An online reader comments on "Credit Repair," by Craig Malisow, December 3:
A horrible experience: This article couldn't have been written better. I purchased this "debt invalidation program" from The Credit Card Solution and Credit Collections Defense Network more than a year and a half ago. My experiences with the companies have been horrible. I contacted Robert Lindsey from TCCS to purchase, and was of course made to believe that the system works and it wouldn't be long until I "was on a road to financial freedom." The exact opposite has occurred. My situation could only have been better if I had not contacted them and allowed them to talk me into stopping the payments to the credit card companies.
I came to know TCCS in the summer of 2008. I had acquired a large amount of debt on about three different credit cards. Most of this debt was simply small charges from careless spending. I was able to pay the credit card bills with the job I had at the time. After losing that job, it became extremely difficult to pay the bills, and they fell behind. While searching the Internet for solutions to my issue, I came across the Web site of The Credit Card Solution with Robert Lindsey out of Houston, Texas.
I was so excited to read the company's offerings and their claims. The videos I viewed, which were created by Lindsey himself, were very calming and made me feel quite comfortable doing business with the company. Seriously, how could a scam artist make several YouTube videos of himself explaining his company and post them across the entire Internet? Lindsey came across as very confident and sincere. I have always felt I had a good sense of character, and he definitely didn't give me any cause for concern.
The claims which were made to me when I signed up for the service included many statements that sounded great. All this for a small fee of $4,500! All sound great, right? "Stop making payments! Fix your credit score within 4-6 months! Avoid bankruptcy! Be debt-free in 12 to 14 months!" These were all promises which were made to me.
Not only was I lied to multiple times by TCCS when I signed up, I received lie after lie from CCDN themselves as well.
Good luck to anyone in my situation. Plain and simple, CCDN doesn't do what it says, and it's a very unethical and dishonest company. I have tried multiple times using different methods to get my $4,500 back. The only way I can see this happening now is through the court system, which is what I'm currently in the process of doing.
Go after him: As much as I enjoyed the cover articles about Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison ["The Tug of War," by Sam Merten, November 19] and the "Turkeys of the Year" [by Rich Connelly, November 24] featuring Perry, they make me wonder: When will the Houston Press step up and do a full-out, full-bore, balls-to-the-wall exposé of the Perry administration? It reeks of corruption and incompetence, and a weekly magazine like the Press is uniquely situated to take on the task of a complicated, multipart story.
Online readers comment on "Not So Happily Ever After," by Margaret Downing, December 3:
It's simple: "How does a person get to be 32 years old with no money and living in a room with two children and her dead baby' s ashes?" That was the question. Here is part of the answer:
1. Lack of education. Her first step on the road was dropping out of high school. A high school diploma is not a guarantee of success, but the lack of one is almost always a hallmark of failure.
2. Stupidity, pure and simple. Making stupid decisions. We only have the facts she gave about her criminal case; however, they do not seem to add up. There seem to be holes in that story. But even if true, sharing a locker with someone who you know is up to no good is not a good idea. That she doesn't have to work when she has a man in her life sounds like someone who likes easy money. And many think easy money comes with a life of crime. It doesn't. So if she did help out in the credit card scheme, then that was a very stupid decision. And if she didn't, it was a very stupid decision to cop a guilty plea to something she didn't do.
3. Kids. How is it you don't own a car, you don't own a home, but you somehow have the wherewithal to bring a child into this world? And not just once, but three times. If you're 32 years old, you should not be accidentally getting pregnant. You can go to Planned Parenthood, and they'll give you contraception for free! Again, see No. 2.
Even though more white women are on welfare than black women, even though more Medicare money is spent on the elderly than on children, people will read this and see Shundrekia as the poster child for what is wrong with the welfare system: the classic welfare mom. It is hard enough battling against the coldhearted neoconservatism of today; could she not have helped her own cause by at least not having so many kids?
Get to work: What about a way to donate toward the children's education (529 plans, etc.) instead of their mother's bank account? I truly feel for the children. The mother comes off as less than sympathetic when she says she doesn't mind the Harris County Jail and doesn't make calls on her kids' behalf to track down assistance for uniforms or to check on her food stamps. The mother needs to get a job, take some classes to get more marketable skills and quit making excuses for her situation. Only she has the power to make sure her kids don't end up like she has. I work with many single mothers who don't have a car and have barely enough money to make ends meet, but pull themselves up every day to come to work to make a better life for their children.
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Have compassion: Let me get this straight. No education, poor decisions and stupidity (which is non-education) constitutes one not having human compassion towards a 32-year-old woman with a few kids sharing a single bedroom, at Christmastime? No one knows her full story and guess what? I don't need to know it to be softhearted towards all human beings in this world. We should do good deeds for others out of the goodness of our hearts. Her poor decisions are no worse than anyone else's bad decisions. The only difference is you are able to highlight them because she has no one close to help her out, who could say, "Honey, it was a bad choice, now let's help you get back on your feet and make it in this world so that you can learn from this."
Environment is everything. I know, I know: "Everyone has an opportunity in this world." Blah, blah, blah. The point is, no they don't. I guarantee you most would not make it through school, waking up each day in an attempt to get an education, when it's almost as dangerous as the streets, or when you're 15 and your parents don't care if you go or not. But I guess young, impressionable teenagers with no direction are supposed to set their own paths, right? Fat chance and illogical.
Regardless, these poor kids deserve to wake up on Christmas morning with glistening eyes, awaiting a surprise under a Christmas tree. I will make sure they do.