BoostMyScore.net, A Credit Repair Company, Settles Charges It Deceived Consumers By Telling Consumers “Piggybacking” on Others’ Credit Could Boost Scores
Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is making consumers aware that on March 9, 2020, the FTC announced that a Colorado-based credit repair company, BoostMyScore.net, and its owner have agreed to settle FTC charges they mislead consumers with promises to “drastically and immediately” improve credit scores and increase access to lower rates on mortgages.
In its complaint against the operators of BoostMyScore.net (“BMS”), the FTC alleged that the defendants guaranteed consumers that, in exchange for fees ranging from $325 to $4,000, they could “piggyback” on unrelated consumers’ good credit, artificially inflating their own credit score in the process.
In piggybacking, according to the FTC, a consumer pays to be listed on another person’s well-maintained credit account, ostensibly receiving the benefit of the good account on their own credit even though they cannot access the account. In this case, allegedly, the defendants charged struggling consumers steep, illegal fees and made unsupported promises about how piggybacking would pave the way to new credit, including mortgages and other loan products.
According to the FTC’s complaint, BMS made unwarranted promises in various advertisements that consumers’ credit scores would increase by anywhere from 100 to 120 points over two to six weeks. Allegedly, BMS also charged consumers upfront for the credit repair services they offered, which is illegal under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (“CROA”). The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the FTC Act, CROA, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”).
Under the terms of the proposed settlement with the FTC that will be filed with the court, BoostMyScore, LLC, BMS, Inc., and William O. Airy will be prohibited from selling fake access to another consumer’s credit as an authorized user and from collecting advance fees for credit repair services, as well as other violations of CROA. They will also be prohibited from misrepresenting a product or service as being legal, as well as from misrepresenting the terms of a refund or return policy. The defendants also will be banned from further violations of the TSR. The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of $6,630,678, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $64,863 due to the defendants’ inability to pay. Should the defendants be found to have misrepresented their financial condition, the full judgment would be immediately payable.