RALEIGH, N.C. — The State Attorney General's Office claims a credit counseling service in Cumberland County left many of its clients owing more money than when they started with the company.
State Attorney General Roy Cooper filed suit against Knight Credit Services and its owner, Jamie Acosta. The suit accuses the company of deceiving its customers and taking part in illegal debt adjusting, credit repair and loan brokering.
Barbara and Steven Stewart went to Knight after accumulating close to $25,000 in debt.
"I constantly worried about debt. I wondered how in the world I was going to pay that off," Barbara said.
The Stewarts set up a payment plan with Acosta, but he did not pay their bills on time. Less than a year later, the couple was $6,000 deeper in debt.
"Their motto is commitment to excellence and what we got wasn't excellence," Steven said.
The Stewarts complained to WRAL. They were one of 33 people who complained to the Attorney General.
"It's like needing a life preserver and being thrown an anvil. I mean you're already so far behind in your debts and then all of a sudden, you have the person that is supposed to be helping you out actually taking money out of your pocket," Cooper said.
WRAL called Jamie Acosta for comment about the suit, but he was not available. Last week, he denied the Stewarts' accusations and told WRAL the number of complaints is not significant coinsidering the number of clients he has.
Cooper is also working to get a temporary restraining order to block Knight Credit Services from doing business while the lawsuit moves forward.