Court Order Bars Credit Repair Company from Misleading Credit Bureaus, Charging Consumers Up-Front Fees for Its Services

 

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  – A court case involving a company based in Texas could affect the way consumers on Staten Island and across the nation are treated by credit-repair companies, so Victory State Bank wants its friends and neighbors to know about it.

The Texas-based business, RMCN Credit Services Inc, which is owned and operated by a husband and wife team,  has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated federal law by lying to consumer reporting agencies, often referred to as “credit bureaus,” and charging consumers up-front fees before providing its services.

The court order settling the FTC’s complaint for civil penalties, which was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, bars the defendants from similar conduct in the future, imposes a $2.35 million civil penalty, and requires them to pay $400,000.

“The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) protects both individual consumers and the integrity of the credit reporting system,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC will take action against unscrupulous credit repair companies whether they violate CROA by deceiving consumers or by lying to credit bureaus.”

In itscomplaint, filed in October 2011, the FTC charged that RMCN Credit Services, Inc. and its owners, Doug and Julie Parker, violated CROA by charging up-front fees for a six-month program to improve consumers’ credit ratings and by making numerous false statements to credit bureaus disputing the accuracy of negative information in consumers’ credit reports. In letters to credit bureaus designed to appear as if they were from consumers, but which RMCN did not show consumers, the firm typically disputed all negative information in credit reports, regardless of the information’s accuracy.

The FTC alleged RMCN, one of the nation’s largest credit repair companies, continued to send these deceptive dispute letters to credit bureaus even after the company received detailed billing histories or signed contracts from creditors proving the credit reports were accurate. RMCN also falsely told consumers that federal law allowed it to dispute accurate credit report information, and that credit bureaus must “prove it or remove it.” It also charged consumers up to $2,000 before providing any service.

Thecourt order, to which the defendants have agreed, bars RMCN and its ownersfrom violating any provision of CROA, and specifically from making untrue or misleading statements to consumer reporting agencies and charging consumers advance fees for credit repair services. The order prohibits defendants from sending letters to consumer reporting agencies or creditors unless consumers review and attest to the accuracy of the letters. It also requires RMCN to send letters to all existing customers notifying them of the FTC’s suit and offering them a right to cancel their contract with RMCN and owe no money to the company. In addition, the order prohibits defendants from making misrepresentations regarding the sale of any goods or services to consumers, including the sale of financial-related products or services.

The order imposes a $2.35 million civil penalty against the defendants, which will be partially suspended based on an inability to pay, after they tender a total of $400,000, in two installments, within nine months of when the court enters the order. Finally, for 10 years the company must submit reports to the FTC to ensure it is complying with the terms of the order.

Information for Consumers

Additional information for consumers is available regardingcredit repairandrepairing your own crediton the FTC’s website.

The Commission vote approving the proposed court order was 5-0. The Department of Justice filed the proposed consent decree on behalf of the Commission in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on June 18, 2014, and it is subject to court approval. The order settles all charges against RMCN Credit Services, Inc. and Doug and Julie Parker, individually and as officers of the corporation.

NOTE:Settlement orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited onlinehttp://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

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Consider the Activity of Your Enterprise Before Deciding on a Business Location

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The location of your business could be a major factor in its success or failure.

As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank is suggesting that business owners consider the activity of their enterprise before opening or relocating their enterprise.

The bank points to the following questions offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a means of narrowing your location choices:

  • Do your customers come to you?
  • Do you have to go to your customers?
  • Do you have employees?
  • Do you manufacture products for distribution?

 

The SBA suggests that business owners consider the following:

  • If your type of business depends heavily upon pedestrian or drive-by traffic, such as a florist, gift shop, or clothing boutique, you'll want to seek popular retail locations, such as a downtown area or a mall, where there are few restrictions on signs that can help attract passing customers.
  • If customers typically seek your type of business, such as a child care service, beauty salon, or fitness center, you'll want to find space that is easily accessible from population centers, major roads and public transportation.
  • If your customers do not typically come to you, other location factors may be more important than physical proximity to your customers.
  • For example, if you conduct much of your business online, establishing a home-based business might be more desirable and economical than leasing commercial office space.
  • If you manufacture products for distribution, an ideal location might be an industrial park near major transportation ports.

For additional SBA information on determining the best location for your business, log onto http://www.sba.gov/content/tips-choosing-business-location.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited onlinehttp://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Seniors Need To Know Warning Signs of Fraud

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Victory State Bank recommends that senior citizens learn how to shield themselves from fraud schemes.

According to the FBI, senior citizens should be aware of fraud schemes for the following reasons:

 

  • Senior citizens are most likely to have a "nest egg," to own their home, and/or to have excellent credit—all of which make them attractive to con artists.
  • People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say "no" or just hang up the telephone.
  • Older Americans are less likely to report a fraud because they don't know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or don’t know they have been scammed. Elderly victims may not report crimes, for example, because they are concerned that relatives may think the victims no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs.
  • When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators. In addition, the victims' realization that they have been swindled may take weeks—or more likely, months—after contact with the fraudster. This extended time frame makes it even more difficult to remember details from the events.
  • Senior citizens are more interested in and susceptible to products promising increased cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties, and so on. In a country where new cures and vaccinations for old diseases have given every American hope for a long and fruitful life, it is not so unbelievable that the con artists’ products can do what they claim.

 

For additional information on how to protect yourself and your family fraudsters, log onto http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/seniors.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited onlinehttp://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Victory State Banks Casts Spotlight on International Data-Stealing Malware

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Victory State Bank wants local business owners and consumers to be aware of GameOver Zeus, an extremely sophisticated type of malware designed specifically to steal banking and other credentials from the computers it infects. It’s predominately spread through spam e-mail or phishing messages.

The good news is On June 2, 2014, the Department of Justice and the FBI announced a multinational effort to disrupt the GameOver Zeus botnet, believed to be responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from businesses and consumers in the U.S. and around the world.

Also announced was the unsealing of criminal charges in Pittsburgh and Omaha against alleged botnet administrator Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev of Anapa, Russian Federation.

Unbeknownst to their rightful owners, the infected computers become part of a global network of compromised computers known as a botnet—a powerful online tool that cyber criminals can use for their own nefarious purposes. In the case of GameOver Zeus, its primary purpose is to capture banking credentials from infected computers, then use those credentials to initiate or re-direct wire transfers to accounts overseas that are controlled by the criminals. Losses attributable to GameOver Zeus are estimated to be more than $100 million.

Unlike earlier Zeus variants, GameOver has a decentralized, peer-to-peer command and control infrastructure rather than centralized points of origin, which means that instructions to the infected computers can come from any of the infected computers, making a takedown of the botnet more difficult – but not impossible.

Officials announced that in addition to the criminal charges in the case, the U.S. obtained civil and criminal court orders in federal court in Pittsburgh authorizing measures to sever communications between the infected computers, re-directing these computers away from criminal servers to substitute servers under the government’s control.

To find out more about the investigation and to learn the warning signs of a GameOver Zeus-infected computer, visit the FBI online at: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/june/gameover-zeus-botnet-disrupted.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited onlinehttp://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Don’t Be Fooled By Fake Government Officials

 

Staten Island’s only community-based business bank warns of thieves masquerading as federal employees

 

STATEN ISLAND. N.Y. -- Scammers sometimes pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money. According to the Federal Trade Commission, they might promise lottery winnings if you pay “taxes” or other fees, or they might threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit if you don’t pay a supposed debt. Regardless of their tactics, their goal is the same: To get you to send them money.

Don’t do it.

Victory State Bank wants our friends and neighbors to be aware of this FTC message: Federal government agencies and federal employees don’t ask people to send money for prizes or unpaid loans. Nor are they permitted to ask you to wire money or add money to a prepaid debit card to pay for anything.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank.  For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited onlinehttp://www.victorystatebank.com.

Media Contact:

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.