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First Equity review: Unethical credit predation

Author of the complaint
12:00 am EDT
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My good friend asked me to look into this company. When you read the info posted some of you will be able to guess what i do for a living. I can only hope this information can help someone. My friend got totally screwed by this company.

This company originally started in PA. They still hold an office not far from where I live. The company's operations are conducted in GA now.

CEO: Brian Tvenstrup
First Equity Card Corporation (PA Sec of State entity# 3013519)
Incorporated in Delaware under same name through a common registered agent (DE sec of state entity# 3393957) Registered in PA under registered agent: 212 Oakmont Drive, Blue Bell, PA [protected], David Marsh, [protected]

Address Listed:
1180 Welsh Road, North Wales, PA 19454
Phone: [protected] (use the name directory using the first 3 or 4 letters of the last name "Tven...")

Columbus Bank & Trust Co. Runs the credit card services (& collections)
1148 Broadway, Columbus, GA [protected]
Phone: [protected]
This is a $300,000,000.00 a year subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp.

Synovus Financial Corp (publicly owned company NYSE Stock ticker: SNV)
1111 Bay Ave Ste 500, Columbus, GA USA [protected]
Phone: [protected]
This is a 4,000,000,000.00 (that is billion) a year company

In closing, I suggest everybody get on the horn and start telling everyone that you have their info and can now more effectively aid in the pursuit of remedy through the SEC (, FDIC ( and US Dept of Commerce (

God Bless and good Luck!


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Add a comment
Sep 19, 2009 12:41 pm EDT

I am currently fighting this company in regard to a disputed charge, which was made to my First Equity Visa Card. This charge was made to my card by an Internet company for a software license! I never received the license! Currently, the dispute is in arbitration with the American Arbitration Association, which is specified in the credit card agreement as the means of handling disputes. I have filed a complaint with the FDIC but they were not able to assist me because this is a business credit card. Although, I am a sole proprietor with no employees and the only one who ever used this credit card. The Fair Credit Billing Act, which is overseen by the FDIC, evidently is primarily designed to protect consumers. Business credit cards deserve the same protection as consumer cards. Otherwise, you end up with companies like First Equity, stomping on basic legal rights, common sense and fundamental fairness. If you don't get something in return for your money, you shouldn't have to pay for it! First Equity doesn't seem to understand this!

Aug 27, 2009 7:16 pm EDT

Brian Tvenstrup is not the CEO of this company---he's just some guy that works in IT. The CEO is Tim Clark and his phone number is [protected] at extensoin 101.

Jul 30, 2009 5:49 pm EDT

The phone number for the CEO is correct. Ill list it here. [protected] you need to listen to the recording and then push in the first 4 letters of his last name. You will get a voice mail box. leave your complaint on his voice mail. Jusy keep doing it. Also ext 105 is Steve Torendy. He is in corporate too. He wont call me back. I was given his number and ext by customer service. He wont call me either. His mobile # is [protected] Keep calling and bugging him.

Jul 20, 2009 4:20 pm EDT

Absolutely the worst credit card ever, their customer service # sends you a text message that if you respond to you have to pay a $9.95 monthly fee for the priviledge of getting customer service. This is a criminal enterprise disguised as a bank.

May 05, 2009 5:27 pm EDT

I posted this in a different section under First Equity Credit Card, so I'm copying it here. Please don't just gripe...
DO SOMETHING to get rid of this vile business!

Okay, we've all been taken advantage of by this sleazy, predatory, loan shark business. For everyone of us complaining, there are probably 1000's who don't. We need
to take action. Start by contacting the Georgia Attorney General's office and filing a complaint. Then, the Georgia Better Business office - where by the way- First Equity has a
"D" rating...not sure if it goes any lower than that!
If ENOUGH complaints are lodged against these crooks, the Attorney General's office will get involved...and hopefully force them to cease & desist business. Now, get to work...stop whining...and put them out of business!, 2094, 5426814_[protected], 00.html

May 04, 2009 11:07 am EDT

i am ready for the class action suit, i have been paying on a balance for 2 years and it never goes down, i have complained that even though i am never late with payment they jacked my rate up to 30.2 percent!
if there is a legal action i want in on it.

Apr 24, 2009 7:35 pm EDT

I hate these people and wish bad things upon them. They have screwed me around for nearly 9 months. In October they gave me a hefty rate hike from 12% to 21%. With what was goin on the economy, I could understand this and I know they are able to do this in the fine print. I had an original credit limit with them that over 3 years had grown upto $23, 000, which was used off and on, and they made decent money on the interest. In December they cut the limit to $ 16, 000 with no explanation, and nothing in writing. I made only the minimum payemnts in December-January, and they put a hold on the account. When I called an asked what was going on, I was told that my balance was too close to the limt. I ve been making the payment every month, the minimum plus 15%. Last month the statement came with the interest rate at 31%! I was pissed! I made a payment last month 4 days after I recieved the statement to bring the balance to under 10, 000. I called and asked them to lower the interst rate. I also asked when the $6, 000 dollars of credit line was going to be made available(in case of emergency). I was told by th REP that there were no "offers" available to my account at this time for the interest rate. What BS! I was told that the they were gonna send a request to the gods above for the $6, 000 in question. I let this go for about a week, and called the 800 number today to find out what they had done. They have again lowered the account limit to $10, 000. I pushed 7, and got a Rep. I told her i wanted an immediate review of the interest rate. I was told to call back in 30 days, as there were no"offers" available to my account. F%*K them. I have been a good customer, and they have done nothing but give me the shaft. Right now, I am sitting on 10k in debt with a beautiful interest rate of 31%. I reccomend that no one use this company!


Apr 07, 2009 7:10 pm EDT

Wow! So I'm not the only one having a problem with First Equity! I had a $7, 000 credit line. Used about $6, 000 and have been paying it down for about a year. Received a notice that the account was cancelled because no NEW PURCHASES had been made. All payments were on time and they were making a tidy sum on the interest. Why cancel for such a lame reason? The so-called customer service rep just said "policy." After reading the comments, I'm glad they did cancel me. Their idiotic reason doesn't hurt my credit rating. I'll pay the account to zero and be done with them.

Mar 17, 2009 1:42 pm EDT

First of all, the telephone number listed for CEO: Brian Tvenstrup is incorrect.

Second, they did the old bait and switch with me too. I signed up for credit protection on 12/18/08. Tried to apply for a benefit 01/18/09 and was told I didn't have a policy. Here it is, March and on the 9th I received a letter THANKING me for signing up - only it is with the wrong policy - it is a disability policy - and not the involuntary job loss policy I signed up for - it says, in English, that the sarting date of the policy is 12/18/09. Today, March 16th, I am told I do not have a policy - it was "canceled" on March 10th. No one knows or cares why. Life of the South tells me to call Customer Service. Customer service tells me to call Life of the South.

This company is so lame it is ridiculous. They hide behind Voice Mail. They are dismissive and rude. It may blow my credit - but I am not paying them. I too will shed as much light on these guys so they receive a lot of medica attention.

Mar 03, 2009 2:06 pm EST

This company is SORRY and about as low as you can get. I have a First Equity Credit Card for my small business. My card had a credit limit of $12, 700.00. I just paid this balance off on February 9, 2009. Immediately upon receiving my payment the company placed a hold on my account. After I made many, many phone calls inquiring as to why there was a hold on my account and receiving a different explanation each time the hold was finally released, at which time I found that the company had lowered my credit limit to $1, 000.00.
I have sent a certified letter to the company and explained that I will purse the television stations in an effort to get their business practices exposed. Power is in numbers...maybe we should all join forces with this endeavor. Anyone interested please email me @ [email protected]

With the economy as it is these days not many people will be able to pay off credit cards balances - this organization has a GREAT WAY of expressing their gratitude !

Mar 03, 2009 10:22 am EST

Made a payment online to these creeps and received only ONE payment confirmation code. Found out a coupld of days later (you can imagine how) that they processed a double payment to my checking account for almost $8, 000! Called to have the second payment reversed and was told I would have to wait 7-10 days to receive a check in the mail! Supervisor Blake told me their system was not set up to accept more than one payment per day, per account, yet they are holding my money when they know that the double payment was processed in error and it was an error generated by their own payment system! Am disputing the payment with my bank as these creeps tell me they are unable to process an ACH credit back to my checking account nor wire the funds to correct the error. Disgusting, criminal, FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD. Wow, this in America. Feels like a pretty damn corrupt society we have going here. What kind of world do you want?

Feb 04, 2009 1:43 pm EST

2/4/2009 - I just got off the phone with these First Equity people. First off, can we lobby for a new Customer Service rule? If you can't actually solve the customer's problem, DON"T end the call by saying "Is there anything else that I can assist you with, ma'am?", especially when they know you haven't been assisted in any way. I applied for this card that came to me disguised as being affiliated with Discovercard. Big Mistake number one. The interest was high at first. I've had it for about a year. NEVER been late on a payment. NEVER given them any grief. I can't even cite a random technical glitch as a reason for my troubles. I've been a model customer. Well, shake-up happens. My APR doubles to 35% for no reason other than "the terms have been adjusted". Been fighting to get this back down without hurting my credit. So I keep making the payments. Thank you all for taking the time to post valuable information on this page. This is war. I have the tools to pursue this further. The sad truth is that we can get better interest rates from loan sharks than from these criminals.

Jan 09, 2009 7:57 pm EST

This company is one of the most unethical companies I've ever seen. I have a business account with them. Have always paid at least double the minimum if not quadruple or more each month. However, they move their payment date without notification, causing late fees. I called and complained and the late fee was cancelled but the problem still continues. Hard to keep ahead of them. They need to be reported to the Banking Commission and the USAG. Also, even tho paying a HUGE 4 digit amount in order to bring down the balance, since it was a day late, the account was put on hold - unbeknownst to me. Never ANY notification. Subsequently, based on the information on my billing statement which showed they had processed the huge payment and had rec'd my next payment, I paid a vendor bill with one of their checks. Imagine my surprise when it was not honored. That was when I found out that the 'corporate office' (their answer for anything they do not want to answer) had put the account on hold because of the late payment. This, although I have had the account for several years, always paid in full or with large payments; they have kept increasing my credit limit so I certainly can't be considered a bad credit risk. I did manage to get the rate reduced but not nearly enough. This last embarrassment is the last straw. I would encourage anyone with complaints against this compnay to write the USAG and the Banking Commission. If we all do it, perhaps they will be closed down. Couldn't happen to a better institution!

Nov 13, 2008 3:54 pm EST

Just went through the same garbage all of you did. Opened a new business a little over a year ago, credit rating 750, had other cards from 9.99-11.99% and wanted another card for my business partner to use just for travel. First Equity was high at 17.99%, but it offered a 10K limit which we needed at the time. Billing cycle was the 28th of the month for the first 3 months after which they changed it to the 25th with no notification. Went to pay it on the 26th and got both a late fee and an 8 point jump in my interest rate. Recently, I called them to ask them to cut my now 28.2% rate in half or risk my moving my balance to another account. They offered to lower it 5 points. I said buh-bye. Transferred to a reputable card company that locked in the balance at 3.99% for the life of balance. Predatory? I'd call it criminal...

Oct 29, 2008 5:41 pm EDT

I rec'd this card though had no recollection of applying for it. I liked what it looked like but never used it. Rec'd a call at 11:30pm asking why I never used the card and if I could start using it immediately the next day. Found it "VERY" odd to recieve such a call but varified that it was in fact from this creepy company run by a bunch of creepy people, one who goes by the name of CEO: Brian Tvenstrup and SteveTirenzi. I used the card 3 times for cash advances at McDonald's which only charges .99 for the ATM. I later found that First Equity charged me $10 for a $100 cash advance, then 22%interest rate, then a finance charge on top of it all. Appauled, I called and spoke to one of the knit wits and explained that First Quity is charging me this revolting amount of money; about a total of $37 on $100 - that's 37% or using $100 of their dollars. I told them that there is NO way that I would allow myself to be victim to this type of crap. That in 2008, they have 1000's of competitors that would do anything to keep a customer like me and that they have a choice, reverse the fee OR lose me and get ZERO at which I owed them about $1, 200 in total. I have PERFECT credit. I therefore have NO fear of it going bad due to one account that I can easily justify taking a position on. You MUST be proactive with creepy companies like this. Viva la me.

Oct 28, 2008 9:30 pm EDT

A few months back, this credit card company sent me blank cash advance checks with a note encouraging me to use them, one of which I used the NEXT DAY. I later found out that the cash advance check bounced because First Equity reduced my credit limit ON THE SAME DAY THEY SENT THE BLANK CHECKS - but without comminicating that fact to me until days later. Aside from the mess the bounced check caused with my regular bank where I deposited the check, this credit card company has used this event to charge me a default rate of interest, which has steadily increased since that time. The rate is now 29.33%, which I can't believe is legal. They have also reduced my credit limit further on multiple occassions, which I believe were attempts to get me to go over the credit limit, to generate fees and further increases in interest rates. I have NEVER skipped a payment or made a late payment on this account, or any other account I have. I am in the process of closing this awful account, but this company should clearly NOT being doing business. They are scam artists, as far as I am concerned. Please see for other consumer complaints about this company.

Oct 25, 2008 12:20 am EDT

I just wanted to explain what happen to me as being a business card holder with First Equity Card Corporation. I had paid on the card each and every time as agreed. I was late on one payment which I had notified them before they even saw it because of a system glitch online. I resubmitted the payment and that took care of that. They tried to add a late fee which was later removed. But that was not the kicker, after I paid the entire remaining balance of $1, 340. To bring the account to (0) so I could further use the card for my Medical Business, they reduced my credit limit from $1, 500, to $1, 200 to then $200. I was completely appalled by the fact that my credit limit was reduced to $200 for a fully operational business. I had called one of my suppliers and made small purchases that had totaled about $167.00. Mind you now, my credit limit was reduced to only $200. That credit purchases was in fact 'denied.' I was then pisted off with this company business practices.

I called them to inquire what the problem was; it was quoted to me that my account was place on 'hold' from the corporate office. I'm like, what reasons the corporate office would have to place my card account on hold after paying the remaining balanced off. How observed is that? I later filed a complaint with BBB in regards to this credit bad business practices. I had received a response from the BBB advising me that the VP of First Equity Card does not discriminate against Minority, etc, etc. It was suggested by the VP of First Equity Card to call back to customer service and have them to reopen the account after I had closed it and discuss increasing the credit limit. I did such and it did not change one single thing. The credit card limit was still locked at $200, and the card was still placed a holding status by the corporate office. This is the most ridiculous credit card corporation that I had ever dealt with and will be the last. I had advised the BBB to leave my complaint as it stands. I hope somewhere down the road that a large class action lawsuit could be files against this company for bad business practices that resulted in other business financial loses by their own negative business operations.

Aug 24, 2008 4:03 pm EDT

This just happened to me. Two months a go I made an online payment. When setting up online payment I (in error) transposed 2 numbers causing my payment not being able to be made. As soon as I discovered this I corrected it and remade the payment. In the mean time I was charged a $39.00 late fee. I called customer service and explained what had happened and they (at the time) seemed empathetic with me and graciously refunded the late fee. I thought everything was fine. Today I received a letter stating that my credit limit had been reduced to $1, 000. due to being late on my first payment. When the error on my bank account was corrected and when First Equity refunded the late fee I assumed (you know what happens when you assume) the issue was final. Well, wasn't I wrong! I called customer service and they gave me three options to speak to someone at corporate, email, fax or by mail. What kind of customer service is that! After reading a "zillion" complaints on "[redacted]" I regrett ever using this company, they are a fraud and should be reported to the US Attorney General for fraudulent work practices. Anyone know what the process to do this? Word to the wise, if you ever receive an invitation to apply for a First Equity Card, don't open it, draw through your name and write "RETURN TO SENDER" on the envelope and make First Equity pay for the return postage.

Aug 01, 2008 6:23 pm EDT

Columbus Bank and Trust has been issued a Cease and Desist Order today 08/01/08 due to CHRONIC CONSUMER COMPLAINTS due to their First Equity Card program and AS A VICTIM of their ABUSE I AM SO HAPPY TO SEE THEM GO DOWN!

Now do I have to pay off the card or will the government pay it for me?>?

OOPS white guy here...guess not!


I could go on and on about this company, but let me just warn you. If you do accept their offer beware! You can make your payments regularly and within the billing cycle, but if you fail as I did to watch what they are doing you will get a $39 Late payment charge for any month the payment was received in the later half of the cycle. In other words if the statement is printed on the first, your payment had better be in by the 15th and not the 25th.

Don't use them for anything where you carry a balance! They will jerk your interest up to over 30% which I had never even heard of and didn't think was even legal.

I know many of you that get this card's offer are busy trying to run a small business, but you MUST pay attention to every thing these people do. They don't go by the conventional practices that you're accustomed to. They are not your friend, They are not your partner, They do not have your interest at heart, they are unresponsive and have no public relations department that is going to LOWER YOUR RATE when you call to complain. When you get that offer, my advise is to throw it in the trash.

If you can deal with someone who's always there waiting for you to let your guard down to get you, these people may be for you.

Willian, Fort Walton Beach, FL

Jun 13, 2008 1:57 pm EDT

I applied for a line of credit for my catering company; after denying my credit I tried calling, to request my denial documents and scoring. I've tried calling, and calling, and calling, but nothing. All automated numbers. I want to get a hold of First Equity Card Corporation; so if anyone has any up-to-date information about this company, please do not hesitate to contact me via email. Thank you!
J. Rangel


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15 complaints
9 resolved 6 unresolved

First Equity contacts

(added by reviewer)
Phone number
15 Riverside Avenue First Floor, Connecticut United States