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I Need Help Determining If This Is Safe

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 4:06 PMAmerican Investors Bank and Mortgage
I found an ad saying, "If you have good credit you can make $500 per month."  I replied requesting more information because I have extremely good credit.  Here is the email I got back:

"We are a law firm that fights banks to get home owners a loan modification. Because the banks don't like our business, they make it very hard for us to process credit cards. All of our names are attached to the business and they continually cut of our cash flow.  We need a new name with good credit to apply for a merchant account (allows us to process credit cards).  We can negotiate a flat monthly payout or a % rate for your compensation. Please let me know if you are interested. We are very reasonable and run an honest business."

I replied back with this:

"I am a homeowner, have a wife, two kids, and I’m very proud and conscious of my credit.  I will need to do some research to verify beyond all shadow of a doubt that my own credit will not be damaged in anyway.  I am also in a mortgage that will need to be refinanced soon (It’s an ARM).

I am interested.  I hate the mortgage system.  If there was a method by which we could PAY my mortgage in full and get the title in my hands, you’d be surprised what I’d be willing to do!  

What information can you give me that my own credit will be safe?  I plan on doing my own research as well.  I don’t want any of my bank accounts closing down.  I can not afford anything the least bit funny financially.  My family is on a tight budget.  We pay all our bills and I plan to keep it that way!"

They replied back and said this:

"First of all, I think that you could be a good candidate for a Loan Modification on your mortgage. I would be happy to get you in contact with our top agent to go over financials for qualification whether or not you choose to proceed with the merchant account.

Let me explain the situation in more detail.  When underwriting from the credit card processing bank found out that we provide a service that they do not support (loanmods) they closed our account. Other business models they don't support: bankruptcy attorneys, debt settlement, car loan mods... When a merchant account is closed they freeze any funds that have been processed and do not release them for six months. We currently have three accounts that have frozen funds (this hurts our business immensely).  Underwriting can now see any ssn's, addresses, phone #'s related to a business that services loanmods. The goal is to set up a new account with completely fresh info under a new DBA. This is where you would come in.

As far as your credit being effected, I can provide reference from the owner of our closed accounts. (Name Ommitted) is at 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx She can confirm with you that she still has a GREAT credit score despite the terminated merchant account. We are a legit law firm, the way I see it, you can only benefit. I completely understand your concern and you should never go into a situation blindly, do your homework and get back to me."


I am no expert at this but I'm no dummy.  Should I do this?  I do need the money.  I will not ever do anything the least bit illegal.  I must protect the financial security of my family which means guarding my credit score, ssn, and everything else.  But I do want to use the tools I have available to make as much money as I can, and I do need the money.  Can anyone help me with some advice?  I do not want to be the dummy here.  I don't want to be the statistic.  Is this a scam?  I have researched their firm name and address and they seem real.  Help me discern the best path here!


Thank you

Sincerely, Craig
craigwgcraigwg3 posts since
Jul 27, 2011
Rep Points: 3
1. Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 4:49 PM
If they are a legitimate law firm, as they claim, the first thing I would do is check with the Bar Association of the state in which they are located, and with that state's attorney general as well. Please, be careful!
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,281
2. Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 5:06 PM
Ok I will do that.  Good ideas.  Thank you.  I suspect they will be legit.  What about my credit rating?  Even if this is legal, is it ethical?  Could this damage me in anyway?
craigwgcraigwg3 posts since
Jul 27, 2011
Rep Points: 3
3. Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 11:52 PM
I would stay far away from this. Yes, YOUR credit rating will be damaged. If the account is in your name, it is you who will be dinged for it -- and liable for any losses due to it. And you won't even have any say, or even knowledge, over/of what they are doing until it is too late.

In fact, this sounds like a fraud, to set you up as a straw man front for them to operate behind. I'm sure that would have to be a criminal act -- and they say they are lawyers suggesting this?! Doesn't this strike you as just a wee bit of credit fraud?

I find the story of not being able to get a merchant credit card account because they sue banks to be incredibly dubious. I'm not even sure that would be legal for a credit card company to deny. 

I even wonder how "American Investors Bank and Mortgage" is a group of attorneys who sue banks. Their Website indicates they are an FDIC insured bank, not a law firm.
me1004me1004343 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,357
4. Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 7:19 AM
me1004 said pretty much what I was thinking, as the whole thing sounded "fishy" to me. That's why I ended my last post with "Please, be careful." If it is a scam, checking their claims to be a law firm with the Bar Association will expose it for what it is, which will put an end to the matter. I also find their claims about not being able to get a merchant credit card account improbable. Don't let wishful thinking cloud your judgment. In fact, if your FICO score is indeed good, why not just go ahead and refinance your mortgage?
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,281
5. Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 9:17 AM
I should point out that my post has NOTHING to do with American Investors Bank and Mortgage.  The form to fill out required me to pick a bank so I just put in the first one that came up.  Based on your advice and advice of others I will stay away from this.  I did check with the Bar association of Utah and they are legit, in business since 1996 with no disciplinary action against them.  I left a voice mail for the Attourney general that I hope will come back positive.  I also called my credit union and they said it was probably a scam.  My wife says its a scam, you guys say its a scam, my better judgement says its a scam.  Probably enough.  I wish I could use my high credit score to make $500 a month though!

Better luck next time!
craigwgcraigwg3 posts since
Jul 27, 2011
Rep Points: 3
6. Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 11:36 PM
It's a scam!
loulou521 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,239