BBB: Credit repair company uses state lines to bend rules - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

BBB: Credit repair company uses state lines to bend rules

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Getting out of credit trouble is not easy. However, there are laws that are designed to protect you from financial predators. 

WBTV is investigating a company that is, according to the Better Business Bureau, preying on desperate families and using state lines to bend the rules. 

Selemah Worthy thought she put her trust in the right company when she hired Tamara Johnson, of Johnson and Associates, to help with credit repair. 

"Oh she was saying all the right things, like bringing religion into everything, like god is going to take care of everything don't worry," Worthy said. 

Two years have gone by and Worthy says nothing has been done to improve her credit. Unfortunately, she paid up front and is out thousands of dollars. 

"It's almost like four thousand dollars," Worthy told WBTV.  

According to the Better Business Bureau, it's illegal for credit adjusters to take up-front payments in North Carolina. 

But here's the catch: Johnson and Associates is located just over the state line in South Carolina, where accepting money up-front is legal. 

In 2013, the BBB said it received four unresolved complaints against Johnson and Associates.

So WBTV decided to cross state lines and visit Tamara Johnson at her home office.

We ask about her practice and asked if her unsatisfied customers, like Selemah Worthy, will receive a refund.

"Um, I'm not sure at this time," Johnson said. "Once I close out a file, it takes a while for everything to run its course and get stuff back to be able to determine what she would receive back." 

Turns out, WBTV is not the only party looking into Johnson and Associates.  The BBB has alerted the Attorney General. 

"The AG has shown in the past that they are willing to go across state lines when North Carolina residents are being victimized, and that is exactly what is happening here," said Tom Bartholomy, Better Business Bureau. 

Currently no legal action has been taken. 

Selemah Worthy tells WBTV she is hoping to settle this matter outside of the courtroom. 

This year, Johnson and Associates was placed on the Better Business Bureau's "dirty dozen" list. 

The list is comprised of companies that have an "F" rating because of low customer satisfaction.

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