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Telemarketers under the gun in Arkansas

Robocalls are not just annoying - they may be illegal. Especially when they make claims to help you clean up bad credit, and they don't make good on their promises. A recent judgment for the state of Arkansas was a major win for Arkansas residents.

Associated Accounting Specialists, based out of Florida, was accused of violating telemarketing laws. They used automated calling to contact consumers that were on the "Do Not Call" registry. In addition, their calls were soliciting consumers to purchase interest-rate-reduction credit card services for debt relief. Customers claimed that the credit cards were "a rip-off."

The company was awarded penalties of $90,000, as well as $4,500 in fees and $998 in restitution. There are four other suits filed by the state of Arkansas against other Florida businesses that are accused of doing the same. This case may set the precedence for the others.

Despite the fact that the company did not make good on its promises to provide the relief they claimed, debt relief is much more complicated than moving high credit card balances to a lower interest credit card. Consumers that are deep in debt and tired of being harassed by creditors have other options. It is no fun worrying about how you are going to pay your bills.

Some people would never consider bankruptcy because they think it means they will never be able to have credit again. This is simply not true. Many people are able to get credit again a short time after the bankruptcy process is complete. Certain kinds of bankruptcies, such as a Chapter 7, can discharge most or all of a person's debt leaving them with a clean slate. Imagine not having to worry about those bills again. And once bankruptcy has been filed, all creditors' calls are halted.

Source: arkansasonline.com, "Arkansas wins judgment in 'robocall' suit" No author given, Dec. 27, 2013

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