Turn To Tara: Debt consolidation company accused of taking advantage of thousands trying to help their credit scores
If you find yourself struggling with debt and lower credit scores, you’re not the only one.
Right now, Americans hold an estimated $17 trillion in debt, which had led to the popularization of so-called “debt consolidation companies.”
But in this “Turn To Tara” investigation, News 12’s Tara Rosenblum offers a cautionary tale.
Inflation, on top of high-interest rates, then a divorce, sent Kevin McGill’s credit score plummeting. So the Yonkers professor set out to repair his numbers, and through a Google search, he discovered the online debt consolidation company The Litigation Practice Group.
“You know, desperate times call for desperate measures,” says McGill.
It was June 2021 when he signed up for a $380 per month, two-year credit repair program to help settle disputes with 10 creditors. But one year into his contract, he received an unsettling email.
“They filed bankruptcy. So I went to another organization and the other organization bounced me to another organization,” says McGill. “So when I spoke to someone at Phoenix Law, she told me there were 10 creditors, that only two had been serviced. I said, ‘So you mean to tell me in two years, $4,700 plus later, all they sent out was two letters to two creditors?”
McGill says he spent weeks trying to secure a refund, but got nowhere. That’s when he decided to Turn to Tara.
So Rosenblum got to work and quickly discovered McGill is one of several facing similar circumstances. Dozens, from New York to California, have filed similar complaints with the Better Business Bureau in recent months, claiming they also paid hefty payments with little to no results.
News 12 also obtained court documents from bankruptcy court proceedings, which are underway right now in several states. They’re filled with clients alleging that they too were duped by the Litigation Practice Group.
The person who runs the group is former attorney Tony Diab, who was disbarred in California after being accused of 13 counts of misconduct, including falsifying a judge’s signature and diverting client funds for personal use, News 12 learned. He lost his license to practice law in July 2019, two years before the Litigation Practice Group was formed.
Court documents show the Litigation Practice Group serviced roughly 50,000 clients desperate to improve their financial situation, but transferred many of their files to other firms shortly before filing for bankruptcy in March.
Federal judge Scott Clarkson last month said he suspects systemic fraud involving the case, but because the outcome is still unclear, thousands of debtors like McGill remain in limbo.
“My numbers were probably better before I got in the program than they are now,” said McGill.
News 12 reached out to attorneys representing the Litigation Practice Group, Diab and managing shareholder Daniel March to ask when and if people will get their money back. They have not responded.