Debt Mediation Scam
I get a lot of unsolicited mail. A recent missive is configured with three tearoff strips to look like an overdraft notice, and has FINAL NOTICE ENCLOSED printed in white letters on a black band on the front. Under that in fine print is:
Warning: $2,000 Fine 5 Years Imprisonment, or both for any person interfering or obstructing with delivery of this letter. Title 18 US Code SBC 1702
Besides the poor grammar, the above essentially means you aren’t supposed to open, read or stop delivery of other folks’ mail. I could put that on a letter to my mother and it would have just as much meaning.
The return address is CRV 5700 Granite Pkwy Ste 200 Plano TX 75024.
Once opened, the note reads:
You have NOT responded to the Debt Mediation Catalog we sent you on 10/16/2012.
Our records indicate that on 10/16/2012, a catalog was sent to you in regards to an opportunity to facilitate settlement offers directly with your creditors for less that what you owe.
This is your final notice that your open enrollment will expire on 12/13/2012. etc. Please call the catalog number 1-800-xxx-xxxx to activate your program before it is too late.
Per the 2012 Fall Catalog you received, you may qualify for one of our programs with a payment of:
Upon clearance of said accounts, all of the major credit bureaus should be notified by your creditors that your debts have been satisfied and paid in full for less than the balance owed.
Please contact us at 1-800-xxx-xxxx and use Reference number AUU-12345
Credit Resolution Department
There’s a lot of fine print with a URL address for Credit Relief Advocates. Googling the name of the company leads to a long list of complaints that read just like my experience:
The purported company CRA (Credit Resolution Advisors) sent a pink notice telling me I had not responded to the first “catalog” they had sent in August. The letter had the appearance that I owed them a payment of 373.00. I have never contacted this or any other company to resolve a debt of my own. Furthermore, when I searched on Google Maps the address on their letterhead, I found it to be the address of James F. Scott Investment. The whole letter smells of fraud. I will not even respond to it.
I did get their catalog, and I tossed it because I don’t need debt mediation services. I’ve gotten a lot of phone messages along similar lines, but I never answer the phone unless I recognize the number. I certainly won’t call them, or anyone with a similar name, even if we do someday need financial services.
Update 2013/02/18: I got an almost identical notice except that the address is 15950 North Dallas Pkwy Ste 400 Dallas TX 75248, which is also the address on mailings from American Debt Mediators. It’s another final notice. There’s a different reference number, but otherwise the same pitch. See Debt Mediation Scam 2 for more on ADM.