DALLAS (CBS 11 I-TEAM) – Chris Green says he tired of listening to the phone ring and ring. He’s been trying to reach someone at Credit Alliance Group of Dallas for months. CBS 11 watched him sit on hold for about 20-minutes waiting for someone to pick up and explain where his money is.
“I have no idea how to get it back or where to get it from, “ says Greer.READ MORE: Day 2 Of The State Fair Of Texas Brings Visitors Fun, Football & Fried Food
“It’s not right. It’s not fair in any way, shape or form.”
Several years ago, Greer signed a contract with Credit Alliance Group. The company’s website, at the time, described it as a “financial hardship program” that “negotiates a lump sum” “with your creditors.”
Greer paid into a monthly account and built up several thousand dollars. He says Credit Alliance Group used the money to settle two of his debts.
“They stopped helping. They disappeared. They continued to cash my monthly check and nothing was being resolved.”
And, Greer is apparently not alone. In the last few weeks, we’ve received several emails from customers all over the country making similar complaints against the company that, at one time, had promised to help them out of financial troubles.
The I-team first began investigating Credit Alliance Group last August. Customers, like George Spray, said they were paying the company, but it wasn’t paying their creditors.
“They take the money and run without doing what they say they’re going to do, “ explained Spray at the time.
Back then, CBS 11 tracked down the business and its owner in a downtown Dallas high rise. We learned the company had legal trouble in other states. Eventually Garner’s attorney told us Garner had no comment, but he sent refunds to the customers who complained to us.
Fast forward seven months and we’re hearing from angry customers again.READ MORE: No Injuries Reported After Propane Tank Explosion At Texas Motor Speedway
But when we headed back downtown for more answers at the Credit Alliance Group office, we found the door locked. Inside you could see dead flowers on the receptionist stand. The pictures on the walls were down. The one-time call center still had tables but no sign of anyone working.
A woman at the front desk of the building’s management office told CBS 11 Credit Alliance Group had been “locked out” a “couple of weeks ago.”
We then went to Garner’s house where the I-Team learned he had recently moved out and sold.
The Credit Alliance Group website is now shut down.
And while Shane Garner hasn’t returned our calls, he told the Better Business Bureau to stop sending emails. In an email to the BBB, he wrote “Credit Alliance Group is no longer in business.”
Customers, like Greer, tell us they are now looking for the thousands of dollars they paid into their escrow accounts.
“Sadly it’s very common, “ says Todd Mark, Vice President of Education at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Dallas.
“First and foremost, anytime somebody is asking for money up front, before a service is provided or a service is guaranteed that they can’t do, you should walk away because you’re about to be fleeced.”
April is Financial Literacy Month. CCCS is offering 100 free webinars for people looking for help. Mark says the CCCS provides almost all the services that companies like Credit Alliance Group offer. Mark says the difference is at CCCS, “It’s free.”
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