Attorney General Chris Carr recently announced a $145,750 settlement with Above 701, Inc. and its sole owner and operator, Darius Williams, alleging that they violated the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act by operating an illegal credit repair business.
According to Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 16-9-59), the practice of credit repair, which is the marketing or selling of services aimed at improving a buyer’s credit record, history or rating, with unpredictable results, is generally illegal in the state of Georgia. In addition to alleging that Above 701 violated the aforementioned provision of the law, the Attorney General’s Office alleges that the company further violated Georgia law by:
- requesting and accepting payment from consumers for its credit repair services before those services were provided; and
- making misleading claims that it could get bankruptcies and debts permanently deleted from consumers’ credit reports, without adequately disclosing that negative credit information cannot be erased from a consumer’s credit report if the information is accurate.
In resolution of these allegations, Above 701 has entered into a consent judgment with the Attorney General’s Office requiring it to, among other things:
- cease all current business operations in the State of Georgia
- cease from advertising, offering, selling or engaging in credit repair services in the State of Georgia or to Georgia residents;
- provide consumer restitution in the amount of $110,000; and
- pay a $35,750 civil penalty to the State, $10,000 of which will be waived if the company fully complies with the terms of the settlement.
Refunds for Consumers
Anyone who paid Above 701, Inc. or Darius Williams for credit repair services may be entitled to compensation under the settlement and should fill out and submit a prescribed claim form, along with supporting documentation, to the Georgia Department of Law. Claim forms must be postmarked, faxed or hand-delivered no later than 5:00 pm EDT on June 2, 2020 to be considered for restitution.
Claims must be submitted by or on behalf of identified consumers who:
- can demonstrate that they made a payment to Above 701, Inc. or Darius Williams for credit repair services; and
- have not received full refunds for the payments from the parties named above or from a third party.
Filing a Claim
Consumers can download a claim form here.
Completed claims should be faxed to the Georgia Department of Law-Consumer Protection Division at (404) 651-9018, sent via mail or overnight delivery, or hand-delivered to:
Georgia Department of Law-Consumer Protection Division
ATTN: Above 701 Restitution Program
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., Suite 356
Atlanta, GA 30334-9077
Claims must be postmarked, hand-delivered or faxed no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on June 2, 2020.