Telemarketer Charged Over Credit Counseling Offer

A Florida-based telemarketing firm faces charges that it misled consumers with debt problems into paying excessive fees for credit counseling, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office said Friday.

Integrated Credit Solutions Inc., Largo, Florida, offered consumers the services of a nonprofit credit counseling organization, Lighthouse Credit Foundation, for an enrollment fee of $200 to $500 and a monthly fee of $38, according to the attorney general's office. The telemarketer failed to tell consumers it kept the entire enrollment fee and half the monthly fee, the attorney general's office charged.

ICS sent the offer to about 1 million consumers in Massachusetts via prerecorded message, the attorney general's office said. The message misled consumers into believing they would receive interest rates as low as 1.5 percent, when in fact they received no savings, according to the charges.

The attorney general's office seeks $1 million from ICS to offer restitution for the enrollment fees paid by about 3,000 consumers.

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