United Debt Counselors describes themselves on their website as a debt settlement service that’s been in business for more than seven years. Located in Plano, Texas, they provide debt relief services in 19 states. However, the FTC sued United Debt Counselors in 2017 alleging that they used deceptive practices in their marketing techniques, misled consumers, and violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by taking fees in advance before negotiating credit card debts on behalf of consumers.
Deceptive Direct Mail and Marketing Speeches
The FTC alleged that United Debt Counselors used direct mail to reach 100.000 consumers each week. They also stated that the defendant used marketing techniques that misled consumers into believing that the letter was from an attorney or a bank. The direct mail piece informed consumers that typical customers of the company were debt free within three years and that the company was able to cut their credit card debt in half.
Similar claims were made on the website in 2017 and told potential clients that they would be set-up with a special savings account that the customers could control. However, the FTC alleged that the defendants accessed the savings accounts to withdraw monthly fees.