighthouse Credit Foundation. And they have complained to the New York Attorney General about Lighthouse Credit Foundation, and are attempting to get Lighthouse Credit Foundation to stop its questionable telemarketing practices. I got email saying that the state of Florida is investigating Lighthouse Credit Foundation; of course an investigation is not evidence of wrongdoing.
I got email saying that the Florida Attorney General says they are doing nothing illegal. Jim Loy says that if they would only stay off our answering machines, they would probably attract more customers. Several of my email messages indicate that some people consider this company little better than stalkers, or worse. How can such a business survive?
Another email says that Florida is investigating them for unauthorized withdrawals from clients' checking accounts, not paying their clients' creditors, and more. Also Massachusetts is suing them for one million dollars, to give back to clients in Massachusetts. Also see panda.com/telesleaze.
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. Yes!
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 received this advice, about Credit Foundation of America:
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 [substitute LCF's 800 number here] 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.
By the way, I think that nonprofit organizations should avoid phone numbers on the do-not-call list, even if they are not obligated to.
Here are the Better Business Bureau System pages. Also see my Some Fraud Information Links.
Note: If you have been burned by these folks, or are afraid that they may begin burning you, I think your credit card company (or bank) may be very helpful. I found fraud as a topic on Visa's "contact us" page, and I suspect that the other credit card companies have a similar page. I'm sure they have phone numbers too. Also see Yahoo's Attorneys General > U.S. States.
Here are some businesses which may be Lighthouse Credit Foundation:
The following may not be affiliated with Lighthouse Credit Foundation (despite what some of my email says):
Also see Consumer Federation of America - Report.
Credit Foundation of America is not the same company. See Credit Foundation of America and Debt Consolidation. That page contains this email, which offers good advice for readers of this page as well:
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.
Much of the above may also apply to people who have been dealing with Lighthouse Credit Foundation (or legitimate credit couselors, for that matter) for a while, and want to quit them, and do it on their own. In that case, I would suspect that you should begin negotiating with your creditors before you dump Lighthouse. As you can see from the above message, there is help and advice out there.
Recently my husband and I were planning to refinance our home since rates were lower. When we put in our application we were told they could not refinance us as our credit report looked like we were in chapter 13 bankruptcy. We were in awe of the whole thing. We had been on time with our credit cards when the company Lighthouse Credit Foundation contacted us and asked if we wanted to be debt free in 5 years. Well sounded good, they could lower our interest on our cards so we could pay more on the balance. Sure we got a nice Financial Planner Folder and disk for the computer to manage our debt, but same thing we could do from Microsoft money! We are now trying to get our Credit report Cleaned up. What a rip off as had to send them $300.00 to get started.One could only hope they would have to be the one's to payoff the debts to restore our credit report we used to have. All we can say now is "Buyers Beware!"
They added, in answer to my further query: "Yes we are a lot worse off because of them!"
I guess I will share because I still feel pretty stupid and more than a little angry!! I was, I guess, solicitated by this agency through the other company. I was just interested in a lower interest rate. I gave my information, foolishly, when I was told everything was preliminary. I would receive all my info in the mail. I never received anything in the mail and just forgot about it. Big mistake, one by one my credit cards were being revoked because they were being sent letters by the Lighthouse agency that I was a client and they were providing me debt counseling!! I am now jumping through hoops to get my credit reinstated and being treated basically like a criminal. I never gave this agency any written authorization to act on my behalf nor have I been able to get a copy of the letter that was sent to my creditors. No one would answer my questions, I was hung up on or passed to a phoney phone line that rang and rang. No one has responded to my e-mails. I am having to prove to my credit card companies, who I paid on time and was never delinquent, that Fraud has been committed. I am spending way to much explaining myself. I am going to make it my mission to send a lot e-mails to a lot of government agencies. I have already filed comlaints with the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General for the State of Alaska, and the Better Business Bureau.
well, we found your site too late to help. hope our story helps others. i was out of town when my husband was told the same story about a debt consolidation loan with low interest and low payments. he gave them credit information on their representation that it was preliminary info. and that they would send paperwork later for him to review with all the details, including what the interest would be and what the payments would be. he never received anything, but i returned to letters from all my individual creditors (accounts on which he is not an authorized signatory) that my accounts were closed because we were in a debt consolidation program. imagine my suprise. i called these people expecting to have them acknowledge their mistake and send out letters explaining it to my creditors. instead, i was treated rudely and told that they would send a letter to my creditors that i had cancelled my account. although i explained ad nauseum that i never opened an account, never authorized anyone to contact my creditors and was never in need of debt management services. now, i am left explaining to my creditors this absolutely absurd situation and left with years of credit building in shreds. wish my husband had seen your site before he spoke to them. it would have saved us a bunch of grief.
This story continues:
i'm sorry it was unclear. what i meant was that i was out of town when my husband had the conversation with the light house representative. so, when i returned from my trip and opened my mail, i was suprised to find letters from my creditors closing my accounts because i had enrolled in a debt management program. since i wrote to you, one of my creditors has refused to re-open my account without a letter from lighthouse stating that i never enrolled in their program. of course, lighthouse does not want to send this letter, i am sure because it would be eveidence that they were in violation of their own policies and procedures with regard to implementation of the fedural laws regulating the disclosure of nonpublic private information. i have written to the florida attorney general, the new york attorney general (at the behest of lighthouse international) as well as the better business bureau of west florida seeking help in resolving this mess. i have also drafted a letter to mr. michael flaharty, who i am told is counsel to the company. once it is fine tuned, i will send it. there is no michael flaharaty licensed to practice law in the state of texas, other that a man in north carolina who seems to have a prestigious practice. it will be interesting to see who this counsel is. thanks for sharing this information and hopefully saving someone from our situation.
Recently, I found your website after I kept receiving calls from the LCF. I don't have credit card balances and I didn't want them calling. I turned them in to the New York Attorney General. I also E-mailed them and told them to never call me again.
Today, I received a phone call and it sounded like the same guy. This time he only gave a number and the words were different, but it was about consolidating our debts (we have none). I called the 800 number and not once did they give a name for the organization calling, but put me on hold for an operator. When she came on, I quizzed her about what the organization was and my question was never answered. When I mentioned the word Lighthouse, she said that they represented several companies and Lighthouse was in the name of one of them. Do you know if they are still calling, but using a different format? The number was [deleted]. I just want to be left alone by all telemarketers. I got caller ID so that I could avoid them, but it always says "out of area" and I have to answer because some of my relatives call and it says the same. Thanks for any information that you may have.
I think it's time to crack down on light house credit. I registered with the Federal Do Not Call list @ http://www.donotcall.gov/ that was effective July 2003. As of today July 18, 2003 I received a call from light house credit. I will not capitalize their name in this correspondence, because anyone who violates the do not call list is hokey if you ask me.
The gentleman that called my phone is named Kevin Hall @ 1-800-466-0166. My intent is to report the company to the Better Business Bureau and the Do Not Call hotline. I encourage everyone who has received these unwanted and harassing calls to do the same.
I just wanted to tell you about Lighthouse credit they have changed there name to EXPRESS CONSOLIDATION and doing the same thing. They are located in Delray, FL. with 3 locations all in Delray. Feel free to use my name Martin Smith I hate those people and will cause them as much grief as I can. I did report them to my phone Co.
I started a web search in order to find the addresses of the telemarketing companies that have harassing me for months, and your site was the first I came to. I found it very informative and I thank you for the trouble you've obviously gone to in creating and maintaining it. From the site of the Florida Attorney General, Florida Attorney General - Case Number: L01-3-2197, I found and request that you post the following physical addresses of the these charlatans:
- Integrated Credit Solutions, Inc. 8550 Ulmerton Rd., Ste. F-200 Largo, FL 33771
- Lighthouse Credit Foundation, Inc. 8550 Ulmerton Rd., Ste. 150 Largo, FL 33771
- Flagship Capital Services Corp. 8550 Ulmerton Rd., Ste. F-200 Largo, FL 33771
I've signed up for the National No Call List, but as, generalizing of course, 75% of telemarketing is fraud anyway I suspect it will only bring the legitimate 25% into line. I'm a native of Las Vegas, and we have a horrible problem down here with these businesses that open up in an evening and can close again in about the same about of time before our attorney general even knows they're there. The entire practice should be illegal. I'm also receiving similar calls from a company called Credit Foundation of America [see the bottom of this page for more email about them] 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
I hope this information will be useful to you and those that happen upon your site, which through Goggle at least is the first site listed in a direct search for Lighthouse. It shows up even before their own site, which I hope is very gratifying to you. I admit I've snapped and come up with an evil plan of harassment of my own. I'm going print out a form letter of complaint, drop them in envelopes, stamp and address them, and every time I get a harassing call, I'll drop two letters in the mail the next day. It may not get me off their call list but at least it may annoy someone. Imagine if you suggest this on your site, and many people did it. The letters would clog their mail. It may not accomplish anything, but if they're going to go to so much trouble the least I can do is return the compliment. Its fun to see your name in print, but don't feel you have to list mine if you wish to use anything from this letter on your site.
just got a call from lighthouse credit foundation - recorded message - so i did some checking on the internet and read your complaint page. i do consumer protection litigation for a living (in virginia) and i want to correct a couple of false premises i read on your page. first, you don't have to complain about / sue them in florida. they placed the call to where you are, so that's where the offense occurred. you can sue them where it's convenient for you, if there's a state statute (as there is in virginia) that they've violated. sue them for private nuisance if nothing else (common law action for interfering with your use and enjoyment of your own property). the second thing is believing what enforcement agencies tell you about what's not illegal. that's code for "we don't feel like doing anything about that." and other agencies such as the BBB exist only to deflect consumer's wrath, so that the outraged consumers won't do anything really effective. i'm going over to my local courthouse on monday and filing suit against these suckers - there's a state statute in virginia that gives me between $500 and $1500 for the use of a recorded solicitation message. there's another one for the same amount for using blocked caller id data (my argument is that choosing a carrier that doesn't transmit caller id is the same as blocking); and a third says i get the same amount for failure to give full identification of both the company and the caller. that's four counts at $1500 each = $6000 for one phone call. maybe they've got some good defenses. let them come up here to virginia, hire a virginia lawyer at $200 / hr., and argue about it.
I have received a number of calls from ALL of the companies/names that are listed on this page. Including Direct Satellite! I decided to check them out to see if there was some way I can get rid of them, and I found your page. I've asked to be taken off of their call lists, but we all know how effective that is. My husband used to do telemarketing, and when someone was rude when asking to be taken off, they would enter them as "Call back ASAP"! The most recent call I made put me on hold for 10-15 minutes, then when I asked to be taken off of their list, the operater said "You aren't interested in consolidating your credit?". I simply said "not through your company." She then replied (in a very ugly tone) "You don't have to get nasty, I was just asking a question!" She then proceeded to hang up on me, before getting my info to remove me from the list. I've considered taking some action against these people, since I am on the "Do Not Call" list (haha... what a funny joke this is!), but to be honest, I haven't the time to waste on them, or any idea where to start. So I guess I'll just continue to erase their voicemails!
You have quite a complaint page for nonprofit credit counselors. You focus on one in particular, but there are a wide range, some of whom have made it to your in box. The IRS is investigating these snots for abusing their nonprofit status to evade consumer protection laws such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (better known as "Do Not Call", but also known as TCPA. If you receive one of these pre-recorded messages, complain to the IRS at the below address. Write down as much and specific of information that you have. Preserve or tape record the message if you can and keep it. Also complain to the FTC at ftc.gov. If both get enough complaints, like you are getting, they may do something about these "nonprofit" scams:
Internal Revenue Service
ATTN: Exempt Organizations Examinations
1100 Commerce St.
MC 4900 DAL
Dallas, TX 75242
Thanks Jim for your website. I just received a message from Lighthouse Credit Foundation. I've been ripped off before by a company called Equinox, but was considering returning this call because I would like to consolidate my debt and lower my interest rates. I decided to do an online search and your website was the first one to pop up. (Even before theirs.)You described the message on my machine to a tee.
We get so many telemarketer calls that I do not answer any that say, "out of area." My family and friends know to leave a message and I will call them back, but most telemarketers don't leave messages. Or so I thought. Anyway thanks again. I'm sure you saved us a bundle.
Thank god I looked up this company on the net while I was on hold with Lighthouse Credit Foundation (They are calling themselves Integrated Credit Solutions now). I too got several phone calls from this company and thought wow it would be great to lower my interest rates on my credit cards and pay them off quicker. However I thought there might be a catch to this. As you must know the old saying "If its to good to be true, It probably is". This obviously Is just that. I asked them if this would damage my credit rating any what so ever and they stated "only for approx. 6 months". While I was on hold while they were connecting me to a counselor, I looked up this company on the net and the first think that poped up was your website. Lucky for me!!! When the counselor came on I told her I was not interested and to please take me off their phone list. We'll see what happens.
I too, was impressed with the idea of a much lower interest rate, & the guy was not pushy like someone with a time limit to sell or die. Thanks for your probable life / credit saving information. No lighthouse for me !
Just got a message from Lighthouse Credit Foundation. Same stuff as what's described on your site. Sounded good! but I had learned better, and I figured I should check it out. Sure enough, there it was on your site. Thanks for your web site and its useful information!!
Like other emails you've recieved, I got a phone call today from Light House Credit Foundation. The message on my machine was about a debt consolidation with an interest as low as 1.5%. The message was from a Kevin Hall and asked me to gather my credit card information before calling back as he would be in the office till 10 pm. This message was left on my machine at about 10:30 am. Do these people really work 12 hour days? I decided to look them up on the web before calling back because of all the identify theft stuff I hear about on the news. Boy am I glad I did. Yours was the first site to come up on my search followed by the Florda Law Suit and then a message from LightHouse International about not being affiliated with this organization. Thanks for saving me hours of pain that I'm now sure I would have went through had I responded to their call.
6. This one is good:
I appreciate your website about the problems that you and others encountered with this obnoxious telemarketing company. They are about to bite off more than they can chew! My wife is the chief clerk at our local post office here in [deleted]. She received a phone call on the office's business line. It was from Lighthouse Credit Foundation. The representative thought he had a softie on the line when my wife answered. What he didn't know was that he had reached a woman who makes it her professional duty to stay up on all of the latest "do not call lists", and she knew immediately that she had a telemarketer on her hook. As soon as the guy rudely disconnected after she began asking how he had obtained the phone number, she contacted the postal inspectors who are in high gear after 9/11 and any 'un-official' traffic on their phone lines. She then contacted me and I got online to check out the company and found your information. I have since added an online FTC complaint to their file, though I suspect the FTC will be a little slower to respond than the postal inspectors. It is sites like yours that can provide the real power that the internet is about to unleash on lousy organizations, companies, governments, and institutions that are unresponsive and irresponsible.
I received one of those "Lighthouse Credit Foundation Calls" and wrote down the number and was going to call them back--something I generally never do. Kevin Hall comes across really good and I generally don't get taken in by people, especially scam artists. I decided to do a search for information on them and I am so glad I did. Thanks for providing much-needed information. You probably saved me a big hassel. I immediately threw away the phone number that Kevin Hall left. If you do use this, please only use my first name and you can use my city if you want--Sheila in Memphis.
my wife received a call from light house credit with a toll free # of 1-800-890-3588 and an email address of www.LHC.org which is how i found your web site. i was checking these guys out and thanks for looking out for us
9. Made my day:
WOW! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was just getting ready to call these people. Kevin Hall was on my voicemail last night when I got home and the deal sounded good. I was just saying that this computer era was more than it's cracked up to be with all the worm/virus stuff we're dealing with these last 30 days. But I will not complain again because people like you are really doing a service for people like me. You have saved me so much aggrevation and I applaude your taking the time to help us regular people out. I just logged on to google and did a search and there was your webpage with all those complaints. Again, thank you and keep up the good work. Sign me.... Two minutes from disaster.
10. Another day made:
I recently got a message on my answering machine from Doug Thompson at DRF. He was offering to reduce my interest rates to as low as 1.5%. He also said that this was not an offer for a new loan and wanted me to call him to give me the balances on all my credit cards (before the next billing cycle).
I was suspicious as to the urgency and nature of this call, so I kept the message for the purposes of doing some research on this guy. As it turns out, I didn't get anything for DRF (except for the Deafness Research Foundation). However, I plugged 800-890-3588 into Google, and low and behold your page came up! I am 99.9% sure this is the same outfit as Lighthouse Credit Foundation. Thanks for solidifying my decision on not calling this guy. It's websites like this that make the internet a true boon to our society, the perfect weapon against telemarketers and their like.
I received a message on my answering machine from Doug Thompson of DRF, from 800-868-1267. On his message, he claimed to be a non-profit lowering credit card interest rates to as low as 1.5% with pre-approval. Just out of curiosity, I plugged DRF into a Google search and yours was the first page that came up. I'm signed up for the anti-telemarketer registry, and got the call anyway. Thanks for maintaining your page. The marketing call actually sounded pretty good.
I, too, received a phone call at my home in New Hampshire during working hours from Lighthouse Credit Foundation. Kevin Hall left a phone number of 1-800-466-0166 on my voice mail advising me to call him before 10:30 pm as I had been approved for a 1% debt consolidation through that company. Since I had already heard that some of these "debt consolidation" companies can be somewhat 'creative' in their approach, I decided to look them up on -line. What I found was your site, thankfully. Reading through the many emails about this company, naturally, I decided not to pursue that course of action. I did call them and tell them to remove my number from their list. Funny thing, though, when I asked to speak with Kevin Hall, the receptionist said all information is filtered through him first, before it goes to Mr. Hall! Thank you, Jim Loy, for your information and web site.
13. My understanding is that the donotcall list does not apply to charities.
I recently got a voice mail from Doug Thompson with DRF stating that I could consolidate my credit cards and lower my rate to 1.5% Doug stated that "all I needed to do was have my credit card statements available when I called him back." Although I've not been late on any credit card payments, I'll have to admit that the 1.5% sounded awfully tempting. Decided to plug in the 1-800-890-3588 number into google.com and, lo and behold, your website popped up. All I have to say is, "It really pays to do your homework." I've since joined the "do not call" list and anxiously await the day when it's only my friends who call me during dinner. I wonder if the "do not call" list will apply to the state troopers association or fire departments. Anyway, thanks for your website - it is a blessing. T. in Alabama.
Just wanted to send a big THANK YOU for your great site! I received a call last week from "Doug Thompson" with DRF, saying that I may have received a letter informing me of my approval to consolidate all of my credit card debt at a rate as low as 1.5%. Now, I don't know about you, but that sounded like a great deal to me. So, I called good ol' Doug back at the 800 number he left me. I don't know what the fellow who answered the call said his name was, but it was NOT Doug. However, when I asked for Doug Thompson, the guy said "Yep, that's me". So, he gave me the schpiel, and all of this for only one small monthly fee of $40, for which I would be "billed" separately (no doubt directly out of my checking account). Fortunately, I believe in "if it sounds to good to be true, run like hell!". So, I asked what company he said he was with again, to which he sputtered and coughed, but eventually said "Lighthouse" and "DRF". When asked if I could just call back, he said sure, but "just ask for extension 109 - don't use any names when you call back". Hung up, checked the internet, and found your site. I'm left relieved that I didn't fall for it, but strangely wondering "Mr. Thompson, do you exist?". What a bunch of CROOKS!
Thanks so much for your page. Today for the first time I received a call from Lighthous Credit. I hung up, but jotted the name down, afterall, who doesn't want lower interest rates. Thought I would check into their website, because everyone should know better than to give out personal information to an unsolicited caller, or anyone else! How wonderful that your site comes up before theirs. My only regret is that those other folks had to (and I'm sure still are) go through this terrible experience. How kind of them to help others. Thanks again.
The Lighthouse Credit Foundation is alive and well. I received a marketing call from them today and was looking on the internet to found out information about them when I ran across your website. Thank you !!! The information has saved me alot of time and aggrevation (and probably money). So again, thanks for you website and the service it provides.
17. This one is pretty good. There is nothing sleazy about falsely reporting a credit card stolen, as you are not reporting it to the police, but are merely making it clear to the credit card company that they'd better act fast.
First off, I want to thank you and your very informational web page! Thank you! My wife received a call from Lighthouse and being the good hearted trusting individual that she is, she gave them our credit info assuming all was on the up and up. When I got home from work I did some research on Lighthouse (Integrated Credit Solutions) through Google and your page was the first to pop up. Some might be thinking that since my wife gave Lighthouse our info that we may be in dire straights, but thanks to your site I was able to get ahead of Lighthouse! I was able to report my cards as stolen(also can be identity theft) before Lighthouse was able to contact my creditors. This was possible because most credit institutions require a credit counselor to submit their terms in writing. So, my message is if you can react quick enough all might not be lost! Report your cards as stolen if you happen to be in a situation of not doing your research first, but happen to do it soon after. Once again, thank you for your site, it saved me a real headache! If you happen to use this, please use my first name only....thanks.
I didn't know how to advise this guy. I suspect that he was in no trouble:
Boy do I feel stupid! Got this call yesterday, non-profit, sounded good. Couldn't get my hands on all the info they wanted so said I'd call them today. Decided to do a search on them and up pops your site! Tkx. I tried to call my contact, but alas, he is on the phone. Don't recall if I gave him anything but my name. I sure hope nothing happens like I read on your site! Any recommendations on how to head-off any problems?
By the way:
By the way, I also get messages from Paul at Direct Reservation Centers, with a 4-day (3 nights) Orlando Fl / Disney World vacation for $99. I'm afraid I let the 24 hour deadline pass. But I suspect he will call again. A reader kindly sent me this:
Hi this is Paul with Direct Reservation Centers at 800-315-4268. The online entry form that either you, a family member or friend filled out has been selected to enjoy 4 days and 3 nights of first-class accommodations in Orlando, FL, near world-famous Disney World. Plus you'll receive 2 complimentary day passes to Disney. Also enjoy 3 days and 2 nights on the sunny golden beaches of Daytona, FL, all for only $99 per person. Kids under 18 stay for free. Your confirmation number is Magic 591. Now you're gonna need this, that's Magic 591, and you need to call 800-315-4268. Now we can only honor your confirmation for 24 hours, so please call as soon as you can, and enjoy your Orlando Disney vacation.
If I call too late, and give the wrong confirmation number, will they turn me away?
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