Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Commonwealth of Massachusetts file suits against credit-repair telemarketers
WASHINGTON , DC (May 22, 2020) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today jointly filed a lawsuit against Commonwealth Equity Group, LLC, which does business as Key Credit Repair, and Nikitas Tsoukales (also known as Nikitas Tsoukalis), Key Credit Repair’s president and owner. As alleged in the complaint, from 2016 through 2019 alone, Key Credit Repair enrolled nearly 40,000 consumers nationwide, and since 2011, it collected at least $23 million in fees from consumers. The Bureau alleges that in their telemarketing of credit-repair services, the defendants violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s (CFPA) prohibition against deceptive acts or practices and the Telemarketing Sales Rule’s (TSR) prohibitions on deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts or practices.
The Bureau and Massachusetts’s complaint, filed in the federal district court for the District of Massachusetts, specifically alleges that the defendants deceptively misrepresent that Key Credit Repair’s actions will or likely will result in a substantial increase to consumers’ credit scores and the removal of material negative entries on consumers’ credit reports when, in fact, in numerous instances, Key Credit Repair did not achieve those results. The Bureau alleges that those misrepresentations are deceptive acts or practices in violation of the CFPA and the TSR. The Bureau further alleges that Key Credit Repair and Tsoukalis engaged in abusive acts or practices in violation of the TSR by requesting and receiving payment for their credit-repair services before achieving the promised results and before giving consumers a consumer report more than six months after achieving the results to demonstrate the results. The Bureau further alleges that the alleged violations of the TSR also constitute violations of the CFPA.
The complaint seeks redress to consumers, an injunction, and the imposition of civil money penalties.
The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have violated the law.
The Bureau’s investigation was conducted in partnership with Massachusetts.
A copy of the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts is available here: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_commonwealth-equity-group-dba-key-credit-repair-nikitas-tsoukales_complaint.pdf.
About Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.