Walking Away from a Successful Business


While 2010 has been challenging with baby Rebecca and William III joining their older sister Katherine in the Lewis household, decisions and choices for change in 2011 are proving an equal challenge.

Between a growing family and commitment to several businesses and charitable causes, there is simply not enough time in the day.

Struggling through tough economic times and an industry that is heavily scrutinized and frowned upon – the credit repair industry – decisions must be made. Does one continue working in an industry they have grown to hate?

Does one sell the business with its perfect record and reputation within the community? Or do they simply shut down and walk away from a profitable business after a decade in existence?

When you hear about credit repair companies from “reputable” sources, such as the Attorney General’s Office or Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you are usually warned about the disreputable nature of the industry. You are warned about hiring credit repair companies and advised that you are better off repairing your own credit through a do-it-yourself approach.

Why have credit repair companies been made into villains? Answer – because most of them are, in fact, nothing more than scams or fly-by-night outfits. Most of these companies promise unsuspecting customers that they can magically erase all of their debt for a small fee. Others advise they can legally create a new identity through use of a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Credit Profile Number (CPN), thus segregating one credit identity from another.

Use of a Taxpayer Identification Number or Credit Profile Number, also referred to as a Credit Privacy Number, is highly illegal and could result in criminal charges of mail or wire fraud, identity theft, or misuse of personal information. File segregation is something that is not advised if you value your freedom.

Started on Sept. 10, 2001 approximately 100 yards from the downtown Hollywood home of 9-11 hijacker Mohamed Atta, Credit Restoration Consultants attempted to present a new approach in the “credit restoration” industry. Hesitant to utilize the forbidden term “credit repair,” Credit Restoration Consultants branded itself as a credit service organization specializing in the restoration of consumer credit worthiness as well as identity theft.

Among the clients of Credit Restoration Consultants were a variety of sorts. Whether the “average Joe,” attorneys, doctors, multi-millionaire developers, celebrities, pro-sports players, or politicians; including, a sitting governor, U.S. senator, and several congressmen, each had varying expectations bordering on the unreasonable, unrealistic or downright ridiculous. Each expected an 800 FICO score despite late payments, collections, repossessions or foreclosures, in addition to federal tax liens and bankruptcies.

One would not be surprised on just how many politicians have had federal tax liens filed against them.

While the FTC shutdown 33 credit repair companies in 2008 and 36 in 2009 for violations of the Credit Repair Organizations Act, Credit Restoration Consultants has never had a complaint to any state, federal, or local regulatory authority. In fact, Credit Restoration Consultants maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a complaint free history.

According to a recent Small Business Administration study, seven out of 10 new businesses survive at least two years, half at least five years, a third at least 10 years, and a quarter 15 years or more. Credit Restoration Consultants lasted just under 10 years.

Tired of the bad actors and scam artists in an already heavily scrutinized credit repair industry, I have decided to simply shut down, throw in the towel, and walk away.

Rather than sell the successful business that Credit Restoration Consultants became and have another destroy it and my personal reputation, walking away seems the best course of action. With that – I quit.

Source:  The Credit Report with Bill Lewis – Highlands Today, an edition of the Tampa Tribune – Media General Group http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2011/jan/02/walking-away-from-a-successful-business/

To review Bill Lewis’ entire consumer protection series at the Highlands Today, visit www.williamlewis.us.

William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates is a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity. To learn more, tune into “The Credit Report with Bill Lewis,” a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues on AM 1470 WWNN.

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