This Week on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis


Interesting guests and timely topics will be on AM 1470 WWNN the week of October 17th and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

Former prosecutor and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Jim Lewis will appear and discuss his candidacy for Broward State Attorney as the only Republican for this countywide office in 2012.

Davie Mayoral candidate Mike Crowley will appear and discuss his candidacy for mayor and his plan to create jobs by attracting high-technology business to Davie.

Foreclosure defense attorney Carlos Reyes will appear and discuss the latest developments in the “robo-signing” controversy and investigations started by the Florida Attorney General’s Office.

Chairman Richard Denapoli of the Broward Republican Party will appear and discuss Congressman Allen West’s appearance at the monthly meeting and the continuing commitment of the Broward Republican Executive Committee to ensure success in the 2012 presidential election.

Talk show host Steve Kane will appear and discuss his upcoming appearance at Wings Plus in Coral Springs and other initiatives of The Steve Kane Show on AM 1470 WWNN.

Florida’s 34th Senator and current U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux will discuss his candidacy in the Republican race to replace Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

Tom Lauder of RedBroward will appear and discuss his political blog where “Making Broward See Red” is not such a hard job.

Coral Springs Commissioner and mayoral candidate Vince Boccard will appear and discuss his decision to run for mayor of one of Money Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Live” across America – ranked first in the State of Florida and 44th on the overall list.

Talk show host and attorney Lisa Macci will appear and discuss her recent move to AM 1470 WWNN and “The Justice Hour with Lisa Macci.”

Criminal defense attorney John Contini will appear and discuss the importance of criminal history records sealing when seeking employment in tough economic times.

Republican Party of Broward County Executive Director Rico Petrocelli will appear and discuss initiatives to grow the local party and upcoming events.

The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues.  Bill can be heard weekday’s at 9 o’clock on AM 1470 WWNN in south Florida or by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.  Phone lines are open at (888) 565-1470. 

RPOF Chairman Dave Bitner Dead at 62


Republican Party of Florida Chairman David “Dave” Bitner is dead at the age of 62.

Bitner died early today following a brief battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A Maryland native, Bitner moved to Florida in 1967.  Just last week he announced plans to retire from the position as state Republican chairman on September 23rd at Presidency 5 in Orlando.

“My prayers go out to Chairman Bitner, his wife Wendy and his family,” stated Richard DeNapoli, Broward Republican Party chairman.  “He was a great man, a great friend and a courageous leader for the Republican Party of Florida.”

Bitner, a former state representative from Port Charlotte, learned in April that he had ALS, an incurable disease that progressively attacks the brain and spine and eventually leads to complete paralysis.  At that time, Bitner pledged to carry out his duties as long as he could.  Last week he entered hospice.

”It has been the honor of a lifetime to work by Chairman Bitner’s side,” stated Lenny Curry, Florida GOP Vice-Chairman.  ”Not only was Dave a born leader, he was an exemplary man in every sense. In honor of his example, I am committed to ensure that the Republican Party of Florida continues its tradition of service to our beloved state.”

This Week on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis


Interesting guests and timely topics will be on the air this Labor Day week on AM 1470 WWNN and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

For Labor Day, Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day will appear and discuss the recent resignation of RPOF chairman Dave Bitner as well as Presidency 5 later this month in Orlando.

Following Sharon, we will have appearances by Commander Michael Calderin of Broward County Crimestoppers, Tom Lauder of RedBroward where “Making Broward See Red” is not such a hard job, and Florida’s 34th U.S. Senator George LeMieux.

The rest of the week will feature:

Foreclosure defense attorney Carlos Reyes will appear and discuss the latest developments in the “robo-signing” controversy and investigations started by the Florida Attorney General’s Office.

Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti will appear and discuss CyberVisor, the agency’s version of Twitter, and other initiatives of the largest fully accredited law enforcement agency in America.

Talk show host and attorney Lisa Macci will appear and discuss her recent move to AM 1470 WWNN and “The Justice Hour with Lisa Macci.”

Chairman Richard Denapoli of the Broward Republican Party will appear and discuss Presidency 5 and his endorsement of Republican Party of Florida vice-chair Lenny Curry to succeed the outgoing Dave Bitner.

Cooper City Commissioner John Sims will appear and discuss the David Nall libel litigation against the city as well as other local business.

Criminal defense attorney John Contini will appear and discuss the importance of criminal history records sealing or expungement when seeking employment in tough economic times.

Republican Party of Broward County Executive Director Rico Petrocelli will appear and discuss initiatives to grow the local party and upcoming events.

The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues.  Bill can be heard weekday’s at 9 o’clock on AM 1470 WWNN in south Florida or by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.  Phone lines are open at (888) 565-1470. 

This Week on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis


Interesting guests and timely topics will be on the air this week on AM 1470 WWNN and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney David Singer will appear and discuss Tuesday’s “Up-the-River” Cruise on behalf of Jail and Bail as well as the Broward unit of the American Cancer Society.

Broward Republican Party Executive Director Rico Petrocelli will discuss Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell and her successful book signing last Thursday on behalf of the party at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale.  O’Donnell appeared to discuss her new book, “Troublemaker: Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again.”

Florida’s 34th Senator and current U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux will appear and discuss his candidacy in the Republican race to replace Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

Foreclosure defense attorney Carlos Reyes will discuss the latest developments and controversies surrounding the foreclosure crisis in Florida.

Davie Mayoral candidate Mike Crowley will appear and discuss his candidacy for mayor and his plan to create jobs by attracting high-technology business to Davie.

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney John Contini will discuss the importance of the sealing or expungement of criminal history records when seeking employment in a tough economy.

Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti will appear and discuss Hurricane Preparedness and other initiatives of the largest fully accredited law enforcement agency in America.

Immediately following the Steve Kane Show on AM 1470 WWNN, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues.  Bill can be heard weekday’s at 9 o’clock on AM 1470 WWNN in south Florida or by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.  Phone lines are open at (888) 565-1470.

Rolladen Targeted by Attorney General for Deceptive Practices


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has filed suit in the Broward County Circuit Court against Hallandale based hurricane shutter company Rolladen, Inc. and its owner, Robert Hoffman, alleging deceptive and unfair trade practices. 

Rolladen and Hoffman have marketed and sold hurricane shutters and impact windows to Florida consumers for years.  According to the suit, the company allegedly required substantial upfront deposits for shutters or windows and then failed to install them.

According to the Attorney General’s Office investigation that started in March, Rolladen is alleged to have received more than $600,000 in consumer deposits for hurricane shutters or impact windows that it failed to deliver.

“As Floridians safeguard their homes against hurricanes, they deserve the assurance of knowing that they are doing business with fair and honest companies,” said Pam Bondi, Florida’s Attorney General.  “My office will continue to investigate deceptive business practices and protect all of Florida’s consumers.”

According to the suit, Rolladen required customers to make an upfront payment of between 40 percent and 80 percent of the contracted price for hurricane shutters.  The company then promised delivery and installation within six to 12 weeks of the contract date.  In many instances, Rolladen failed to deliver.

Bondi’s lawsuit seeks an order prohibiting Rolladen from the marketing or sale of shutters and windows until installations can be completed in accordance with Florida contractor requirements.

The lawsuit also seeks an immediate freeze of all company assets to maximize refunds for consumers.

In addition to the lawsuit, Hoffman was arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office last week on charges of running an organized scheme to defraud and for unlicensed contracting.

In what has been forecast as a busy hurricane season, be sure to conduct your “due diligence” before hiring a hurricane shutter contractor.

  • Confirm the contractor has a current state contractor’s license. Go to http://www.myfloridalicense.com to verify a license.
  • Ask who will be doing the actual installation and confirm that the installer is also licensed.
  • Ask for and check references, and investigate the contractor with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org).
  • Know what kind of protection you are purchasing. Some counties may have specific standards for storm shutters, so be sure to inquire in advance whether your shutters meet the applicable standards and retain copies of the specifications for insurance purposes.
  • Know that “hurricane film” is not approved for residential use in Florida.
  • Florida requires a building permit for installation of shutters and most windows and doors. Be sure your contractor is obtaining a permit for the installation.
  • Make certain that all materials and supplies, permit fees, and installation costs are included in the price quoted in the written contract.
  • Ask for a specific installation deadline and request the contractor to include the deadline in the contract.
  • Beware if the contractor asks for payment in full before the work is completed.
  • Contractors often require a deposit, but if you pay more than 10 percent of the contract price, the contractor must apply for a permit within 30 days and start work within 90 days of the issuance of the required permit(s).

If you are the victim of Rolladen, Inc. or any other contractor, please contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1-8669-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or online at http://www.myfloridalegal.com.

Over 500 Republicans Attend Broward Grand Old Party BBQ


On a hot and sunny south Florida afternoon where the weather held out until shortly after the event ended, Chairman Richard DeNapoli lived up to a campaign promise and his Eight Point Platform for the Broward Republican Party in staging yet another successful fundraiser.

Over 500 Republicans attended the inaugural Grand Old Party BBQ at the famed Bergeron ranch in far western Broward County.  Famed vocalist Lou Galterio met them with the National Anthem.

The “Country Afternoon” featured a keynote speaker in Congressman Allen West (FL-22), as well as Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida House Representatives Matt Hudson and George Moraitis, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Returning to the Grand Old Party BBQ from his appearance as Emcee at the Republican Party of Broward County – 2011 Lincoln Day Dinner was Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.  Standing tall above the crowd, Elwell held his Weiner jokes until the very end.

Making an appearance at the GOP barbecue was special guest Sharon Day, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee.  She cheerfully thanked everyone for their support of the Grand Old Party.

In the race for the Republican nomination to unseat Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the United States Senate were Florida’s 34th United States Senator George Lemieux, State Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and retired Army Colonel Mike McCallister.  Each spoke of the need to send Senator Nelson into retirement.

Former Davie Councilman and current mayoral candidate Mike Crowley was also in attendance.

Congressman West urged everyone in attendance to work hard so President Barack Obama could be sent “back to Chicago.”  The freshman Congressman gathered over 400 petition signatures to place his name on the ballot in 2012.

State CFO Jeff Atwater advised the crowd that Tallahassee does not need any more of their money thanks to the budget prowess of the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott.

As the lone Republican on a panel of nine, County Commissioner Chip LaMarca urged the crowd to send him some Republican help on the commission.  LaMarca introduced Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti who is running for re-election in 2012.

A number of elected officials and candidates spoke with RED BROWARD, a conservative voice for the community.  Congressman West spoke on several issues including Weinergate and colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is now calling for Weiner to pull out and resign his New York congressional seat.

“It was my honor to chair the Grand Old Party BBQ,” says Sally Musser. “We had an amazing venue in the Bergeron Ranch, great speakers and a program that honored our elected officials for their public service.”

Prior to the barbeque, a VIP event was held in Alligator Ron’s Saloon that included elected officials and candidates for public office. “It was great to see so many influential politicians captivate a crowd,” said Richard DeNapoli, Chairman of the Broward Republican Party.

The barbecue followed a successful Lincoln Day Dinner that raised over $90,000 for the Broward Republican Party.  “The inaugural Grand Old Party barbeque was an overwhelming success,” says former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli.  “We saw many new faces today and I look forward to welcoming them into our party.”

For more information on the barbecue and the Broward Republican Party, please visit:www.browardgop.org.

RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day to Attend Broward Republican Party BBQ


The Republican Party of Broward County and Chairman Richard DeNapoli are presenting the Grand Old Party BBQ this Saturday, June 11th, 2011 at the Green Glades Ranch in Weston. 

Making an appearance at the inaugural GOP barbecue is special guest Sharon Day, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee.

The “Country Afternoon” will feature Congressman Allen West (FL-22), Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida House Representatives Matt Hudson, George Moraitis, and Jeanette Nunez, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Returning to the Grand Old Party BBQ from his appearance as Emcee at the Republican Party of Broward County – 2011 Lincoln Day Dinner is Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.

In the race for the Republican nomination to unseat Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the United States Senate are Florida’s 34th United States Senator, George Lemieux, State Senate President Mike Haridopolos, and Former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner.  They are all confirmed in their appearance at the Grand Old Party BBQ.

The Broward Republican Party is expecting a record crowd.  “It is my honor to chair the Grand Old Party BBQ,” says Sally Musser. “We have an amazing venue in the Bergeron Ranch, great speakers and a program that will honor and thank our elected officials.”

Prior to the BBQ, Chairman Richard DeNapoli is hosting a VIP event that will include elected officials and candidates for public office.

“In addition to our featured speakers, the Broward Republican Party is proud to have RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day,” says DeNapoli. “Appearing as a special guest, you’ll not only have an opportunity to speak with chairwoman Day, but candidates who have filed to run for the U.S. House and Senate, the Florida House and Senate, and local offices here in Broward County.”

This RSVP only event will be held at the scenic Bergeron Ranch, located on the fringes of the Florida Everglades, on US 27 just one mile south of 595 or one mile north of Griffin Road.  The ranch will open for VIP admission at noon with general admission at 1pm.  RSVP’s for the Grand Old Party BBQ will close on Friday, June 10th at 6pm.

Tickets for the VIP event (with photo opportunity) are $100.00 while general admission tickets are available at $35.00. Children 5-17 are $10.00 while those under 5 are free.  Admission is inclusive of all fun, food and festivities. 

“I hope that you can join us for the barbeque this Saturday,” says former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli. “Come rain or shine, we are going to have a great time.”

For more information, call Executive Director Rico Petrocelli at (954) 941-7775 or go to http://www.browardgop.org.

Florida U.S. Senate Candidates to Attend Broward GOP BBQ


In the race for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate to unseat Bill Nelson (D-FL) are Florida’s 34th United States Senator, George Lemieux, State Senate President Mike Haridopolos, and Former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner.  They are all confirmed in their appearance for the Republican Party of Broward County – Grand Old Party BBQ.

Chairman Richard DeNapoli and the Republican Party of Broward County are proud to present the inaugural “Grand Old Party BBQ” this Saturday June 11th, 2011 at the famed Bergeron Ranch in western Broward County. 

The “Country Afternoon” will headline and feature Congressman Allen West (FL-22), Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida House Representatives Matt Hudson, George Moraitis, and Jeanette Nunez, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Returning to the Grand Old Party BBQ from his appearance as Emcee at the Republican Party of Broward County – 2011 Lincoln Day Dinner is Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.

BREC Chairman Richard DeNapoli will host a VIP event that will include elected officials and candidates for public office. “The reception offers an opportunity to chat one-on-one with our elected officials,” says DeNapoli. “You’ll also have an opportunity to talk with some of the candidates who have filed to run for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida House and Senate, as well as Broward County offices.”  

The Broward Republican Party is expecting a record crowd.  “It is my honor to chair the Grand Old Party BBQ,” says Sally Musser. “We have an amazing venue in the Bergeron Ranch, great speakers and a program that will honor and thank our elected officials.”

“I hope that you can join us because you won’t want to miss this event,” says former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli. “Come rain or shine, we are going to have a great time.”

This RSVP only event will be held at the scenic Bergeron Ranch, located at 21111 SW 16th Street, Weston, Florida 33322.  The ranch will open for VIP admission at noon with general admission at 1pm.  RSVP’s for the Grand Old Party BBQ will close on Friday, June 10th at 6pm.

Tickets for the VIP event (with photo opportunity) are $100.00 while general admission tickets are available at $35.00 each. Children 5-17 are $10.00 while those under 5 are free.  Admission includes the picnic, food (hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.), games, fun, and prizes.

For more information, call Executive Director Rico Petrocelli at (954) 941-7775 or go to http://www.browardgop.org.

Prominent Republicans Headline Broward Grand Old Party BBQ


Chairman Richard DeNapoli and the Republican Party of Broward County have planned a “Grand Old Party BBQ” this Saturday June 11th, 2011 at the famed Bergeron Ranch in western Broward County.

The “Country Afternoon” will feature visits by Congressman Allen West (FL-22), Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, Florida House Representatives Matt Hudson, George Moraitis, and Jeanette Nunez, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Returning to the Grand Old Party BBQ from his appearance as Emcee at the Republican Party of Broward County – 2011 Lincoln Day Dinner is Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.

In the race for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate to unseat Bill Nelson (D-FL) are Florida’s 34th United States Senator, George Lemieux, and Former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner.  They are confirmed in their appearances while State Senate President Mike Haridopolos is attempting to clear a scheduling conflict.

Prior to the barbeque, BREC Chairman Richard DeNapoli will host a VIP event that will include elected officials and candidates for public office. “The reception offers an opportunity to chat one-on-one with our elected officials,” says DeNapoli. “You’ll also have an opportunity to talk with some of the candidates who have filed to run for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida House and Senate, as well as Broward County offices.”  

The Broward Republican Executive Committee is expecting a record crowd for its inaugural Grand Old Party BBQ.  “It is my honor to chair the Grand Old Party BBQ,” says Sally Musser. “We have an amazing venue in the Bergeron Ranch, great speakers and a program that will honor and thank our elected officials.”

“I hope that you can join us on Saturday, June 11, 2011 because you won’t want to miss this event,” says former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli.

The RSVP only event will be held at the scenic Bergeron Ranch, located at 21111 SW 16th Street, Weston, Florida 33322.  The ranch will open for VIP admission at noon with general admission at 1pm.

Tickets for the VIP event (with photo opportunity) are $100.00 while general admission tickets are available at $35.00 each. Children 5-17 are $10.00 while those under 5 are free.  Admission includes the picnic, food (hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.), games, fun, and prizes.

For more information, call Executive Director Rico Petrocelli at (954) 941-7775 or go to http://www.browardgop.org.

Tax Masters and JK Harris Face AG Inquiry


While the Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on debt settlement and loan modification firms that charge upfront fees, little has been done to rein in tax resolution companies that promise to reduce IRS liabilities.  The FTC has allowed a number of these operations to continue while making a determination whether the agency has authority over them.

With the April 18th tax deadline three weeks away, tax relief companies have increased late night advertising and Internet promotions promising to settle delinquent IRS debt for pennies on the dollar.  Several of these companies are under investigation for deceptive practices.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has initiated a civil inquiry into Texas based Tax Masters and South Carolina based JK Harris and Company following the receipt of 26 and 92 complaints respectively.  These companies solicit clients nationwide promising to reduce anxiety and debt to the IRS.

Tax Masters is being investigated for allegations of unfair competition and deceptive trade.  Consumer complaints allege violations consisting of: failing to provide service as initially contracted, misrepresentation of the breath of services to clients, charging for unnecessary services, unauthorized credit card transactions, as well as failing to provide refunds. 

The Texas and Minnesota attorneys general also filed civil charges of deceptive and unfair trade practices against Tax Masters in 2010.

JK Harris and Company is under investigation for allegedly violating a 2008 settlement with Florida and 17 other states over what regulators said were misleading sales tactics.  Among the allegations were false claims that case processors were former IRS agents or tax experts and that the company failed to provide refunds for clients it was unable to help. 

The Attorney General’s Office is continuing to work on the multi-state investigation regarding JK Harris. North Carolina is the lead state. JK Harris has been responsive to a list of Florida consumer complaints forwarded to their attention.  However, they have not been responsive to the multi-state requests for additional information and documents as part of the continuing investigation.

Some tax relief operations are the target of legal inquiries and lawsuits by regulators in multiple states.  Thousands of consumers nationwide have complained they demanded advance fees of up to $25,000, while promising relief from back taxes and penalties, then did nothing.

Tax-relief companies have flourished as the Internal Revenue Service has more aggressively pursued delinquent taxpayers.  According to the IRS Data Book, the agency filed nearly 1.1 million liens nationwide in fiscal year 2010, an increase of over 60 percent from 2007.

In a seemingly unregulated industry, tax resolution firms have gone largely unnoticed.  A lack of determination of authority from the FTC, tough economic times, and a taxpayers desire to reduce anxiety and IRS debt, have allowed them to exist.  Good common sense in choosing a credentialed tax expert and paying huge upfront fees has been ignored.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, three professionals are authorized to represent taxpayers before them – attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents, all whom must pass an IRS test and take refresher courses.  

In the absence of representation, consumers can negotiate back taxes and penalties directly with the Internal Revenue Service.

Regulators and consumer advocates warn against using companies guaranteeing what the Internal Revenue Service calls an “offer in compromise” — a settlement for reduced tax payment.  Although increasing, IRS statistics show that only 25 percent of compromise applications are granted.

Taxpayers seeking relief from IRS debt should also be aware that companies claiming to be tax specialists may simply be advertising the services of a third-party.

Unlike the debt settlement and loan modification industry, tax resolution services are unregulated in Florida.  Despite the huge volume of complaints regarding advance payments and deceptive advertisements, lawmakers have taken little notice.  No regulation seems on the agenda of the 2011 Florida legislature.

To file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, visit www.ftc.gov or call (877) FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).

To file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General, please visit www.myfloridalegal.com or call (866) 9-NO-SCAM (866-966-7226).

To review Bill Lewis’ entire consumer protection series, visit http://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, weekdays at 9 o’clock on AM 1470 WWNN.