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Financial Relief Experts Review

This review is the result of a press release I saw that was sent out by Financial Relief Experts talking about their “tactical Debt Reduction initiative”, TDRI plan. – Source

Address:

Financial Relief Experts
3401 Custer Road, Ste 124
Plano, TX 75023
Toll Free 877-477-9321

Website:

FinancialReliefExperts.com – Domain owned by:
Webster, Simon – [email protected]
505 exchange parkway #8310
Allen, Texas 75002

Description:

Debt Settlement Company

Management

James Charlet – Chief Operating Officer and previously Director of Client Services at RMCN Credit Services. – Source. He is also listed as Chief Operating Officer and co-owner of CRE Credit Services. – Source

Justynn Royal – Executive Vice President, formerly Vice President of Marketing – Source

Simon A. Webster – CEO – Source

Company was registered on September 8, 2009 in Texas although the BBB says they were operational since September 2007. Either the company was operating as an unregistered company or operating under a different name previously. – Source

Contacts

Justynn Royal 877-477-9321 [email protected]

Relationships

CRE Credit Services – Simon Webster
RMCN Credit Services – Justynn Royal – Source, and James Charlet. – Source. RMCN stands for Repair My Credit Now.

Interesting Points

The company sent out a press release bragging about its “TDRI, or Tactical Debt Reduction Initiative, which is their new client debt reduction system” but they don’t seem to mention it on their own site under services they provide. – Source

The company makes some rather dubious claims on their options page which seem more like they are designed to misinform consumers and possibly scare people into using debt settlement services.

The company says,

“The new bankruptcy laws made it nearly impossible for the consumer to file chapter 7 bankruptcy.” – Source

Yet according to the latest quarter of bankruptcy filing by chapter, Chapter 7 bankruptcies account for 71% of filings. – Source

The company says:

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, made it much more difficult for consumers to discharge debt. With limited exceptions, people who plan to file for bankruptcy protection must get credit counseling from a government-approved organization within 180 days before they file. They also must complete a debtor education course. – Source

While this is true, this pre-bankruptcy education is completed by the consumer at their convenience via a computer.

They go on to say:

The chapter 13 Federal Bankruptcy “machine” will decide how much of your debt you can repay and what your payments will be.

Bankruptcy can negatively effect your credit rating for 7-10 years and may result in higher interest rates on future loans. It can even make it more difficult to land a job.

Bankruptcy is a “last resort” and should be avoided if at all possible. – Source

In a Chapter 13 repayment plan a repayment plan will be decided based on what you can afford to pay. Bankruptcy can be reported on your consumer credit report for seven to ten years but they fail to mention that so will delinquent accounts in a debt settlement program (7.5 years from first delinquency) and they don’t mention that credit can be easily be rebuilt after bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is not a last resort and does not need to be avoided “if at all possible.” Corporations use bankruptcy all the time to reorganize and restructure their debt and consumers can fall back on bankruptcy to stop collection activity, prevent lawsuits and protect assets. All of that seems to have been omitted by Financial Relief Experts in describing bankruptcy.

In describing their main service of debt negotiation and debt settlement they make the following statements and claims:

This method of debt resolution tends to have the least negative impact on credit ratings than most other methods.

By reducing the total amount owed, you can:

  • Reduce total unsecured debt by as much as 50-70% in many cases
  • Reduce total interest paid
  • Dramatically reduce monthly payments
  • Realize debt freedom much quicker than other methods

You will save money on a monthly basis and in the long term. This program allows you to realize an end, instead of just trying to hang on every month. Individual results vary according to personal financial positions. – Source

What the company glaringly fails to mention along with these statements is that when entering a debt settlement program, as soon as the consumer starts paying the debt negotiation company instead of their creditors their interest rates will become maximum default rates at high rates, they will be subject to collection activity, their balances will increase, they will be charged penalty fees, and they will be subject to lawsuits for non-payment.

Also it seems very dubious for a company that has only been incorporated for five months to make claims like they can “Reduce total unsecured debt by as much as 50-70% in many cases.” How many clients could they have possibly full negotiated and completed in that period of time. Besides, the industry success rate for resolving debts via debt settlement is very low, only around 10%. – Source

Their “guarantee” is laughable. They say:

Is your service guaranteed?
Yes, if Financial Relief Experts is for some reason unable to settle an enrolled account, FDA will refund you the service fee collected on that particular account. Note: You must have sufficient funds to settle the account in order to be eligible for the guarantee. – Source

This means that before you would be eligible for a refund you would first have to pay all of their total service fees and then save enough money to settle one of your debts. If that debt could not be settled then the service fee for that one debt would be refunded. But you’d still be chased for that debt by the creditor and the rest or the majority of your service fee would have already been taken by the company.

The company says:

The founder of Financial Relief Experts has a long history of success in “Personal Finance” including “Credit Repair” and “Debt Negotiation and Settlement”, working in top positions for leading companies in those fields for several years. – Source

But Financial Relief Experts fails to mention who the founder is. I know it is Simon Webster from doing a little research. Simon Webster is listed as the CEO of CRE Credit Services that was started in January, 2009. CRE Credit Services is a credit repair company. – Source

But the State of Texas says that CRE Credit Services was registered on January 4, 2010.

Six days ago the company claimed to have 50+ clients a month. – Source. But in a press releas today they claim to have 500 new clients a month. – Source. That a huge difference.

BBB Reviews & Ratings

Financial Relief Experts Review

Complaints

None found.

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Financial Relief Experts Review
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Is This Your Company?

If this is a review is about your company and you would like to respond to the information I’ve presented here to possibly put it into a broader context or make a correction, please feel free to post your response in the comments section below. I invite you to read my Debt Relief Company and Site Review Policy first.

Financial Relief Experts Review by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Robertsdustin17

    im a debt collector and this guy has no idea about what goes on w settlement parameters EVERYONE OF YOUR CREDITORS wants to settle most of them jack the price up a lil once its in collections your best bet is to settle before it gets there if your not able to you can negotiate 90% of the time 75% of your original balance once its in collections u can usualy always settle for 20-60 % off your balance depending on how old the dbt is and if its been sold to a buyer already

  • GJ

    REALLY. COME ON. I AM A CLIENT AND AS FAR AS I CAN SEE THIS COMPANY IS USELESS.
    YOU HAVE A CEO BY THE NAME OF SIMON WEBSTER THAT DOESNT EVEN RETURN PHONE CALL OR RESPOND TO E-MAILS. VERY UNHAPPY AND WILL LET MORE PEOPLE KNOW IT. LOOKS LIKE TO ME MR. RHODE IS RIGHT! GJ

  • GJ

    JRF, WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING NOW. SIMON WEBSTER WILL NOT RETURN OUR CALLS OR E-MAILS. VERY FRUSTRATED. CONSIDERING CLOSING ACCOUNT. GJ

  • JRF

    We would like to express our dissatisfaction with their debt reduction program. We received email correspondence from them and spoke to the head of the company, Simon Webster, several times. The timelines and assurances made to us by Simon Webster were inaccurate, and even though the monies were taken out of our account as he promised, the creditors were not informed of the program, and negotiations were not done within the time frame given to us. Their Tactical Debt Reduction Initiative is a failure, the idea of waiting until the credit card companies are really ready to negotiate. As one of the major credit card companies told us that with so many consumers defaulting on their debt they are being more aggressive in take legal action quicker. This is what happen to us.

    Even after several phone calls were made to Simon voicing our concern, action was not taken. All of the promises that he made verbally about when creditors would be contacted, how long it would take the creditors to begin a collection process, and how long any legal action could/would be taken were not accurate. Emails from us were ignored, and phone messages were not returned for weeks. This and other factors resulted in our need to cancel our contract with Financial Relief Experts, forfeit most of the money they took from us, file bankruptcy, and have legal action pending against us.

    We have asked several times for a financial accounting of any funds that they used on our behalf, and have refused any refunds. We are very unhappy with his inattention to our account, and the resulting legal problems that we have had to incur. We would hope that others would not have to go through what we have, and would never recommend this company to anyone.
    JRF

  • JRF

    We would like to express our dissatisfaction with their debt reduction program. We received email correspondence from them and spoke to the head of the company, Simon Webster, several times. The timelines and assurances made to us by Simon Webster were inaccurate, and even though the monies were taken out of our account as he promised, the creditors were not informed of the program, and negotiations were not done within the time frame given to us. Their Tactical Debt Reduction Initiative is a failure, the idea of waiting until the credit card companies are really ready to negotiate. As one of the major credit card companies told us that with so many consumers defaulting on their debt they are being more aggressive in take legal action quicker. This is what happen to us.

    Even after several phone calls were made to Simon voicing our concern, action was not taken. All of the promises that he made verbally about when creditors would be contacted, how long it would take the creditors to begin a collection process, and how long any legal action could/would be taken were not accurate. Emails from us were ignored, and phone messages were not returned for weeks. This and other factors resulted in our need to cancel our contract with Financial Relief Experts, forfeit most of the money they took from us, file bankruptcy, and have legal action pending against us.

    We have asked several times for a financial accounting of any funds that they used on our behalf, and have refused any refunds. We are very unhappy with his inattention to our account, and the resulting legal problems that we have had to incur. We would hope that others would not have to go through what we have, and would never recommend this company to anyone.
    JRF

    • GJ

      JRF, WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING NOW. SIMON WEBSTER WILL NOT RETURN OUR CALLS OR E-MAILS. VERY FRUSTRATED. CONSIDERING CLOSING ACCOUNT. GJ

  • Hate Scammers

    Most of these companies leave you in worse shape than filing a bankruptcy. First, they pay themselves, not your creditors – creditors don’t start getting money until the scam Debt Management Plan (DMP) service gets paid. By the time you have paid the DMP your creditors have become sick of waiting and will hire attorneys to sue you. Once the attorney gets involved, the amount you need to pay to resolve the debt, even if not full payment, now must include the attorney fees and costs.

    On the other hand if the DMP actually succeeds in having creditors agree to accept less than full payment, the creditors usually want a significant percentage paid in lump sum fashion. And, the part that is forgiven will come back to haunt you at the end of the year when you receive a 1099 from the creditor for “debt forgiveness” income – it is the only way they can write off the bad portion of the debt on their company tax returns and it becomes a taxable event for you.

    With a bankruptcy filing, in the normal case, you can discharge all of the debt and suffer no tax consequences. Plus a chapter 7 case is usually over and closed about 90 days after the case is filed. You don’t have to wait around for months and perhaps years to resolve the debts like you would with a DMP.

    Also, the bankruptcy code offers you the protection of the automatic stay which prohibits the creditors from “wildcatting.” With a DMP, if a creditor gets tired of waiting they are free to take individual collection actions against you (sue you) – there is no stay holding them in place as there is with a chapter 7 or 13 filing.

    Most of these DMP outfits are scams and in many jurisdictions it is illegal for them to engage in such activities for you without a license. Also, many jurisdictions consider these activities to be the unauthorized practice of law if engaged in by non-attorneys.

    Finally, any DMP that makes statements about the bankruptcy process (good or bad) might fall within the definition of a “Debt Relief Agency” under the 2005 Bankruptcy Code amendments. Yet they do not comply with the requirements of sections 526, 527 or 528 of the Bankruptcy Code.

    Much of the information put out by DMPs about the bankruptcy process is simply incorrect or it is presented in such a way as to mislead the public into paying for virtually worthless services. Most people who pay the scam artists first end up filing bankruptcy anyway once they realize the DMP is pie in the sky, yet the do so much poorer.

  • Justynn

    My name is Justynn Royal and I’m the EVP of Financial Relief Experts. First and foremost I would like to say that I am honored and humbled by the fact that you took time to review my company. Your review is well written and informative, however there are some counter points that I would like to make.

    1. You write that our website tries to scare people into debt settlement and that’s just not the case. If a client comes seeking us, it’s usually because they have already been considering bankruptcy and are looking for an alternative. While both settlement and bankruptcy have their positives and negatives, we leave that decision up to the client. I know that you, from reading your articles and the direct links on your site, also believe that there are some times when settlement is truly viable so I know that you aren’t bashing the industry.

    2. Bankruptcy and debt settlement do both affect one’s credit; however, most of our clients are already either behind on their payments already or are truly in danger of falling behind soon. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy generally stays on your credit report for 10 years, and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy generally stays on your report for 7 years after the last activity (i.e. if you are on a 36 month repayment plan, the 7 years starts after your discharge) While you do mention that 71% of bankruptcies are chapter 7(not sure if you meant applied for or discharged), you also agreed that filing a chapter 7 Bk is much harder than pre 2005. To even pass the means test you must have income that is at or below the median household income for your state. If your aggregate disposable income is more than $10000 for 5 years or roughly $168/month extra that is not going towards your bills, you probably will not qualify for Chapter 7(basically if you can afford cable TV then you can’t qualify). You state that a chapter 13 repayment plan allows you to pay what you can afford to your creditors, but you failed to mention that you must stay current on your secured debt as well, as one missed payment at all on the payment plan or secured debt may get your Chapter 13 dismissed. Please see more on this at NOLO.com http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-30040.html. Also according to expertlaw.com only 35% of petitioners that make it to a trustee complete their repayment plan.

    3. You were correct that a company that has been incorporated for 5 months would not be able to settle the amount of debt that we do. The company was operating as Freedom Debt Associates before it was FRE, and it was a one man show before that, so you were correct in that assumption

    4. As far as our guarantee goes, the client must have enough money to settle the account before we can give them their service fee back. Obviously if the client doesn’t have the means to settle, then they don’t have the money for our service fee either at that time. It is impossible to give a client money back that they have not paid. In the event that the client has pre paid the service fee and we have started the negotiation process, the client must have the funds to settle or be willing to save the amount of funds necessary. This protects us from work that we may do and not get paid for as well as helping our clients commit to paying the creditor.

    5. Simon Webster is the CEO of Financial Relief Experts and he owns CRE Credit Services as well. Public information from LinkedIn, Google or Facebook should yield that information. CRE Credit Services has just recently opened, you are correct about that.

    6. As far as the BBB goes, there are 32 other debt settlement companies that have 0 complaints in the last 36 months and have an F rating. For our BBB region, which includes the 2 largest debt settlement companies in America, all debt settlement companies automatically receive F ratings and cannot become accredited. I know that this is not the case for other BBB regions, but simple research on the BBB website can confirm this, as well as the Dallas/Ft Worth BBB Chief Compliance Officer.

    7. You wrote “Six days ago the company claimed to have 50+ clients a month. – Source. But in a press release today they claim to have 500 new clients a month. – Source. That a huge difference.” I take responsibility for that, as I have to approve everything that goes out. The number of unique clients is 50+ or more per month due to our corporate affiliations. If you total the concurrent number of clients that we are servicing then yes the number is 500+ I should have made the author clarify the numbers. Thank you for pointing that out.

    8. TDRI is our management software system that we have just rolled out. We are excited about it hence the reason for the press release. This is not on the website yet due to our IT guys building the framework to allow our clients to log into their accounts from the website. That functionality requires tremendous time and effort and we expect our clients to be truly pleased with its ease and convenience.

    Once again Mr. Rhode I am pleased and honored that you took the time to review my company. Two people here already listen to your podcasts and I will be following you as well. I believe that you have probably forgotten more about finance than I will know and I appreciate you pointing out our weak spots and offering constructive criticism so that we can make ourselves better. If you have any further comments, or questions please contact me directly.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Justynn,

      Thanks for the response and clarification.

      Steve

    • GJ

      REALLY. COME ON. I AM A CLIENT AND AS FAR AS I CAN SEE THIS COMPANY IS USELESS.
      YOU HAVE A CEO BY THE NAME OF SIMON WEBSTER THAT DOESNT EVEN RETURN PHONE CALL OR RESPOND TO E-MAILS. VERY UNHAPPY AND WILL LET MORE PEOPLE KNOW IT. LOOKS LIKE TO ME MR. RHODE IS RIGHT! GJ

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