Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recently used the words “annoying” and “misleading” to describe the actions of an unscrupulous Florida company and its owner aimed at Arkansas consumers.

In fact, those consumers might be better described as a captive audience, given the business tactics engaged in by Associated Accounting Specialists Inc., which were recently condemned by a federal judge.

Those tactics centrally included so-called “robocalls” made on a massive scale that were ultimately determined to be, well, less than factually based.

Acting upon complaints from what he termed “countless consumers” within the state, McDaniel filed a federal lawsuit against Associated Accounting and other similarly operating parties, accusing them of false advertising.

The companies couldn’t back up their claims promising debt relief to consumers seeking help digging out from credit card charges, McDaniel charged.

The judge agreed, taking a number of actions against Associated Accounting and its owner. For starters, the court slapped a $90,000 civil fine on the defendants and additionally ordered that they pay court costs and restitution to victims. The judge also barred the defendants from making further telemarketing calls — whether pursuant to robocalling or from live agents — to any consumer in the United States. As a last measure, the court demanded that the defendants cease doing business entirely in any field related to debt relief marketing or services.

As most consumers well know, scammers operate in virtually every business realm. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous companies seem to gravitate toward the debt relief industry, knowing that many cash-strapped consumers are desperate for help. Bad-faith companies play upon those concerns and, as noted in the case of Associated Accounting Specialist, make claims they simply can’t back up.

Unlike such companies, a proven bankruptcy attorney commanding wide experience in debt relief matters truly has clients’ interests at heart, and is in fact under a professional duty to promote their best interests at all times.

American consumers have myriad choices in most matters. They must obviously take due care and make the right decisions when seeking help with financial challenges.

Source: LoanSafe.org, “Florida card company [sued]for offering phony credit card interest reduction services through robocalls,” Alex Ferreras, Jan. 3, 2014