Deeper in Debt Follow-up
Hank Investigates: Deeper in Debt Follow-up
Victim after victim told us the same story, financial disaster after they put their trust in credit counseling companies.
"Were you better off than when you started?"
"No, much worse."
Our investigation found some companies promising to help them pay off their bills, instead put them deeper in debt.
"My husband had to get a second job, I had to take my son out of day care."
Now this powerful Beacon Hill lawmaker says it’s time to weed out the bad guys.
St. Sen. Cheryl Jacques, (d) Needham
"There are predators out there who are not all interested in helping families get out of debt and in fact are looking to make money on vulnerable families."
As we showed, of 25 companies listed in the phone book, 21 are breaking the law. They're not properly registered with the attorney generals office. And though we found the A.G. has received dozens of complaints about these places, no action has been taken.
"Clearly the A.G.’s office knows these COS are operating illegally, what do you think about that?"
"There's no question the A.G. has to do more."
The A.G.'s office refuses to comment about the lack of enforcement, but Jacques’ post audit and oversight committee is now investigating the industry. The goal: to revamp state law and make sure consumers are protected.
"We know consumers are still at risk in this state and more has to be done."
If you've been harmed by a counseling company, Jacques investigators now want to hear your story. Check the information below on how to contact them. And the A.G.'s office told us they are also investigating several of these companies, but they said they won't release any more details.
To contact Senator Cheryl Jacques to report problems about credit counseling companies:
You can also report problems and file complaints against credit counseling companies with the MA Attorney General's Office: