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How to Start a Credit Repair Business

in

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Cost of starting a credit repair business

Roughly $200

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Bond Requirement

$0 - A bond is not required in this state

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Potential average profit

$20,000 monthly

Credit Repair Laws in Mississippi

There are federal and state laws for Mississippi. You should be aware of both.

Federal Laws

The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) is a federal law passed in September 1996 that regulates organizations whose purpose is increasing consumer’s credit score through credit repair. One of the most important things the CROA did is make it illegal for credit repair organizations to make false claims. Don’t worry though, staying compliant is pretty easy after you get familiar with the law! This law is moderated and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so the FTC has the authority to close down any credit repair organizations that are operating outside the parameters of these laws (like fraudulent or illegal activities).

The main sections include mandates that:

  • You can’t misrepresent your services (no false claims about what you will do for the client and definitely no promise of working and then not doing the work).
  • You must provide a written contract between you and the client that the client signs.
  • Your clients have three days to cancel the contract.
  • You can’t charge until services are rendered (most companies will do some initial document processing and then charge the client for the work they have just done).
  • Consumers can sue and get refunded all money paid (plus legal fees and damages)  if the credit repair organization is found to have violated the CROA with that consumer.
  • State laws can’t change or render any of the CROA ineffective.

Simply put, these laws were put in place to protect people from credit repair companies using scammy business practices. As long as you’re not trying to be sketchy and scam people, you should be able to stay compliant easily!

To read the Credit Repair Organizations Act in full, visit the United States House of Representatives’ record of the act here.

State Laws

Mississippi has laws that govern how to start (and run!) a credit repair business in Mississippi. Here are the relevant regulations and Mississippi laws governing credit repair businesses that you need to be aware of:

Mississippi State Laws

MS ST § 81-22-3
Chapter 22. Mississippi Debt Management Services Act

Title 81. Banks and Financial Institutions Chapter 22. Mississippi Debt Management Services Act (Refs & Annos)

§ 81-22-1. Short title

This chapter may be known and cited as the "Mississippi Debt Management Services Act."

 

§ 81-22-3. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Banking and Consumer Finance of the State of Mississippi .
(b) "Debt management service" means:
(i) The receiving of money from a consumer for the purpose of distributing one or more payments to or among one or more creditors of the consumer in full or partial payment of the consumer's obligation;
(ii) Arranging or assisting a consumer to arrange for the distribution of one or more payments to or among one or more creditors of the consumer in full or partial payment of the consumer's obligation;
(iii) Exercising control, directly or indirectly, or arranging for the exercise of control over funds of the consumer for the purpose of distributing payments to or among one or more creditors of the consumer;
(iv) Acting or offering to act as an intermediary between a consumer and one or more creditors of the consumer for the purpose of adjusting, compromising, negotiating, settling, discharging or otherwise deferring, reducing or altering the terms of payment of the consumer's obligation; or
(v) Improving or offering to improve a consumer's credit record, history or rating.
(c) "Debt management service provider" means a person that provides or offers to provide to a consumer in this state any debt management services, in return for a fee or other consideration. "Debt management service provider" does not include:
(i) Those situations involving debt adjusting incurred incidentally in the lawful practice of law in this state;
(ii) Title insurers who adjust debts out of escrow funds only incidentally in the regular course of their principal business;
(iii) Judicial officers or others acting under court orders;
(iv) Those situations involving debt adjusting incurred incidentally in connection with the lawful practice as a certified public accountant;
(v) Bona fide trade or mercantile associations in the course of arranging adjustment of debts with business establishments;
(vi) Employers who adjust debts for their employees;
(vii) Any person who, at the request of a debtor, makes a loan to the debtor, and who, at the authorization of the debtor, acts as an adjuster of the debtor's debts solely in the disbursement of the proceeds of the loan, without compensation for the services rendered in adjusting the debts; or
(viii) Any institution that is regulated, supervised or licensed by the department or any out of state institution that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration.
(d) "Department" means the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance of the State of Mississippi .
(e) "Fair share contribution" means voluntary contributions paid to the licensee by the creditor for collecting funds from clients pursuant to debt management services.
(f) "Licensee" means a person or entity who is required to be licensed as a debt management service provider.
(g) "Person" means an individual or an organization.
(h) "Records" or "documents" means any item in hard copy or produced in a format of storage commonly described as electronic, imaged, magnetic, microphotographic or otherwise, and any reproduction so made shall have the same force and effect as the original thereof and be admitted in evidence equally with the original.
(i) "Third-party payment processor" means any entity that holds, or has access to, or can effectuate possession of, by any means, the monies of a licensee's debtors, or distributes, or is in the chain or distribution of such monies, to the creditors of such debtors, pursuant to an agreement or contract with the licensee. This term shall not include entities that solely provide the electronic routing and settlement of financial transactions and their sponsoring banks.

 

§ 81-22-5. Licensure and annual relicensure

(1) Licensure and relicensure. No person or entity may act as a debt management service provider with respect to consumers who are residents of this state without a license issued under this chapter. The license application must be in a form prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner may refuse the application if it contains erroneous or incomplete information. A license may not be issued unless the commissioner, upon investigation, finds that the financial soundness and responsibility, insurance coverage, consumer education programs and services component, character and fitness of the applicant and, when applicable, its partners, officers or directors, warrant belief that the business will be operated honestly and fairly within the purposes of this chapter. Each license shall remain in full force and effect until relinquished, suspended, revoked or expired. With each initial application for a license, the applicant shall pay to the commissioner a license fee of Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars ($750.00), and on or before December 31 of each year thereafter, an annual renewal fee of Four Hundred Seventy-five Dollars ($475.00). If the annual renewal fee remains unpaid after December 31, the license shall expire. If any person engages in business as provided for in this chapter without paying the license fee provided for in this subsection before beginning business or before the expiration of the person's current license, as the case may be, then the person shall be liable for the full amount of the license fee, plus a penalty in an amount not to exceed Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for each day that the person has engaged in such business without a license or after the expiration of a license. All licensing fees and penalties shall be paid into the Consumer Finance Fund of the department.

(2) Action on registration application. The commissioner shall take action on an application within thirty (30) days after the commissioner has accepted the application as complete. Upon written request, the applicant is entitled to a hearing on the question of the applicant's qualifications for license if the commissioner has notified the applicant in writing that the application has been denied or the commissioner has not issued a license within thirty (30) days after the application for the license was accepted as complete by the commissioner. A request for a hearing may not be made more than sixty (60) days after the application was accepted as complete or the commissioner has mailed a written notice to the applicant stating that the application has been denied and stating the reasons for the denial of the application.

 

§ 81-22-7. Bond required

To be eligible for a license, an applicant shall file with the commissioner a bond with good security in the penal sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), payable to the State of Mississippi for the faithful performance by the licensee of the duties and obligations pertaining to the business so licensed and the prompt payment of any judgment that may be recovered against the licensee on account of charges or other claims arising directly or collectively from any violation of the provisions of this chapter. The applicant may file, in lieu of the bond, cash, a certificate of deposit or government bonds in the amount of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00). Those deposits shall be filed with the commissioner and are subject to the same terms and conditions as are provided for in the surety bond required in this paragraph. Any interest or earnings on those deposits are payable to the depositor.

 

§ 81-22-9. Handling of consumer funds

(1) Funds deposited in escrow account. The debt management service provider shall deposit, within two (2) business days of receipt, all funds received from or on behalf of a consumer for payment to a creditor or creditors in a federally insured escrow account for the benefit of the consumer in a supervised financial organization. Any escrow account established to receive consumer funds is free from trustee process and unavailable to creditors of the debt management service provider.

(2) Requirements for handling of funds. The debt management service provider shall:
(a) Maintain separate records of account for each consumer receiving debt management services;
(b) Remit funds received from or on behalf of a consumer to the consumer's creditor or creditors within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the funds; and
(c) Correct or remedy any misdirected payments resulting from an error by the debt management service provider and reimburse the consumer for any actual costs or fees imposed by a creditor as a result of such misdirection.

(3) Commingling of funds. The debt management service provider may not commingle escrow accounts established for the benefit of consumers with any operating accounts of the debt management service provider.

 

§ 81-22-11. Requirement for written agreement

(1) Written agreement. A debt management service provider may not perform debt management services for a consumer unless the consumer and the debt management service provider first have executed a written agreement with regard to the debt management services to be provided. A copy of the completed agreement must be given to the consumer.

(2) Required provisions. Each agreement between a consumer and a debt management service provider must be dated and signed by the consumer and must include the following:
(a) The name and address of the consumer and the debt management service provider;
(b) A full description of the services to be performed for the consumer, any fees to be charged to the consumer for those services and any contributions, fees or charges the consumer has agreed to make or pay to the debt management service provider;
(c) Disclosure of the existence of the surety bond on file with the commissioner under Section 81-22-7 and a notice that the consumer may contact the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance at P.O. Box 23729, Jackson, MS 39225-3729 or 1-800-844-2499 with any questions or complaints regarding the debt management service provider;
(d) The identification of the federally insured institution where funds remitted by a consumer for payment to one or more creditors will be held;
(e) The right of a party to cancel the agreement by providing a written notice of cancellation to the other party;
(f) A complete list of the consumer's obligations that are subject to the agreement and the names and addresses of the creditors holding those obligations;
(g) A full description and schedule of the periodic amounts to be remitted to the debt management service provider for payment to the consumer's creditor or creditors and the amounts to be remitted to each creditor;
(h) A notice to the consumer that by executing the agreement the consumer authorizes the federally insured institution to disclose financial records relating to the escrow account in which the consumer's funds are held under Section 81-22-9 to the commissioner during the course of any examination of the debt management service provider by the commissioner; and
(i) The following notice:

NOTICE TO CONSUMER: Do not sign this agreement before you read it. You must be given a copy of this agreement.

 

§ 81-22-13. Fees charged to the consumer

A debt service management provider may only charge a consumer the following fees for providing debt management services:
(a) A maintenance fee not to exceed Thirty Dollars ($30.00) per month after a consumer has received a free initial counseling session;
(b) A one-time setup fee not to exceed Seventy-five Dollars ($75.00);
(c) A fee for obtaining the consumer's credit report not to exceed Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) for an individual report or Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for a joint report; and
(d) A fee not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for educational courses/products that will assist the consumer in achieving financial stability. Products shall be educational in nature and may include, but not be limited to, the following topics: Home Buyer Education, Financial Literacy Education, and Credit Report Review. However, the consumer must be informed that those courses and products are not a mandatory condition to receive debt management services.
(e) A bankruptcy consultation fee, not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per consumer, may be charged by nonprofit credit counseling agencies approved by the U.S. Trustees pursuant to 11 USC Section 111.

 

§ 81-22-15. Reports and records

(1) Written reports to consumers. A debt management service provider shall provide to each consumer receiving debt management services periodic written reports accounting for funds received from the consumer for payment to the consumer's creditor or creditors whose obligations are listed in the consumer's agreement with the debt management service provider and disbursements made to each such creditor on the consumer's behalf since the last report. The debt management service provider shall provide those reports to the consumer not less than once each calendar quarter.

(2) Maintenance of records. Any person required to be licensed under this chapter shall maintain in its offices, or such other location as the department permits, the books, accounts and records necessary for the department to determine whether or not the person is complying with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations adopted by the department under this chapter. These books, accounts and records shall be maintained apart and separate from any other business in which the person is involved. A debt management service provider shall maintain books and records for each consumer for whom it provides debt management services for six (6) years following the final transaction with the consumer.

(3) Verification of Payments to Creditors. Licensees that participate in fair share contributions with creditors shall maintain records that reflect client accounts were credited for the full amount of any payments due and not the net amount as a result of a fair share contribution. Such records may consist of either a copy of the client's statement from the creditor or the licensee may send a monthly or quarterly statement to clients that reflect payments remitted to creditors.

(4) Within fifteen (15) days of the occurrence of any of the following events, a licensee shall file a written report with the commissioner describing the event and its expected impact on the activities on the licensee's business in this state:
(a) The filing for bankruptcy or reorganization by the licensee;
(b) The institution of revocation or suspension proceedings against the licensee by any state or governmental authority; or
(c) Any felony indictment or conviction of the licensee or any of its directors or principal officers.

 

§ 81-22-17. Powers and functions of commissioner

The commissioner may exercise the following powers and functions:
(a) Complaint investigation. The commissioner may receive and act on complaints, take action to obtain voluntary compliance with this chapter or refer cases to the Attorney General, who shall appear for and represent the commissioner in court.
(b) Rules. The commissioner may adopt reasonable administrative regulations, not inconsistent with law, for the enforcement of this chapter.
(c) Examination of licensees. To assure compliance with the provisions of this chapter, the department may examine the books and records of any licensee without notice during normal business hours. The commissioner shall charge the licensee an examination fee in an amount not less than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) nor more than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) for each office or location within the State of Mississippi, plus any actual expenses incurred while examining the licensee's records or books that are located outside the State of Mississippi. However, in no event shall a licensee be examined more than once in a two-year period unless for cause shown based upon consumer complaint and/or other exigent reasons as determined by the commissioner.
(d) Examination of nonlicensees. The department, its designated officers and employees, or its duly authorized representatives, for the purposes of discovering violations of this chapter and for the purpose of determining whether any person or individual reasonably suspected by the commissioner of conducting business that requires a license under this chapter, may investigate those persons and individuals and examine all relevant books, records and papers employed by those persons or individuals in the transaction of business, and may summon witnesses and examine them under oath concerning matters as to the business of those persons, or other such matters as may be relevant to the discovery of violations of this chapter, including, without limitation, the conduct of business without a license as required under this chapter.

 

§ 81-22-19. Prohibited acts

A debt management service provider may not:
(a) Purchase debt. Purchase any debt or obligation of a consumer;
(b) Lend money. Lend money or provide credit to any consumer;
(c) Mortgage interest. Obtain a mortgage or other security interest in property of a consumer;
(d) Debt collector. Operate as a debt collector in this state; or
(e) Negative amortization. Structure an agreement for the consumer that, at the conclusion of the projected term for the consumer's participation in the debt management service agreement, would result in negative amortization of any of the consumer's obligations to creditors.

 

§ 81-22-21. Advertising

(1) False advertising. A debt management service provider may not engage in this state in false or misleading advertising concerning the terms and conditions of any services or assistance offered.

(2) Required words. A debt management service provider may not advertise its services in Mississippi in any media disseminated primarily in this state, whether print or electronic, without the words "Licensed Debt Management Service Provider."

(3) Dissemination; no liability. This section does not impose liability on the owner or personnel of any medium in which an advertisement appears or through which an advertisement is disseminated.

§ 81-22-23. Effects of violations on rights of parties

(1) Violations; unfair, unconscionable or deceptive practices. A debt management service provider that violates any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted by the commissioner, or that through any unfair, unconscionable or deceptive practice causes actual damage to a consumer is subject to enforcement action under subsection (2) of this section.

(2) Enforcement actions. The following enforcement actions may be taken by the commissioner or an aggrieved consumer against a debt management service provider for violations of any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter, or for unfair, unconscionable or deceptive practices that cause actual damage to a consumer:
(a) When the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that a person is violating any provision of this chapter, the commissioner, in addition to and without prejudice to the authority provided elsewhere in this chapter, may enter an order requiring the person to stop or to refrain from the violation. The commissioner may sue in any chancery court of the state having jurisdiction and venue to enjoin the person from engaging in or continuing the violation or from doing any act in furtherance of the violation. In such an action, the court may enter an order or judgment awarding a preliminary or permanent injunction;
(b) The commissioner may, after notice and hearing, impose a civil penalty against any licensee if the licensee, individual required to be registered, or employee is adjudged by the commissioner to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter. The civil penalty shall not exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per violation and shall be deposited into the Consumer Finance Fund of the department;
(c) The state may enforce its rights under the surety bond as required in Section 81-22-7 as an available remedy for the collection of any civil penalties, criminal fines or costs of investigation and/or prosecution incurred;
(d) A civil action by an aggrieved consumer in which that consumer has the right to recover actual damages from the debt management service provider in an amount determined by the court plus costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees; or
(e) Revocation, suspension or nonrenewal of the debt management service provider's license under Section 81-22-25.

 

§ 81-22-25. Suspension or revocation of registration

(1) Suspension or revocation. After notice and hearing, the commissioner may suspend or revoke a debt management service provider's license if the commissioner finds that one of the conditions of subsection (2) of this section is met.

(2) Conditions for suspension or revocation. The following conditions are grounds for suspension or revocation of a registration:
(a) A fact or condition exists that, if it had existed at the time when the licensee applied for a license, would have been grounds for denying the application;
(b) The licensee knowingly violates a material provision of this chapter or rule or order validly adopted by the commissioner under authority of this chapter;
(c) The licensee is insolvent;
(d) The licensee refuses to permit the commissioner to make an examination authorized by this chapter; or
(e) The licensee fails to respond within a reasonable time and in an appropriate manner to communications from the commissioner.

 

§ 81-22-27. Commissioner authorized to hire additional full-time employees

The commissioner may employ the necessary full-time employees above the number of permanent full-time employees authorized for the department for the fiscal year 2003, to carry out and enforce the provisions of this chapter. The commissioner also may expend the necessary funds and equip and provide necessary travel expenses for those employees.

 

§ 81-22-28. Third party payment processors; utilization; regulation

(1) If a licensee seeks to utilize a third-party payment processor, to hold, have access to, effectuate possession of, by any means, or to distribute or be in the chain of distribution of the monies of another licensee's consumers, the licensee shall give the Department of Banking and Consumer Finance ten (10) days' written notice.

(2) Such notice shall contain the name and address of the third-party payment processor, a description of the services, a copy of the agreement or contract between the licensee and the third-party payment processor and the highest daily amount of consumer funds to be held or transmitted. The third-party payment processor shall submit to the department, upon request, the highest daily amount held or transmitted during the previous month.

(3) Each third-party payment processor shall file with the commissioner a surety bond, issued by a bonding company or insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Mississippi, in the principal sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) and in an additional principal sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) for each additional licensee it contracts with, but in no event shall the bond be required to be in excess of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000.00). In lieu of the surety bond, a third-party payment processor may file other assets such as cash, a certificate of deposit or government bonds.

(4) A licensee shall not use a third-party payment processor until the licensee receives written notice from the department confirming that the department has received a surety bond or other assets from the third-party payment processor.

(5) Prior to performing any of its services, the third-party payment processor shall provide written authorization for the department to examine all books, records, documents and materials, including those maintained in electronic form, as they relate to the consumers' monies held by, or distributed by the third-party payment processor to the creditors of the consumers and shall have received written confirmation from the department that the written authorization is sufficient. The cost of the examination shall be paid by the licensee.

(6) All agreements or contracts between a licensee and a third-party payment processor shall provide for a thirty-day written notice of termination to the party against whom termination is being sought. A licensee shall immediately notify the department in writing of the notice of termination.

(7) In the event a licensee elects to maintain cash, a certificate of deposit or government bonds on deposit, and utilizes the services of a third-party payment processor, there is no requirement that the third-party payment processor obtain a surety bond or maintain other assets on deposit with the department.

 

§ 81-22-29. Repealed by Laws 2006, Ch. 398, § 18, eff. July 1, 2006

 

§ 81-22-31. Repeal of chapter 

Case Law
I identified no significant cases construing this statutes.

For additional information about starting a credit repair company in [STATE] contact your state or an attorney.

Requirements for Surety Bond for Credit Repair Business in Mississippi

A BOND IS NOT REQUIRED IN MISSISSIPPI.

Statute of Limitation on Debt in Mississippi

Mississippi credit repair businesses must be knowledgeable about the statute of limitation governing debt in Mississippi because this will guide your business decisions and enable you to best help your clients. The statue of limitations essentially limits the time that a creditor can legally sue a consumer for payments for a debt. Statutes of Limitation (SOL) do vary by state and debt type. In general, it is usually between 3 to 6 years, but sometimes longer.

To learn more about the statute of limitation laws for your state, click here.

Mississippi Credit Repair License

We’re not aware of a state requirement for a “credit repair license” to operate a credit repair business in Mississippi. However, many find getting training and a certification useful because it:

  • Conveys competence to prospective clients
  • Helps gain the trust of clients
  • Arms you with the training and tools you need to help clients and build a recurring revenue model

The American Credit Repair Academy http://try.creditrepaircloud.com/academy/; offers training, resources, and credit repair certification

Market Potential for a Mississippi Credit Repair Business

Market Temperature:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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Percentage Of Credit Reports That Have Errors

79%

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Total Number of People Living In Mississippi

2.989 million

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Average Debt on Credit Report

$5,700

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Percent of Population With Credit Scores Below 700

44.3%

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Percent of home buyers getting a mortgage for their home purchase

88%

How to Profit with a Credit Repair Business in Mississippi

1. Start

  • Get a powerful CRM that handles your business for you
  • Train and learn about the business
  • Create a professional website
  • Market your business to new clients

2. Run

Use software to automate the tasks of a credit repair business in Mississippi:

  • Import clients’ credit reports
  • Generate dispute letters in seconds
  • Manage recurring payments and affiliate programs

3. Grow

  • Capture new lead and close more deals
  • Use the data you gather to scale your business
  • Automate more functions: signature capture, payment integrations, meeting scheduling, and more

All of this is available with Credit Repair Cloud

TRY IT FREE!

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a business license to operate my credit repair business in Mississippi?
If you wish to do business in Mississippi you will either need a certificate of authority (companies formed in other states) or register through the Business One Stop Shop site as a domestic business (for companies formed and operating under Mississippi laws).
How easy is it to start a credit repair business in Mississippi?
The state of Mississippi provides you with many resources for starting your credit repair business. For an at-a-glance feel for the credit repair market in your area, you can click on Mississippi’s interactive heat map for activity in the credit industry. You can also meet with a coach or attend workshops through your local Mississippi Small Business Development Council. It is simple to start a credit repair business in any state once you have the right credit repair software as it automates the busy work and guides you and your clients through the entire credit repair process.

What Other Credit Repair Businesses Say

ROB Y

Laredo, TX

We have a tax preparation business. My partner and I decided to branch out into credit repair. Credit Repair Cloud now helps us to build our customer base for the tax business. It is a wonderful tool for lead generation. Credit-Aid provides superior customer service. You have gained a customer for life!
testimonials-bob.jpg

MANAL MASSIS

Houston, TX

I love your system! This was the best investment ever and the customer service with Credit Repair Cloud is excellent. You have a very good team. I wish companies were just like you. I've tried everybody out there and your system is very powerful. Thank you for helping me. God bless you!
MANAL MASSIS

Join our next free training!

How to Quickly Start a Profitable Credit Repair Business

MINUTESSECONDS
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Secret 1

How Credit Repair is the LOWEST COST & MOST PROFITABLE business you can launch. . .

Secret 2

How our step-by-step “Dispute Process Blueprint” gives you EASY Credit Repair Results without being a credit expert. . .

Secret 3

How our easy method gets you UNLIMITED Clients without paying for advertising. . .

Legal disclaimer: Our software products and resources offer credit information, not legal advice. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However, we do not provide legal advice (i.e.; the application of the law to your individual circumstances). For legal advice, please consult an attorney, your city or your state.