I do not disagree with the Southland BBB (labbb.org) that the industry in which I am employed, Debt Settlement, is crowded with joker-organizations who make grand assertions to customers that they can help resolve their unsecured debts for mere pennies on the dollar. Actually, this assertion wouldn't be fraudulent were it not for the lack of proper disclosure concerning the inherent risks associated with this aggressive alternative to bankruptcy.
The Debt Settlement industry has been around for several decades now and usually exists in total obscurity during brighter economic times. The demise of our credit markets, the overall downturn in our economy and recent changes in bankruptcy laws have brought much attention back to debt settlement arena and now, of course, the jokers and clowns have lined up to carve their pound of flesh from this rapidly expanding opportunity.
So what of the Southland BBB then? They summarily have issued an "F" rating to any company operating in this space. That means that a company who has been in business for several years and has never had a complaint go unresolved would still have an F rating no matter how ethical their practices. In a nutshell, if you read their cause for doing so, it is because they basically don't seem to like the nature of the business itself which as I mentioned before is an alternative to bankruptcy. So, why an F rating for everyone? I'll tell you why; at the healm of the BBB of the Southland is Bill Mitchell, who is a former board member of SpringBoard Credit Counseling, a competitor to our industry.
[The Consumer Credit Counseling industry is also no stranger to negative attention. Roughly a decade ago the 301-c non-profit status of the majority of these companies were found to be largely out of compliance and many firms were forced to close their doors.]
Bill Mitchell, I invite you to open your eyes and get better educated about this industry. I challenge you to swallow your pride and acknowledge that indeed there are many integrable settlement firms in Orange County that are engaged in perfectly sound, fair and honest business practices. If you think you are doing the public a service when their local BBB can't help them identify who the good-guys are among the bad guys, guess again Mr. Mitchell. It appears you are either sadly under-informed or ethically slighted by your own self-serving interests.
Orange County, California