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Debt Free Associates – Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise?

Please share your experience with this debt relief company and provide your review and feedback, in the comments section below.

The goal of this page is to allow people to share information that may be important to help others to make a more informed decision regarding their experience with this debt relief company. Here are some potential questions you might be able to provide feedback about.

  • How did you feel about the customer service experience you received?
  • Was the company easy to communicate with before or after you became a client?
  • Did the company respond to your communications promptly?
  • What were the fees charged for the services you received?
  • Did the company give you the terms and conditions for the program you were interested in before you gave them any personal information?
  • Was the program successful for you and accomplish the goals you had when you entered the program?
  • Did you have a really good experience you can share?
  • Did you have a bad experience you want to share?
  • Is there any other information you’d like people to know that might be considering the services of this company?

It is important to understand when reading comments below that they are the opinions of the individual posters and may not be representative of the overall impression of all consumers that may have or have not used the debt relief services of this company. But everyone does deserve to have an opportunity to express their opinion, even the debt relief company itself, be it good, bad, or indifferent.

Debt Free Associates   Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise?
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Would you recommend Debt Free Associates to others?

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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.
  • Very Disappointed Ms Anderson

    Terribly disappointed with the service after I signed up. I had to turn to this after my husband lost his job and the year the banks interest rates shot up to 21-22% interest, something I never would have owned a credit card if I had to pay interest rates that high! Since I could not afford this inflated min payments due, I turned to this company with good hopes after talking to them on the phone as they were so reassuring. I was told I would be speaking to the same person throughout the process, that didn’t happen. After they collected their monthly enrollment fees, the first months (first total of 2,140) and monthly service fees of 75.00 ) I had basically handed them over $4,000 for services they did not provide. First off, Chase bank did not want to deal with them and I guess they have the right to do this? Three of my cards were with Chase, therefore, I had to deal with them and made all the settlements myself! They kept the money for the debt amount which is the service they did NOT have to settle with or provide!. Yes, after they collected their fees on the debt amount they charged me! Furthermore, I was so annoyed by them because I could not get them on the phone, no live person or manager would respond to my request of the fact Chase would not deal with them, which is why I never was credited back, they kept it! I became so stressed out with this company, I wish I had read this post below, because it’s almost exactly what I went through, I just can’t believe a company could be so cruel and dishonest, I could go on, but it just upsets me with the fact I gave away so much money and these people would not even address my issues or concerns as to why I had to pay them so much money and still the collectors and creditors kept calling me and eventually offering amounts to settle which is what I did with them on MY own just to be done with all of this. Yes, I did what they said and ignored the creditors (very, stressful all the calls constantly) as they said up to 10 months later (after the accounts starts building up your funds to pay them off) which by now you really owe big time for late fees and all (consider that!). My debt is far worse than in the beginning and now the taxes owed is ridiculous! So as I said very disappointed, this company should not be open for business when they don’t practice what they say they will do for you, especially if they are out to rob you when you are already in a vulnerable state and just want to pay your debt fairly or within reason when things happen in life and you can’t always do whats right.

  • Dcrealtyonline

    They are the most awful people ever you can deal with. They already put judgement against my accounts and they have not done jack. DO not use them. they are lairs. 

  • Carlevesque4

    I decided to try Debt Free inSept. of 2010, after speaking with Mark who was wonderful to get me to sign up with them BUT after that forget it. WHAT a SCAM, they want all your money but don’t negotiate with credit card companies for months later! Wait till you get a statement from Global Solutions, their bank!! All your money goes to Customer Fees, Transaction Fees, seems like your money is gone somewhere but not toward helping you. After 4 months, I cancelled, asked for my money back, which should have been $1,767.00 and got a check for $98.00 That’s it!!! My lawyer wrote them letters and called their lawyer. Everything they do is from Florida if you want to fight it or go to court. Their Customer Service dept. tells you to build up your Savings acct. and that will go to collection status. Saving money helps out. IF I had money to save, I could pay my credit cards!!! Dont’ use this company, You Will BE SORRY. Rip Off company. I suggest, try working plans out with your Credit Card companies, they might be able to help before debt solutions.

  • Carlevesque4

    I decided to try Debt Free inSept. of 2010, after speaking with Mark who was wonderful to get me to sign up with them BUT after that forget it. WHAT a SCAM, they want all your money but don’t negotiate with credit card companies for months later! Wait till you get a statement from Global Solutions, their bank!! All your money goes to Customer Fees, Transaction Fees, seems like your money is gone somewhere but not toward helping you. After 4 months, I cancelled, asked for my money back, which should have been $1,767.00 and got a check for $98.00 That’s it!!! My lawyer wrote them letters and called their lawyer. Everything they do is from Florida if you want to fight it or go to court. Their Customer Service dept. tells you to build up your Savings acct. and that will go to collection status. Saving money helps out. IF I had money to save, I could pay my credit cards!!! Dont’ use this company, You Will BE SORRY. Rip Off company. I suggest, try working plans out with your Credit Card companies, they might be able to help before debt solutions.

  • Joe

    Hi Tricia,

    I also lost thousands in “fees” from cancelling my contract with DFA. What really upsets me is that they tell you to stop paying your credit cards, which resulted in my case in a serious drop of my credit score (I had always paid on time before joining DFA). Some direct effects: I was denied home improvement loans, Home Depot cancelled my card even though I had a positive balance! I feel that DFA is directly responsable for this situation and should be held accountable. I want to stop them too, and I want ALL my fees back, and I also want compensation for the loss of credit and credibility. I think if we get enough people to join forces and put the pressure we can accomplish something. I have some ideas. Contact me at [email protected]

  • Joe

    Hi Tomica,
    I also lost thousands in “fees” from cancelling my contract with DFA. What really upsets me is that they tell you to stop paying your credit cards, which resulted in my case in a serious drop of my credit score (I had always paid on time before joining DFA). Some direct effects: I was denied home improvement loans, Home Depot cancelled my card even though I had a positive balance! I feel that DFA is directly responsable for this situation and should be held accountable. I want to stip them too, and I want ALL my fees back, and I also want compensation for the loss of credit and credibility. Interested? contact me at: lemanik (at) charter.net

    Joe

  • Joe

    Hi Jeremy,

    I also lost thousands in “fees” from cancelling my contract with DFA. What really upsets me is that they tell you to stop paying your credit cards, which resulted in my case in a serious drop of my credit score (I had always paid on time before joining DFA). Some direct effects: I was denied home improvement loans, Home Depot cancelled my card even though I had a positive balance! I feel that DFA is directly responsible for this situation and should be held accountable.
    I feel like you, feel like they ruined my credit and credibility and I too want to stop then and prevent other people to fall in the same trap. I have some ideas to put the pressure on. Interested?

  • joe

    I also lost thousands in “fees” from cancelling my contract with DFA. What really upsets me is that they tell you to stop paying your credit cards, which resulted in my case in a serious drop of my credit score (I had always paid on time before joining DFA). Some direct effects: I was denied home improvement loans, Home Depot cancelled my card even though I had a positive balance! I feel that DFA is directly responsable for this situation and should be held accountable. Has anyone tried?

  • Mslawyer

    Tomika: Our law firm, Bronson & Associates, represents several people who have been subjected to debt settlement scams. If you think you might be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit as a representative plaintiff, please feel free to contact us directly at 209-830-0400. We finance the litigation and other than taking up some of your time to share your unfortunate story, there is no cost to you in participating. On the other hand, there is potential for recovering all your out of pocket losses suffered as a result of your relationship with the debt settlement company. Downside is that litigation takes time. If you have not already signed off on a settlement with them, please feel free to calls us.

  • Mslawyer

    Tomika: Our law firm, Bronson & Associates, represents several people who have been subjected to debt settlement scams, including Debt Relief Associates ‘unfair business practices. If you think you might be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit as a representative plaintiff against Debt Free Associates, please feel free to contact us directly at 209-830-0400. We finance the litigation and other than taking up some of your time to share your unfortunate story, there is cost to you in participating. On the other hand, there is potential for recovering all your out of pocket losses suffered as a result of your relationship with Debt Free.

  • Troubled in PA

    I have been Dept Free since November 2008, they have taken over $9,000.00 from me and have done nothing for me. I was told i would be debt free within 30 months, i still have creditors calling they have not paid one bill at all, i have tried talking with them and that is impossible!!!!! Today 01/10/2010 told them i have to close this account and move on to take care of business myself….they said after paying out over 9 thousand they will only return less than 3 thousand….what happened to all of my money? They never paid out one cent in my behalf.

  • Troubled in PA

    I have been Dept Free since November 2008, they have taken over $9,000.00 from me and have done nothing for me. I was told i would be debt free within 30 months, i still have creditors calling they have not paid one bill at all, i have tried talking with them and that is impossible!!!!! Today 01/10/2010 told them i have to close this account and move on to take care of business myself….they said after paying out over 9 thousand they will only return less than 3 thousand….what happened to all of my money? They never paid out one cent in my behalf.

  • Abrianna M

    Stan Chambers – if clients call the debtors directly, they can settle around 20%…less is some cases. Doesn’t pay to use a service like this nowadays.

  • Studioengineers

    Sorry to hear about your case. I am glad I stumbled on this site because I received a letter from these people. Why doesn’t the government take action against such predators?
    This must be put out on the mass media so more people are made aware of these crooks.

  • Corey7593

    Debt free is only after your money, maybe they will settle your debts after you go to court and
    your credit is ruined. Just settle with your creditors on your own, it will save you a lot .
    Debt free sounds good in the start , but all they care about is getting your money:(

  • Corey7593

    Debt free is only after your money, maybe they will settle your debts after you go to court and
    your credit is ruined. Just settle with your creditors on your own, it will save you a lot .
    Debt free sounds good in the start , but all they care about is getting your money:(

  • Rocknrace8

    Maybe scam is the wrong word to describe them…but they did not help me in any way…they did refund half of my money because they knew they did not help me. Glad it worked for you. I didn’t want a free ride , just for them to do what i PAID them to do, settle my accounts.Its funny you tell Joe Debt Jr that he lives on his cards trying to make it look like he had money , is that what you did ?? I can say i had to use them because i lost my job due to the economy.You sound like you work for them and your just on here doing some damage control!!

  • Debtelim

    I personally do not have experience with this company but based on experience in general I would like to add the following comment:

    You should never work with a company that is claiming to make your payments for you. This is a recipe for disaster and chances are the fees you are paying can be used to fix your own issues.

    The best recipe for you is to find a company that specializes in debt reduction planning, with focus on you and not the profits they will make off of you. There are companies out there and plenty of reading on the net , once you get through all the scams. If it looks to be too goo then chances is that it is too good.

    Look for a company that provides a solid gaurantee, either results before payment or a low total program cost. Beware of paying monthly fees that you can put to use for yourself .

    Good Luck to all -

  • http://www.debt-elimination-services.net Debtelim

    I personally do not have experience with this company but based on experience in general I would like to add the following comment:

    You should never work with a company that is claiming to make your payments for you. This is a recipe for disaster and chances are the fees you are paying can be used to fix your own issues.

    The best recipe for you is to find a company that specializes in debt reduction planning, with focus on you and not the profits they will make off of you. There are companies out there and plenty of reading on the net , once you get through all the scams. If it looks to be too goo then chances is that it is too good.

    Look for a company that provides a solid gaurantee, either results before payment or a low total program cost. Beware of paying monthly fees that you can put to use for yourself .

    Good Luck to all –

  • Mike

    whatever you say clown… all i know is i am debt free while you charge your whole life on credit cards trying to look like you have money… and i dont know, or care about some laws coming out.. whats that have to do with me. all i know is that they did what they said they were going to do and my debts are gone.. the whole point of my comment was to challenge the people that say this is a scam… so why dont you mr joe debt jr go read a dictionary and find out what a scam really is… they may charge outrageous amounts, or be considered really expensive.. but a scam? sounds like you need to pull your head out of your butt… because paying them 10 grand in 3 yrs is still much cheaper than paying the credit card companies 48 gran in 3 yrs and still have the balance owed… so tell me who is the one ripping people off with outrageous fees.. you probably work for the bank you scoundrel! so laugh it up , but you and you ripoff banks will never get my money. so take that!!

  • Joe_debt_jr

    lol@Mike listen to your statement,”Debt Free is the Best!! They settled all my accounts in half the time they quoted me, not sure what these people are talking about. there is no scam, if it was a scam wouldnt they just take your money?? I’ve never heard of a scammer that does refunds.” You portray as a client but yet you mention on how this company aren’t scammers because they refund? How do you know that, if you’ve completed the program yourself? Most clients are glad the debt is behind them and move on not searching for blogs to do what you are doing especially when you didn’t lay out facts. Come on buddy, if you are a sales rep, wake up!!! OCT 27th your boss is gonna tell you about your new pay plan and that you cannot say and do certain things anymore but for right now till Oct 27th, swing with all your might and make as much as you can before the new laws becomes impossible collect HIGH Upfront fees is what your company pitching to you right now right? Stop letting your boss dangle a magic carrot. Either find a company that is going to comply with the new law or look for a new career. Posting fake testimonial will not help you earn more clients. If you care about the consumers than be honest and truthful. Look at your contract you have right now? Does front loading the fees help the consumer or just drags the settlement process? If you had to do a debt settlement yourself, what model will you choose? Current Front Loaded Fee Package or Performance Model where more than 90% of all your monthly payments is set aside into savings?

  • Mike

    Debt Free is the Best!! They settled all my accounts in half the time they quoted me, not sure what these people are talking about. there is no scam, if it was a scam wouldnt they just take your money?? I’ve never heard of a scammer that does refunds… sounds like these people just want a free ride … you ran up your bills and are paying thousands to the banks in fee’s monthly – but 75 bucks is a ripoff … i have referred all my family and friends to debt free associates .. complaining doesnt pay the bills!! get to work and stay off these cry baby sites!!

  • Mike

    Debt Free is the Best!! They settled all my accounts in half the time they quoted me, not sure what these people are talking about. there is no scam, if it was a scam wouldnt they just take your money?? I’ve never heard of a scammer that does refunds… sounds like these people just want a free ride … you ran up your bills and are paying thousands to the banks in fee’s monthly – but 75 bucks is a ripoff … i have referred all my family and friends to debt free associates .. complaining doesnt pay the bills!! get to work and stay off these cry baby sites!!

    • Anonymous

      lol@Mike listen to your statement,”Debt Free is the Best!! They settled all my accounts in half the time they quoted me, not sure what these people are talking about. there is no scam, if it was a scam wouldnt they just take your money?? I’ve never heard of a scammer that does refunds.” You portray as a client but yet you mention on how this company aren’t scammers because they refund? How do you know that, if you’ve completed the program yourself? Most clients are glad the debt is behind them and move on not searching for blogs to do what you are doing especially when you didn’t lay out facts. Come on buddy, if you are a sales rep, wake up!!! OCT 27th your boss is gonna tell you about your new pay plan and that you cannot say and do certain things anymore but for right now till Oct 27th, swing with all your might and make as much as you can before the new laws becomes impossible collect HIGH Upfront fees is what your company pitching to you right now right? Stop letting your boss dangle a magic carrot. Either find a company that is going to comply with the new law or look for a new career. Posting fake testimonial will not help you earn more clients. If you care about the consumers than be honest and truthful. Look at your contract you have right now? Does front loading the fees help the consumer or just drags the settlement process? If you had to do a debt settlement yourself, what model will you choose? Current Front Loaded Fee Package or Performance Model where more than 90% of all your monthly payments is set aside into savings?

      • Mike

        whatever you say clown… all i know is i am debt free while you charge your whole life on credit cards trying to look like you have money… and i dont know, or care about some laws coming out.. whats that have to do with me. all i know is that they did what they said they were going to do and my debts are gone.. the whole point of my comment was to challenge the people that say this is a scam… so why dont you mr joe debt jr go read a dictionary and find out what a scam really is… they may charge outrageous amounts, or be considered really expensive.. but a scam? sounds like you need to pull your head out of your butt… because paying them 10 grand in 3 yrs is still much cheaper than paying the credit card companies 48 gran in 3 yrs and still have the balance owed… so tell me who is the one ripping people off with outrageous fees.. you probably work for the bank you scoundrel! so laugh it up , but you and you ripoff banks will never get my money. so take that!!

    • Rocknrace8

      Maybe scam is the wrong word to describe them…but they did not help me in any way…they did refund half of my money because they knew they did not help me. Glad it worked for you. I didn’t want a free ride , just for them to do what i PAID them to do, settle my accounts.Its funny you tell Joe Debt Jr that he lives on his cards trying to make it look like he had money , is that what you did ?? I can say i had to use them because i lost my job due to the economy.You sound like you work for them and your just on here doing some damage control!!

  • Jennifer

    I have been enrolled with Debt Free Associates for a little over 11 months and they have settled 2 out of my 3 accounts for 27%! I saved over 22k by enrolling with them, if you ask me, this is worth the fee I paid them of about 6k. I originally signed up for a 2 year term and it looks like I am going to be done much faster than that! I’m not sure if the bad reviews did not fully understand the program, but I spoke with a very knowlegable representative and they explained everything to me so I knew what to expect.

  • chris

    SCAM…SCAM….SCAM…SCAM….SCAM….SCAM….YOU ARE WARNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nie

    WARNING….DO NOT USER THEM…. Like many of you here, I just found out that there is only 477.06 in my saving account and that i have been contributing $2999 to these guys. I was told to fax offered letters to them, which i did. I called in and was informed to only contact them when it is a third party offer. I recieved an offered from one of my creditor and had decided to go ahead and use my money in their saving for it. That was the reason i contacted them. After talking to them for 5 minutes, I got chills and learned that i only had $477.06. I questioned why they did not informed their customer about this and they said sorry for what i was being informed. I told them you say sorry but i am still in debt and that my money is gone. So,, now, I have two days left and i wanted to use settle this offer but they went ahead and submit their paper work. Now, the whole process is messed up and i do not want to just pay left over amount not knowing if they truely pay the 477.06 or not. So.. please stay away from them… One persone comment that if you save the 700 you could have settle your two credit cards. This is true..

    Apparently, they calculated your debt and ask you to make a contribution based on their estimated debt amount. In my case, 700 a month.. Using this figure, 700, here is the break out..

    So.. first you pay 199 processing fee..
    Then for the next 4 months (700X4), you paythem $2,322.94 and save 477.06
    Then for the next 12 months (700×12), you will pay them $3,106.80 and save $5,293.20.
    Then, for the following months after this untill your contract end, you will pay them $75.00 every month, using the 700 a month contribution.

    For Nothing… These offer letter sent to you by your creditors… If you want to settle it in full, it clearly states the means to do so in the offer letter. If you to settle with a payment plan, call them up and ask for it.. but i think there will be a 0% – 30% fee add on the offer amount.

    I hope every one being affected here file complaints so that i can not scam another hard working person out there.

  • Chris

    Hi – I’ve read all the complaints and a few praises. I’ve recently spoken with Brandon from the company and have entered into an agreement to pay off 35,000 in credit card debt. All my payments are up to date and so I have to stop paying my cards to go into default so that they can negotiate with the credit card companies. Typically the companies won’t talk to them until at least 3 months. (I’m not sure how quickly I could be sued). I will be paying $1,200 per month and they estimate that I should be out of debt in 18 months once they negotiate. They are charging me $75 per month maintenance fee plus 12% which is about $4,100. I’m not sure why they have not contacted your creditors, but I’m assuming some of your money you put in your trust in going towards that 12% fee. There is also a clause in the contract that states they guarantee at least a 15% reduction in settlement. If they can reduce my debt owed by at least 50%, they have earned their commission, however they do not guarantee it and it states that clearly in the contract.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Chris,

      $75 a month. Wow, that is a lot compared to others.

      Steve

    • chris

      IF YOU STILL USE THEM AFTER READING THESE STORIES , YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEY , MY WIFE AND I HAD TO CALL ALL OF OUR CREDITORS AND WE NOW KNOW THAT WE CAN GET THE SAME SETTLEMENT AS DEBTFREE COULD..TRUST ME , WE HAD 7 CARDS , AND DEBTFREE DID NOT MAKE 1 SETTLEMENT FOR US , NOT 1 !!!! THE FIRST 2 WE WERE SUED , THEY WOULDN’T DO ANYTHING BECAUSE OUR FEES WERE NOT PAID IN FULL YET. WE BORROWED SOME MONEY AND INSTEAD OF PAYING THE REST OF THE FEES WE DECIDED TO PAY OFF 2 ON OUR OWN , WE MADE THE CALLS TO THE LAWYERS AND AGREED TO A 40% SETTLEMENT.AFTER OUR FEES WERE PAID , WE NEEDED THEM TO SETTLE THE 2 BIGGEST CARDS FOR US , I GOT SUED AND COULDN’T EVEN GET A RETURN PHONE CALL FROM ANYBODY AT DEBTFREE FOR ABOUT A MONTH. THEY SAID THEY COULDN’T HELP ME BECAUSE IT WENT “LEGAL ” SO I WAS ON MY OWN. I WENT TO COURT , HAD TO MAKE PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE FULL BALANCE WITH 13% INTEREST!!!!!THE BALANCE HAD ALMOST DOUBLED SINCE I JOINED THE PROGRAM.AFTER THE COURT DATE THEY FINALLY RETURNED MY PHONE CALL ASKING HOW IT WENT!!!! SOME GUY NAMED BLAINE TRIED TELLING ME THAT NONE OF MY COMPLAINTS WERE TRUE , THAT ” IT DOESN’T MAKE GOOD BUSINESS SENSE TO NOT RETURN CALLS , TO NOT SETTLE AN ACCOUNT BEFORE FEES ARE PAID , AND TO SAY THAT THEY COULDN’T HELP BECAUSE IT WENT LEGAL ” WELL THEY DID TELL ME THIS AND WHEN I THREATENED TO CONTACT A LAWYER , BECAUSE THEY RECORD ALL CONVERSATIONS , TO PROVE IT , THEY GAVE ME 50% OF MY FEES BACK THEN I QUIT THE PROGRAM! IF YOU STILL SIGNED UP WITH THEM AFTER READING ALL OF THE STORIES HERE , GOOD LUCK…YOU WERE WARNED!!!
      CHRIS

  • Mary

    The company I was with is Freedom Financial Network/Freedom Debt Relief. I have been following Steve’s forums and blogs and if you can fine time to read all the information you will find out who to report these awful,misleading debt settlement companies to. I was scammed out of $9,255.68 by Freedom Financial Network. They are now offering me a second refund and we are declining it again. The first one was $1,869.25 and now they are offering $2,963.28 because our state attorney’s general office has contacted them. Then I am going to have to sign a settlement letter that I will not write information like this. NO WAY!! Write your state attorney general’s, write the senators who are enforcing the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act, Federal Trade Commision, United States Government Accountability Office, and etc… I know that most of us in this situation are working maybe 2 or 3 jobs and are exhausted. Please find the time to report them, you do have a voice!!! Anyone who is thinking of going with a debt settlement company or Freedom Financial Network/Freedom Debt Relief, please do not sign with them. Find another way, ask Steve for some advice you will work it out. By the time you are paying them there fees you could take that money and pay off your debt. It will take awhile, but you will get there. If you think you are in a bad situation now, just wait until you sign with a debt settlement company. They will tell you to stop paying your credit cards and the next thing you know your credit report reads charge off. Also, do not forget to keep all of your paperwork that you get from them. Best of luck to all of you and Steve keep the information coming. I am reading!

    • Mslawyer

      Tomika: Our law firm, Bronson & Associates, represents several people who have been subjected to debt settlement scams. If you think you might be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit as a representative plaintiff, please feel free to contact us directly at 209-830-0400. We finance the litigation and other than taking up some of your time to share your unfortunate story, there is no cost to you in participating. On the other hand, there is potential for recovering all your out of pocket losses suffered as a result of your relationship with the debt settlement company. Downside is that litigation takes time. If you have not already signed off on a settlement with them, please feel free to calls us.

  • chris

    DO NOT USE DEBT FREE ASSOCIATES…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED… I HAVE BEEN WITH THEM FOR 2 YEARS NOW , WE HAD 7 CREDITORS WE NEEDED HELP WITH ,WE GOT SUED BY 2 THE FIRST 4 MONTHS , DEBT FREE ASSOCIATES ONLY SENT US TO A LEGAL ADVICE LINE , THEY WOULD NOT OR WOULDN’T HELP US BECAUSE OUR FEES WERE NOT PAID IN FULL , WE HAD TO SETTLE THE LAWSUITS OUR SELVES. WE SETTLED 2 MORE ACCOUNTS WITHOUT THEM MAKING 1 PHONE CALL OR NEGOTIATING A SETTLEMENT FOR US. NOW WE ARE DOWN TO THE LAST 3 , WHICH ALL HAVE ABOUT DOUBLED IN BALANCE SINCE WE JOINED DEBT FREE ASSOCIATES , I AM BEING SUED AGAIN AND DEBT FREE HASN’T DONE A THING EXCEPT HAVE A LEGAL FIRM CONTACT ME ABOUT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME IN COURT. DEBT FREE ASSOCIATES HAVE NOT CALLED TO DISCUSS A SETTLEMENT AT ALL , ALL MY FEES ARE PAID AND THEY ARE TAKING $75 A MONTH TO KEEP THE ACCOUNT OPEN. THEY WILL NOT CALL ME BACK , AND WHEN I CAN GET A HOLD OF SOMEONE THEY SAY THEY WILL CONTACT ME AND NEVER DO! THEY ARE A SCAM , BEWARE. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET SOME OF MY MONEY BACK? I HAVE PAID THEN MORE THAT $2500.00!

    • Tomika Arce

      Hi Chris,
      I paid debt free about $4200.00 in fees in about 6 1/2 months I was with them before I fired them. I spoke to a customer resolutions person just yesterday and first offered a refund of $221.25, I told her that was not acceptable, than offered $331.88. I had to litteraly beg her to go higher, she finally offered a refund $774.38 and said she could absoulty not go any higher. I will let you know the outcome. I dont know If I want to settle on that. I filed a complaint with bbb, consumers affairs, tasc, i emailed brian (owner of debt free). I will let you know the outcome.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        You might want to follow my refund process here.

        Steve

      • Tomika Arce

        Steve,
        What do you think? Should I settle on a refund of $774.38? I followed your steps.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Tomika,

        Ultimately only you can determine if that is a sufficient refund for you. Do you want to fight harder and go for more if it means losing out on the $774?

        I see from your previous comments that you paid about $4,500 in. If so, and you got little benefit from that you probably have a higher refund to go for.

        Since there is so much money on the table it might be a good investment to hire a local attorney or find an attorney here to put forward a stern demand. A $250 investment in a letter would be a good investment if you got $2,500 back.

        Let me know what you decide to do.

        Steve

      • chris

        Hi Tomika
        AFTER SENDING SOME EMAILS TO EVERY ADDRESS I HAD AT DEBTFREE , I FINALLY GOT A CALL FROM A VERY NICE UNDERSTANDING LADY IN CUSTOMER RESOLUTIONS , SHE GAVE ME A REFUND OF $1200 , ABOUT HALF OF MY FEES.I QUICKLY TOOK THE OFFER AND QUIT THE PROGRAM.I JUST RECEIVED THE CHEEK AND AM ABOUT TO PAY OFF ONE OF THE LAST 2 CARDS I HAVE LEFT.I HOPE YOU CAN GET MORE MONEY BACK , I WAS SURPRISED THAT THEY OFFERED ME THAT MUCH OR ANY MONEY AT ALL , I GUESS THEY KNEW THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A THING FOR ME.IT WAS A LESSON LEARNED , I SHOULD HAVE DONE MY HOMEWORK AND REALLY CHECKED THE COMPANY OUT BEFORE I JOINED THE PROGRAM , I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THEM YO ANYONE. I HAD A REAL BIG ARGUMENT WITH A GUY NAMED BLAINE , SO IF YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH HIM BEWARE , HE IS A COMPLETE ASS.

  • Andrea

    I’m glad I have always checked companies out through forums like this one before I get involved with them. Thank’s for the heads up about Debt Free Associates. I will certainly NOT use them to relieve my financial strain. Sounds like they make it worse! Word to the wise: Always, Always search the net for complaint posts before buying from or signing up with unknown companies. 9 out of 10 turn out to be scams–and to good to be true.

  • Tomika Arce

    OH….I am PISSED now! Since I cancelled with Debt Free my savings had $355.00, I got my savings check yesterday in the mail for only $80.00. Again, I was with Debt free for 6 1/2 months, and paid about $4,500.00 in fees. I cancelled on 6-18-10 and stopped any withdrafts from my bank, and since I did that, they withheld $250.00 from my savings. I have to say, I am beyond PISSED OFF! I have already filed a complaint with BBB and Consumers Affairs. I also filed a complaint with TASC. I have Called channel 3 News out of Sacramento. I will also be filing a complaint with The Attorney Generals Office in their area. My account is in review with debt free right now for a refund of all their rip off fees I paid to be returned to me since nothing was done for me. I call them every other day to make sure my account is not being ignored! I am willing to pay for any services I get from any company. Yet, they did nothing, so they deserve nothing! I need my money back! ***DEBT FREE ASSOCIATES ARE A SCAM. Since I was a member of Debt Free Associates up until 6-18-10. I know first hand how they handle their business. I can walk you through their steps of putting you deeper into dept. Dont waste your money on them. I was a member, I got scammed big time! They will take your money and do nothing for you. Because of them, 2 of my creditors are sueing me. I am willing to help other people by putting my email address on this website. Please contact me via email: [email protected] so I can talk you out of not hiring Debt Free Associates. Until I get my full refund…this is not over by a long shot!!!

    • Darla Carranza

      THANK YOU TOMIKA FOR YOUR OPEN, HONEST AND TRUTHFUL COMMENTS ABOUT DEBT FREE.
      I WAS THINKING ABOUT CONTACTING THEM ABOUT MY CREDIT SITUATION. BUT SINCE
      READING ABOUT YOUR SITUATION WITH THEM. IT HAS MADE ME STOP AND THINK.
      MAYBE I WOULD BE BETTER OFF TO JUST PAY WHAT EVER I CAN AFFORD OR TRY ANOTHER COMPANY. BUT WILL THEY MAY BE THE SAME AS DEBT FREE? I’M SORRY FOR
      YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. DEBT FREE CHEATED YOUR FAMILY. I THINK THEY MUST
      DO THIS A LOT. THEY PREY ON SINGLE PARENTS AND ELDERLY. THEY ARE THE EASIEST TO SNAG. I HAVE $ 36,000.00 IN DEBT I NEED HELP WITH, BUT I SURE
      WON’T BE CONTACTING DEBT FREE. I’D RATHER TAKE MY CHANCES WITH THE COURTS.
      AGAIN TOMIKA, I THANK YOU. AND GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN.

    • Mslawyer

      Tomika: Our law firm, Bronson & Associates, represents several people who have been subjected to debt settlement scams, including Debt Relief Associates ‘unfair business practices. If you think you might be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit as a representative plaintiff against Debt Free Associates, please feel free to contact us directly at 209-830-0400. We finance the litigation and other than taking up some of your time to share your unfortunate story, there is cost to you in participating. On the other hand, there is potential for recovering all your out of pocket losses suffered as a result of your relationship with Debt Free.

  • Tricia Jones

    this company is a scam. My story is same as the ones above. Lot of promises made, told fee was 75.00 monthly. Have paid them over 3,500.00 and am also being sued. I have requested my funds be returned, as well as what is in the “savings” account. I sent them letters from credit card for reduced balances negotiation, and they did NOTHING!!! I will report to every agency I can as a scam. I cannot believe the government lets these companies continue to operate. I may be stupid once, but never again will I talk to a company like this or to Global Client Solutions. This company is a scam as well. They are sitting on my “savings” and have not refunded it. They now delete all emails without reading. They know I am requesting a check be sent for those funds to pay the legal fees for being sued. They are not concerned with any clients requests.
    If we all report these two business to enough organizations, maybe someone will stop this scam.
    T Jones

  • Jeremy

    SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM, I CANT SAY IT ENOUGH. They promise you the moon and stars, and I got hozed bad. I got sued and they told me everything was taken care of. when I got to court, the attorney representing the credit card company laughed and said Debt Free never contacted them. I put around $3500 into it, and got about $1000 refunded. They are horrible and need to be stopped. I will make it my lifes mission to make sure no one goes with this company

    • Tomika Arce

      Hi Jeremy,
      I feel for you! I was scammed just like you by Debt Free Associates. They also never contacted any of my creditors. I am also going to make it my mission to make sure I can help as many people as I can from having their money stolen from them by Debt Free, I will stop them before ever signing on with them. Did you see my comment dated 6-21-10 on this website? My question to you is, the $1,000.00 refund you got back, was that fees paid? Or was that your savings amount? I ask because Debt Free is reviewing my account for fees paid because I asked for all of it back since they did “nothing” for me but run me into a deeper hole.

      • Joe

        Hi Tomica,
        I also lost thousands in “fees” from cancelling my contract with DFA. What really upsets me is that they tell you to stop paying your credit cards, which resulted in my case in a serious drop of my credit score (I had always paid on time before joining DFA). Some direct effects: I was denied home improvement loans, Home Depot cancelled my card even though I had a positive balance! I feel that DFA is directly responsable for this situation and should be held accountable. I want to stip them too, and I want ALL my fees back, and I also want compensation for the loss of credit and credibility. Interested? contact me at: lemanik (at) charter.net

        Joe

    • Lopena ramona

      I was scam too luckily when he said send me first 300.00 USD.Then i said i don’t have money .I know that is a scam i stop communacating with him i off my phone so he can’t contact me and i temporary cut of my line. But the problem is he knows my address my identity is in the application form .Please till me i needed your advice.

    • Joe

      Hi Jeremy,

      I also lost thousands in “fees” from cancelling my contract with DFA. What really upsets me is that they tell you to stop paying your credit cards, which resulted in my case in a serious drop of my credit score (I had always paid on time before joining DFA). Some direct effects: I was denied home improvement loans, Home Depot cancelled my card even though I had a positive balance! I feel that DFA is directly responsible for this situation and should be held accountable.
      I feel like you, feel like they ruined my credit and credibility and I too want to stop then and prevent other people to fall in the same trap. I have some ideas to put the pressure on. Interested?

  • Stan Chambers

    This is crazy talk, I cannot believe what I am reading. I have been with these guys for over 2 years and they have settled 6 of my acounts for less than 40%. 1 of them they did for free and have totally worked with me along the way. I would have filed for BK, no question…had I not hooked up with these guys. I cant speak for these others, but the guy that I deal with is a licensed financial advisor…who better to work with??

    • Patricia Fullerton

      Hey Stan. Of course everyone by now has seen the article in the recent Friday NY Times. This immediately sent me over the edge thinking I ,too, had put my money down the drain with Debt Free. At the end of last month I had asked Debt Free to delay my debit. They didn’t and I accrued numerous overdraft fees. I called and emailed Branden. After much yelling on my part he managed to calm me down. After a few emails he also redeposited the money into my bank account and my bank reversed the overdraft fees. Should this give me hope? I left it with Debt Free that I would tell them when they could debit my account.

    • marty

      I agree, these guys settled three of my five accounts and I’ve been with them about a year and a half. Orignally the said i’d be done by june 2012 but it looks like I’ll be out of debt possibly by the end of this year. The money getting taken out of their accounts is debt frees fee, the $ut a month is the banks fee, they’re not doing this for free of course. I highly recommend them.

    • Abrianna M

      Stan Chambers – if clients call the debtors directly, they can settle around 20%…less is some cases. Doesn’t pay to use a service like this nowadays.

  • Harvey Steinberg

    SCAM! My impression of Debt Free Associates (they send out letters as a fake Federal government agency I guess called the Consumer Debt Initiative – Bail Out Plan) is that they are snakes who steal and lie and cheat people out of money. These guys are bad news and may be scam artists. I did some research and found out that the owners are Bradley Smith, Branden Millstone, and Brian Voytovich. I think all Debt Free Associates cares about is ripping people off to make as much money as they can and use debt relief as their front. There are many legitimate debt relief companies in business that provide a good service, but I don’t believe Debt Free Associates is one of them. For example, Debt Free Associates sends out letters called the ‘Consumer Debt Initiative – Bail Out Plan’ with a logo of the Capitol Building on the front of it. What was odd to me was that this company is based in Southern California…BEWARE!

    • Sooki Gordy

      SCAM! I have been a member for nine months. Yesterday, June 16, 2010, I made a call to Debt Free to see why no one had called me. I have been busy with my husbands illness and thought everything was being taken care of. I was paying $700.00 per month, $250.00 of it, I was told in the beginning, was the company monthly fee and the remainder would go into a savings account to pay my creditors. (Brian was my agent in the being) I was told not to respond to creditor calls or letters. Their plan is to let your account go to the collections stage at which time they would negotiate a settlement for you. I had to change my phone number and my garage is full of unopened credit card statements. This was truly stressful to me because I had always tried to pay my credit cards until I could not. The conversation with the customer service department sent chills though me so hard I almost fainted. I was told that my account had a little over $600.00 dollars in it. I told them that I wanted to know where $6,300.00 of my money went and that I wanted to visually see my statement. They do not send you one. The told me to go online, I did, but you don’t see where all the money went, you just see the dates that they took out the money and the balance in my savings account. I called them back to cancel my membership and they reminded me that I signed a contract and would not be getting any other money other than what showed in my savings. They told me to fax a letter, I did, and I was immediately terminated as requested.

      They are making tons off of hardship cases. Please, do not trust these people. Be smarter than me and do your research. I have lost $6,300.00 and my credit is never going to be the same. Had I just saved $700.00 per month, I could have paid off 3 of my credit cards in full.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Sooki,

        I was just on the phone talking to Damon Day about your comment. He asked me to direct you his way so he could help you get a refund. You can reach Damon Day online here.

        Steve

      • Tomika Arce

        **SCAM-DONT TRUST THEM:I have been a memeber of debt free associciates for about 6 1/2 months and have paid about $4500.00 and just learned last week that my savings has only $355.00. Where did all my money go, I was under the impression that my fee was $75.00 per month?? They really do try to undermind you, and obviously take advantage. I am a divorced single mother of 3, and very desparate to get my finances in order, and this company seemed the way to go. They also told me to avoid my creditors calls, change my phone numbers, dont negotiate any offers with them, so thats whay I did, and 2 of my creditors are sueing me, one wont even negotiate with debt free associates! I am so upset over debt free, I have been a member six months, they money i paid into debt free, i possibly could have paid off 2 creditors. I faxed them a letter of withdrawl just last week, and I also requested a review of my account for a refund of fees I have paid. I will make it my mission to give them bad publicity as long as I can.

      • Audre LaBella

        I have been working with Debt Free Associates for 10 months and I am completely satisfied with their service. My calls are always answered in a timely and professional manner and I have never felt any thing but comfortable dealing with Brian. I had called numerous debt consulting companies and I consider myself fortunate to have placed my trust as well as my debt into their very capable hands. As far as I am concerned,Debt Free Associates has set a new standard of perfection in their industry and I will continue to recommend them.

      • joe

        I also lost thousands in “fees” from cancelling my contract with DFA. What really upsets me is that they tell you to stop paying your credit cards, which resulted in my case in a serious drop of my credit score (I had always paid on time before joining DFA). Some direct effects: I was denied home improvement loans, Home Depot cancelled my card even though I had a positive balance! I feel that DFA is directly responsable for this situation and should be held accountable. Has anyone tried?

      • Studioengineers

        Sorry to hear about your case. I am glad I stumbled on this site because I received a letter from these people. Why doesn’t the government take action against such predators?
        This must be put out on the mass media so more people are made aware of these crooks.

    • Jim

      Debt Free Associates will frustrate you as a customer.  I am making payments of $650 a month.  I assumed $500 is going to Citibank, $140.05 to Debt Free, $9.95 for bank fees.  But when I talk to the incompetent Debt Free Assoc employees, they will give me different answers.  There are no competent employees.  They are rude and they dont care about you.  They will also not give you an extension number when so you can hold anyone accountable.  

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