National Credit Relief Agency Scam

When I picked up the mail this after­noon, there was an offi­cial look­ing letter addressed to my wife. Usually offi­cial look­ing letters are bear­ers of bad news, so I handed it to her as soon as I got home. Turns out this one was from an orga­ni­za­tion called the National Credit Relief Agency.

The letter was blatantly styled to look like a govern­ment form, complete with an eagle in the logo and refer­ences to the Account­abil­ity Respon­si­bil­ity and Disclo­sure act. NCRA does (at the bottom of the letter) mention that they are a private agency, but they’ve even gone to the trou­ble of setting up a DC address (despite mail­ing this out from Cali­for­nia).

So what is the core of this scam?  They claim that they have reviewed your Expe­rian credit file and that you may be “a victim of unau­tho­rized inter­est rate adjust­ments and credit limit decreases”. Now given how the credit card compa­nies have been oper­at­ing I’m going to bet that just about every­one has seen credit limit decreases and inter­est rate adjust­ments. The NCRA letter then goes on to say that they­can give you a settle­ment on your consumer debt for a reduced prin­ci­pal amount and a lower monthly payment at 0% inter­est.

Here’s what you have to under­stand. The NCRA may be able to get you a settle­ment on a reduced prin­ci­pal and lower monthly payment. But if they do they will absolutely destroy your credit rating and it will take you years to recover from it.

Thats why the want to make it look like they’re connected with a govern­ment program of some sort. Because the truth isn’t nearly as appeal­ing. If you received one of these letters in your mail, throw it straight in the bin and go to a reputable company to help sort out your debt.

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?


  • Thanks. Received one of these today, and went to research a bit via web .. and you were the first hit. Confirmed what I imag­ined. Thanks 🙂

    • Glad you found it help­ful. One of the reasons I posted was that I didn’t see a lot of discus­sion of this partic­u­lar scam online.

  • I would also like to say “Thanks” for the insight. I igured this was a scam, but it was nice to have it veri­fied.

  • I got mine today and thought it was a scam. So much for the input. I know it didn’t look right. Thats whats good about check­ing the inter­net. You can find the truth there most of the time.

  • If any of my credit files are exam­ined, I am noti­fied imme­di­ately by email. I have Iden­tity Theft protec­tion through Pre-Paid Legal and my account is moni­tored by Kroll on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. The NCRA notice is a defi­nite scam and I have submit­ted mine to the proper authouri­ties and to be safe, noti­fied Kroll. The Iden­tity Theft protec­tion costs me $11.95 per month.

  • Thanks for the post. I received mine about a month ago and, inter­est­ingly enough, about 2 days before the expi­ra­tion date. Also, this fell on a week­end, so it could lead one to act quickly with­out check­ing it out. Glad I sat on mine and then did the research. It follows the old adage, “If it looks too good to be true, it prob­a­bly is.”

  • On the front of the mail­ing it reads: Warn­ing: $2000 Fine, 5 Years Impris­on­ment… inter­fer­ing or obstruct­ing with deliv­ery of this letter… Doesn’t this apply to every piece of mail? Ohhh, I’m shak­ing now! With that kind of power they must mean busi­ness. If anybody inter­feres with their scam, FBI will arrive in blacked-out Tahoes and black suits and will be at the bad-guys front door. The eagle, the DC address; they should be fined and sent to prison! Just received my letter today and I knew imme­di­ately it was phoney, and a little reseach has confirmed that.

    • Hi That­girl- gotta love the search engi­nes! And Eoghann! Yes, scaaaaary indeed hahaha! Yes, it is a federal viola­tion to open mail addressed to others. I’m so glad my husband doesn’t knark me out. heehee.

  • Novem­ber 01, 2010. Thanks for the scam warn­ing. I have been receiv­ing these type letters in vari­ous forms for the past month or so. They all lead to a expi­ra­tion date in Novem­ber. Today I got the letter that you described to a T in my mail box. I went to the BBB web site and they wanted an address, there’s no address listed anywhere on the letter,just a 800 number, first red flag. The BBB didn’t return any infor­ma­tion just by the title of the company: National Credit Relief Agency. I then googled the title and found your letter. I was ready to call them and start the process until I found your letter. I will check out anything and every­thing from now on. You have done a good deed my friend.

    • Always, always check, Jude. Is some­one really going to help us with our debt for a frac­tion of the actual cost at no inter­est? Nuh uh they aren’t! SO glad you googled!

  • This company was started by people that were in the subprime lend­ing indus­try then they moved to loan modi­fi­caitons and now have found a new way to take people’s money to pay for their own over-indebted lifestyle. There are good debt coun­sil­ing services out there but steer clear of these guys.

  • Thank you, Eoghann! Just got my little “present” in the mail, googled it, chose you. I see this orig­i­nated (the arti­cle) earlier this year, hope­fully it’s gotten a l lot of hits and has helped many. I saw it a million miles away, straight from the mail­box to google I went! I think my husband has received these as well in more than one form, this one included. Idiots. Too bad some WILL fall for this. One of the things that gets the smoke coming out of my ears are scams on the elderly and other­wise disabled. Some of these people have no one to look after them. My son is 25 and lives in a group home. Just sorted out a few Ebay scams of his. He’s so trust­ing. His mother is suspi­cious. Dhoff­man­npga is right, I just wish every­one knew it. Thanks again.

  • Sounds to me like you’re mostly upset with a good market­ing style… I mean it did get you to call… didn’t it Mr. Eoghann. The firm, NCRA, is simply a middle man and in no way has any of your credit infor­ma­tion. I’m not sure if you know this or not but pulling/reviewing some­ones credit with­out their consent is against the law. NCRA is a market­ing company not a law firm and does not handle your “settle­ment” case. Please get the correct facts before you begin blog bash­ing any company. I pitty the fools who follow the advice of one man just because the program wasn’t right for him. World Law Direct has a B rating with the BBB if you would like to check…

    • No, it didn’t get me to call. The fact that it’s not legal to pull or review someone’s credit infor­ma­tion and yet they claim to have done so just goes to show how dubi­ous that company is. I already have my facts right. You on the other hand are clearly on someone’s payroll.

      • So if you didn’t call how do you think you are educated enough on the process and what they are offer­ing to be solic­it­ing advice on the subject? You some­how think you under­stand what the company does by read­ing a very limited amount of infor­ma­tion mailed by an inde­pen­dent 3rd party. If you’re mad at piece of aggres­sive market­ing then you should also be bash­ing many other compa­nies for their market­ing styles. Now it’s correct that anyone can nego­ti­ate their own settle­ment and yes it will affect their credit score but the people who need help either don’t know how, don’t have the patients or the skills to nego­ti­ate their own terms. In 90% of the cases these people haven’t made a monthly payment in 3 months. Would you agree that once your debts are paid off your credit score will begin to rise again? Would you agree that chang­ing someone’s APR from 9% to 29% is a little outra­geous? Would you agree that if you were given a 29% APR to begin with you never would have signed that agree­ment? Would you agree that paying $4 for every $1 you spend is absurd? Well that’s exactly what’s going on and the lawyers at World Law are only trying to help you pay for what you borrowed NOT a ridicu­lous amount of inter­est. If you are upset at the debt settle­ment indus­try you should be bash­ing the lawyers who handle the cases but instead you’re bash­ing market­ing firm and tarnish­ing their name for send out a piece of mail, and a perfectly leagal piece of mail at that. You assumed, and are lead­ing others to believe, that your credit has been run and that’s how your infor­ma­tion was obtained. You would be amazed at the amount of personal infor­ma­tion that is obtain­able to the public. I’m more upset at the people who go and run up $80k in credit card debt then file for BK, what makes you think you can borrow money and not return it? Espe­cially when you knew you didn’t have the money to pay it back in the first place??? Same goes with all the people who went and bought a home on a Neg Am loan for $500k when they could barely afford one for $200k, but I guess it’s always some­one elses fault and never the person in the mirror. I under­stand not every­one is in this posi­tion and I commend you (& others) Mr. Eoghann if you aren’t one of these people and if at the end of every month you have more than $30 in your bank account but unfor­tu­nately there are many people who have put them­selves in a terri­ble situ­a­tion and have no idea how to get out of it. Yes it costs money to hire a lawyer… of course I’m on someone’s’ payroll, I don’t know if you work for free but I sure as hell don’t… but I also don’t rape people with fees…
        Thank you!

      • Are you aware Eoghann that they don’t NEED to “pull” your credit to “review” your infor­ma­tion? Do you under­stand how it works? If so, please explain how they managed to get your infor­ma­tion.

        • Did you actu­ally read what I wrote? The scam is that they claim to have reviewed my Expe­rian file and that I’m a “victim of unau­tho­rized inter­est rate adjust­ments.” It has noth­ing at all with their abil­ity to find my name and address on a mail­ing list some­where.

  • Thanks for the info. I was look­ing into this and read your note. Very simi­lar to mine. I get so any of these I never know what is real and what is fake. When I know it is real it usually is discussed in the news and in the papers , but the inforam­tion to apply for aide is usually never mentioned. I guess the saying ‘too good to be true’ is really true.

  • Got mine today. Looked VERY much like some offi­cial form or tax docu­ment. I kinda freaked when I first saw the front of the letter. When I opened it and it started mention­ing my consumer credit debt, I knew this was a scam because I have no credit card debt. Just to be sure, I googled the NCRA and your blog was the first hit. Thanks for the insight and the heads-up. Mine is now in “file 13”…the TRASH!

  • I have got the NCRA letter several times and others like it over the past year, i aways do the same thing with them right in the trash.

    Any company that deals with money and cant be found on the net is not a valid company.….……
    most money is moved through the net and if you can find the local super­mar­ket on the net you should be able to find a money or debt or agency on the net, if you cant than they are none of the above.

    • I don’t think you looked very hard… If you searched National Credit Relief Agency (the name at the bottom of your letter) It’s #2 on yahoo’s search engine and #3 on googles… wow… now that was tough to find…

  • So I have a ques­tion for you Mr.Eoghann, how did you make this out to be a scam if you never went through there program or even made a call,also would like to know why they are still in busi­ness if it is a scam, how come the FBI has not shut them down if it is what you say it is???
    none of what you are saying makes any sense, why would the presed­nent make a speech on this program, or was he part of the scam or was he an actor. the link that was on the letter is what im talk­ing about , could you help me under­stand?
    I am at my end wits trying to keep the credit cards up to keep my score in the 700s for years, but when the econ­omy went south and I had to take a pay cut, it made it hard to keep up, now it looks like i have to do a BK and really ruin my credit.. im really confused now.….

    • As a loan under­writer for an aver­aged sized bank, I have seen 1st hand what a company like this will do to your credit. In my opin­ion it’s just as bad or worse than a bank­ruptcy. What I saw was terri­ble — it actu­ally did look worse than a bank­ruptcy. They “take” over your credit cards and simply don’t pay them until the credit company is will­ing to do a settle­ment for a lesser amount than the balance (which in itself shows as a nega­tive on your credit report because it is reported as a settle­ment). You send your money each month to them and then they distrib­ute it. You could do all this by your­self if this is the route you want to take. Miss a couple of payments and call up the credit cards and try to start nego­ti­at­ing a settle­ment. You can avoid hefty fees from the compa­nies like NCRA.

  • Mine came via my mother’s house — she was so scared of the warn­ing on the front, she mailed it to me in the UK! Crazi­ness!

  • Thank you! Just got same type of offi­cial letter docu­ment in mail on March 24, 2011. Couldn’t find it listed with Better Busi­ness Bureau. So then typed in company name and found your help­ful input about the scam.

  • Every single one of you nitwits claim­ing that it’s a scam or too good to be true are part of the prob­lem. You people want to run your debt up to the tens or hundreds of thou­sands and then act offended when it comes time to repay. Yeah, these compa­nies are not exactly what capi­tal­ism was meant to repre­sent, but then again, credit was never intended to be over extended. One of the comments states “you can do it your­self”. What you are saying to people who have already managed to get them­selves into a finan­cial hole and borrow way beyond their means is to save thou­sands of dollars and then call their cred­i­tors to nego­ti­ate their debt. You are exactly the reason that will never work because you believe it is an option. Get real people. If you can’t manage to make the payments, you are not going to manage to save thou­sands in order to pay it off in full. You are all glut­tons and have zero finan­cial acumen. If you are a mechanic, or an admin, or what­ever else you do to make your living, do not act like you can take on nego­ti­a­tions with a big bank and get the result you are seek­ing. The fee you pays these people is for their time just like you pay your mechanic for his time to change your brakes. Can you do it? Yes. But why do you pay some­one else? To make sure it’s done prop­erly.

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