Debt settlement company investigated by news station

A California debt settlement agency was recently investigated by a news station in Virginia for bilking financially troubled consumers out of thousands of dollars.

An 80-year-old woman and her daughter were allegedly ripped off by the California-based debt settlement company Nuhavens Consumer Advocacy Group in December 2009, according to a report from Norfolk, Virginia, television station WTKR. This came after a company representative called the family and said it could settle their $25,000 credit card debt. Now, the family is $8,000 deeper in debt because Nuhavens did not deliver on its promises.

The company allegedly took nearly $3,600 from the family as a retainer and fees after the family signed a contract, the report said. In addition, the family says Nuhavens took another $800 per month despite not reducing their credit card debt even slightly.

“Don’t talk to them, hang up the phone, tell them not to call again,” Brigette Musial, one of the family members, told the news station.

Many debt settlement companies make promises that they cannot back up, and often charge a fee of several thousand dollars prior to rendering any services.