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Legal Helpers Debt Resolution – 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.

Legal Helpers Debt Resolution   Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise?
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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.
  • fred

    I wouldn’t trust them bastard s to wipe my dogs ass my blood boils just thinking of them

  • Jan Guilliams

    Legal Helpers suck!! I want my money back and have sent an email for them to send me the remaining amount that is in my account. I would never recommend this program to anyone.

  • Debhibbert

    They do not help you, they just put you further and further into debt, until you get sued and have to go to court! They do not go to court with you and then you have to file bancruptcy. So no they do not help you! i would not recommend them to anyone!

    • Debhibbert

      I know from experience, because we are going through a bancruptcy because of them! They are no good!

  • Jerry

    For what it is worth! Legal helpers debt resolution is by far the worst company I have dealt with. they have charged me over 3000.00 to do what i could have done myself. I had to do all negotiations myself Cause they either just wouldn’t do it or would just screw it up! And I would be 3000.00 closer to getting out of debt. They are not worth dealing with. Would not recommend them to anyone! I could tell much more! Save your money don’t use legal helpers!

  • Afraid

    I am a Colorado resident who signed on with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution in a moment of abject despair and job loss. After paying them $439.40 a month for 2.5 years, I still have $25,000 outstanding on a $30,000 debt total. Is there a class action suit I can sign up for?

    My 2 outstnding debts are $5,000 to Discover Card and $20,000 to First National Bank of Omaha. Discover Card will settle for $25 per month for 17 months, followed by a $3,500 payment when I’m 65 years old in Aug. 2013. For arranging that, LHDR would collect $80 per month in maintenance fees and $8.75 per month to Global Client Solutions. Should I terminate with LHDR now an run the risk of their dunning me for four fees of $163.86 and 10 fees of $79.95? I have almost completed my fee payment schedule and have managed to save $312.75 on the three small credit card accounts they have nearly completed paying off? I turned to them because I was beside myself when First National raised my interest rate to 29.99% because I neared my credit limit. I was never late, nor did I ever exceed my limit, but they raised my rate 4 times in one year, the year I lost my job. Anyway, tell me were to turn or what to do. I am a financial ad emotional wreck. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I work for lhdr.

    Can some one who works for legal helpers sue them?

  • Jsmithe

    OMG ! Do not at all costs get involved with Legal Helpers (LH) Debt Resolution.
    What Legal Heplers did for me was allow all my accounts to become deliquent, past due, default….to the point that I received 2 summons from the courts for payment. When I contacted Legal Helpers about the summons I was told that their Attorney would take care of everything. Well I guess the their attorney was sleeping that day because my accounts ended up with a JUDGEMENT imposed upon me.
    The scam comes from the second  you start paying LH. Upfront the first 20 payments or so are slotted to pay LH fees. Meanwhile all your accounts are running up finance charges and in a state of Past Due. LH does not place a HOLD on any of your account to stop the creditors from charging interest. The accounts keep accruing. When LH starts to pay creditors from the money (about a 15%-30% portion of what you pay LH monthly) they pick the creditor you owe the least amount of money to, meanwhile the creditor you owe the most money to, continues to add up.
    Additionally, talking to the representatives is like playing the shell game. Even when you have something in writing they double talk around it.
    Take outa small loan, pay your debit yourself, negotiate a deal with the creditors your self…but do not hire Legal Helpers.

    • Janermom

      Agree with your assessment of Legal Helpers. They are a scam. Legal action being taken. This outfit is so widespread and gaining profit by taking advantage of desperate people. If you need to, go to a free legal clinic in your area to obtain advice. I did, and although I am going through bankruptcy now, I did avoid legal action taken by my creditors. They are getting some of their money. I lost over $7000.00 to Legal Helpers that should have gone to my creditors, but Legal Helpers pocketed the money. The practice of up front fees over $25.00 is illegal in Washington State. At the time I signed up for Legal Helpers I was unaware of this.These scammers continue to do this to unsuspecting desperate people by changing their names. These scammers continue to rake in millions of dollars. I agree, do not get involved with any debt relief organization.

      JC

  • Jsmithe

    OMG ! Do not at all costs get involved with Legal Helpers (LH) Debt Resolution.
    What Legal Heplers did for me was allow all my accounts to become deliquent, past due, default….to the point that I received 2 summons from the courts for payment. When I contacted Legal Helpers about the summons I was told that their Attorney would take care of everything. Well I guess the their attorney was sleeping that day because my accounts ended up with a JUDGEMENT imposed upon me.
    The scam comes from the second  you start paying LH. Upfront the first 20 payments or so are slotted to pay LH fees. Meanwhile all your accounts are running up finance charges and in a state of Past Due. LH does not place a HOLD on any of your account to stop the creditors from charging interest. The accounts keep accruing. When LH starts to pay creditors from the money (about a 15%-30% portion of what you pay LH monthly) they pick the creditor you owe the least amount of money to, meanwhile the creditor you owe the most money to, continues to add up.
    Additionally, talking to the representatives is like playing the shell game. Even when you have something in writing they double talk around it.
    Take outa small loan, pay your debit yourself, negotiate a deal with the creditors your self…but do not hire Legal Helpers.

  • Lyr

    I have been working with them for 2 year this January.  Honestly… I have no idea what to say.  They were really good at first.  Got back to me when I needed them to.  Always let me know when I sent something into them.  Now… I can hardly get a hold of them.  In the past three weeks I have gotten the run around.  I have had three different negotiators and still no resolution.  I finally got a hold of someone nice today, however I was put into another negotiators VM.  If I could just get a STINKING call back!  I have called my mortgage company to explain that I was an idiot and fell for this crap.  Never thought it would be me. 

    I am however reading a lot of comments about all this money wasted.  Up to $7000!  I never had to pay that much.  The most I’ve paid was $1500.  Which now… looking at what they have done for me is too much, but still… $7000?  I don’t know… maybe someone will get back to me for one?

    In all this… I learned I’m a sucker.  A 29 year old, SAHM, SUCKER!

  • sherlyn

    I have been dealing with Legal Helpers for over a year,they have taken 7500.00 in payments over that time. In that time they have settled 2 of my credit cards which were small amounts,now one of the companies is garnishing my wages and the help I got from LHR was none. They told me to look on the positive side that only one company can garnish your wages at a time. REALLY!! They basically throw you under the bus and are of no help. I only wished I had looked into the company a  little closer. I still have 17,000 in debt and now really don’t know which way to turn,but I can say I do feel that they take advantage of people that are in financial trouble and really don’t care about the outcome. Beware when dealing with this company!!!!

    • Janermom

      Had the same experience. LHDR is a scam. Legal action is being taken against them. The issue with these debt settlement companies is that they are out for the money only and with desperate people at this time of economic problems, these scammers are out in full force. They change their names every few months so they can continue to reap the rewards from unsuspecting consumers.

  • Guest

    This company is a complete fraud.  You are in debt and you can not pay your bills-they make you agree to pay a huge legal fee (15% of the debt) plus huge amounts of other fees-which end up getting paid before they pay your debts.

    You think you are entering into an agreement with your debtors-instead you are directed to simply not pay your bills and when the creditors seek the court system, they negotiate reductions.  Nothing they do is not something you can do on your own.  They claim to negotiate better deals-when in reality they offer nothing better than the credit cards would offer you directly.

    They are complete frauds.

  • Guest

    This company is a complete fraud.  You are in debt and you can not pay your bills-they make you agree to pay a huge legal fee (15% of the debt) plus huge amounts of other fees-which end up getting paid before they pay your debts.

    You think you are entering into an agreement with your debtors-instead you are directed to simply not pay your bills and when the creditors seek the court system, they negotiate reductions.  Nothing they do is not something you can do on your own.  They claim to negotiate better deals-when in reality they offer nothing better than the credit cards would offer you directly.

    They are complete frauds.

  • Helga04

    Legal Helpers aka Macy Bankruptcy Law is a company that you sould STAY AWAY FROM!  I just closed my account with them today!  I worked with 2 different people.  One lost their job or “left the company and the other now works in a different “division.”  Was not informed of either.  Found out because I had lawyers calling me, so I then called and emailed. Never got an email back!  Took forever to get a hold of someone!  Today I was informed they are not giving me a return of my money because they have done a lot of work on my behalf.  So much work that in fact I have to go to court for 2 of my 5 credit cards and the third one that was suppose to be settled by them,,,,,,well they never made the last 2 payments on my behalf!  Of course this was not their mistake it became NoteWorld’s (a company that holds the funds that I pay till a settlement can be made) fault.  So,  I have be “working” (i use this term extrememly lightly) maybe I should say I paid Legal Helpers to do nothing with my money.  Since they did not make those last 2 payments it cost me extra to settle with the credit card company! DO YOURSELF A FAVOR contact a reputable lawyer and do your research.  This company worries about their pocket not yours!

  • Seth

    It appears that firms like Legal Helpers Debt Resolution,
    LLC are preying on consumers who are struggling financially.   These companies need to be stopped and this
    is why we are working together on these cases.

     

    Washington’s Debt Adjusting Act allows consumers to fight
    back and obtain a refund of the fees charged in violation of Washington’s Debt
    Adjusting Act, often thousands of dollars. 

     

    Seth Rosenberg of the Seattle Smith & Rosenberg law firm and Bellevue attorney Mark D.
    Walters, Walters Law Firm PLLChave joined forces to help
    consumers recover fees paid to unscrupulous debt settlement and mortgage loan
    modification companies.  Give us a call
    if you believe your rights have been violated.

  • Bumpersnickers61

    I hired Legal Helpers and after they took $1,500 out of my checking account by monthly payments over a year, it has been now 19 months since they took the last payment and I have yet to be contacted by them, or have anything sent to me, or anything.  They just took my money and I have wrote to them 4 times and I still have gotten no response or my money back or service they promised as of yet.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      It’s time for you to follow this process to try to get your money back.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Why not go to work for a “performance based” company? One that actually has to do the work in order to get paid? I think Franklin Debt is in Chicago????

    Not all DS companies are created equal! There are plenty of scammers out there- It’s this simple, if they charge fees up front, stay away- If they get paid WHEN they settle… Then they must earn their money.

    Best of luck!

  • Mr Dont Give A

    I will second everything you have same Truth.  I am a former employee of “JEM” Group as well and agree to everything you said.  I actually worked there, quit (due to not being able to sleep at night because of how what I was doing was affecting innocent consumers).  And by innocent I don’t mean that the debt enrolled is owned by the client who enrolled it, but the fact that most of the client’s are morally obligated to pay back their debt.  It’s the reason most of them sign up for the program.  This actually led me to quit, something I had never done before, and also put in my 2 weeks (Only to be told not to delay the inevitable before being told 2 days later it was going to be my last day).  I then had time to think about the other SARs and the fact that we took the job because most of us really do care and want to help the clients and decided to come back.  When I got back most of the employees that were there had been fired or had quit with the exception of a small amount, including the entire sales department and Operations manager. I spent a few months and then was fired yesterday for “lack of productivity” based on a tracking system that’s about as accurate as the Florida elections, and most of the Team Leads know this.  

    As a former employee I also agree with what Truth said about the client being able to accomplish what JEM can very easily.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that everyone can be their own SAR (Settlement Advisor Rep).  I actually am typically a few of my family members SAR, because I have called their creditors, negotiated a debt down to nearly 30-40% typically, got everything in writing, and moved on.  It is actually a lot easier to do than the clients think.  Although I am worried financially due to living in one of the worst unemployment rate states in the nation and having a family to provide for, I am glad to no longer have my name represent such wrong doings toward kind hearted American People.

  • Damon Day

    I just got off the phone with a reporter who is working on a story regarding Legal Helpers and Morgan Drexen. If there are any consumers that would be willing to come forward to share their experience as a client of either of these companies, please let me know.

    The deadline is this Tuesday or Wednesday.  So let me know by 6/22/2011 at the latest.

  • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

    I just got off the phone with a reporter who is working on a story regarding Legal Helpers and Morgan Drexen. If there are any consumers that would be willing to come forward to share their experience as a client of either of these companies, please let me know.

    The deadline is this Tuesday or Wednesday.  So let me know by 6/22/2011 at the latest.

  • Truth-Be-Told

    Your welcome. This is how it works, if you do not send in your monthly payment, then the account will eventually charge off and go to a collection agency or law firm. Alot of people do not know this, but you can work out a deal with them as well. You may have a settlement letter and you have not even signed up with a debt resolution company, negotiate your own deal and get it in writing instead of paying someone else to do what you can do. Do not let the name Legal fool you, it is just a catchy phrase. I can not tell you how many clients were upset because they were served a Summons and thought they had “Legal” representation. Some had it, some did not. Also creditors usually charge off the debt after 180 days because it is no longer as valuable because a payment have not been made in x amount of months. That is why the debt is known as unsecured. With a secured debt such as a mortgage, student loan etc., you must pay it back.Also JEM have over 6,000 clients and each client is worth $6,000. Do the math, that is $36,000,000. These are real figures that were given out. JEM will have a fit that I disclosed this information. Oh, by the way, JEM’s secret sauce is “Do not pay your creditors.” No wonder why JEM / Legal Helpers hate it when a client wants to cancel that is why they do not refund any money because we were instructed to tell the clients work have been done on the account.

  • Steve Rhode

    Thanks for the update. Can you elaborate on your statement “JEM teaches you not to pay your debt,” please.

  • Truth-Be-Told

    FORMER EMPLOYEE – THIS IS A MUST READ.

    Let me explain to you all the process when you sign up with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution (LHDR).  LHDR is based out of Chicago with offices set up in 50 states.  If a client (you)  is interested in signing up, he/she must meet with an attorney in the state you reside in, often times having to drive several if not hundreds of miles to meet with the attorney. The attorney will walk you thru or should walk you thru a series of documents you will then sign, also known as the Enrollment Documents. The Enrollment Documents will have all of your info name, address, email, social, where you work etc. The documents will also include the unsecured debt you wish to enroll as well as the fees. LHDR charges 15 percent, this is known as Administration Fees. There is also a monthly maintenance fee which ranges from $38.45 to $79.00. I am guessing the client that is charged the $79.00 are the newly enrolled. Now, even though you sign up with an LHDR attorney, they are basically an outsource. What do I mean by that. Well, if you have ever seen JEM group, those are the initials of the CEO and other top executives. J is for Joanne E is for Eric and M is for Michael. The company is based in Irvine, CA with another office in Las Vegas, NV. It works like this, lets say you would like to start a business and reach customers in every state, well, you can use my name, in this case LHDR which is a national law firm. So, if you are calling to speak with an attorney, you might as well hang up because that will not happen. You have a Settlement Advisor Representative (SAR) who is there to assist you from the beginning to the end of the program or at least you think. The reason why I say that is because LHDR has a very high turn over rate, so if you have ever heard this “Your Settlement Advisor has been promoted or works in another dept, well truth be told he or she has quit or was terminated, 9 times out of 10, Trust me LHDR which is JEM, does promote, but not at that rate. Next topic, if you are thinking about cancelling, you can, however, you will not get your money back. The Settlement Advisor will tell you those fees were earned and they will then explain why. Another reason why clients do not get call backs ASAP is because JEM has about 6,000 clients and counting and not enough employees. The reason for the lack of employees is due to the workload and under pay. California Settlement Advisors are paid $15 per hour and Las Vegas Settlement Advisors are paid $13.00 per hour.  A bonus structure was in place but very hard to obtain. SAR such as myself, have on average 350 clients. You are responsible for contacting the client on a monthly basis, responding to emails, voicemails, Summons (oops, did I say Summons) etc. Well if you did not know, you may be served a Summons while enrolled in this program, why, because JEM teaches you not to pay your debt.

  • Truth-Be-Told

    FORMER EMPLOYEE – THIS IS A MUST READ.

    Let me explain to you all the process when you sign up with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution (LHDR).  LHDR is based out of Chicago with offices set up in 50 states.  If a client (you)  is interested in signing up, he/she must meet with an attorney in the state you reside in, often times having to drive several if not hundreds of miles to meet with the attorney. The attorney will walk you thru or should walk you thru a series of documents you will then sign, also known as the Enrollment Documents. The Enrollment Documents will have all of your info name, address, email, social, where you work etc. The documents will also include the unsecured debt you wish to enroll as well as the fees. LHDR charges 15 percent, this is known as Administration Fees. There is also a monthly maintenance fee which ranges from $38.45 to $79.00. I am guessing the client that is charged the $79.00 are the newly enrolled. Now, even though you sign up with an LHDR attorney, they are basically an outsource. What do I mean by that. Well, if you have ever seen JEM group, those are the initials of the CEO and other top executives. J is for Joanne E is for Eric and M is for Michael. The company is based in Irvine, CA with another office in Las Vegas, NV. It works like this, lets say you would like to start a business and reach customers in every state, well, you can use my name, in this case LHDR which is a national law firm. So, if you are calling to speak with an attorney, you might as well hang up because that will not happen. You have a Settlement Advisor Representative (SAR) who is there to assist you from the beginning to the end of the program or at least you think. The reason why I say that is because LHDR has a very high turn over rate, so if you have ever heard this “Your Settlement Advisor has been promoted or works in another dept, well truth be told he or she has quit or was terminated, 9 times out of 10, Trust me LHDR which is JEM, does promote, but not at that rate. Next topic, if you are thinking about cancelling, you can, however, you will not get your money back. The Settlement Advisor will tell you those fees were earned and they will then explain why. Another reason why clients do not get call backs ASAP is because JEM has about 6,000 clients and counting and not enough employees. The reason for the lack of employees is due to the workload and under pay. California Settlement Advisors are paid $15 per hour and Las Vegas Settlement Advisors are paid $13.00 per hour.  A bonus structure was in place but very hard to obtain. SAR such as myself, have on average 350 clients. You are responsible for contacting the client on a monthly basis, responding to emails, voicemails, Summons (oops, did I say Summons) etc. Well if you did not know, you may be served a Summons while enrolled in this program, why, because JEM teaches you not to pay your debt.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Thanks for the update. Can you elaborate on your statement “JEM teaches you not to pay your debt,” please.

      • Truth-Be-Told

        Your welcome. This is how it works, if you do not send in your monthly payment, then the account will eventually charge off and go to a collection agency or law firm. Alot of people do not know this, but you can work out a deal with them as well. You may have a settlement letter and you have not even signed up with a debt resolution company, negotiate your own deal and get it in writing instead of paying someone else to do what you can do. Do not let the name Legal fool you, it is just a catchy phrase. I can not tell you how many clients were upset because they were served a Summons and thought they had “Legal” representation. Some had it, some did not. Also creditors usually charge off the debt after 180 days because it is no longer as valuable because a payment have not been made in x amount of months. That is why the debt is known as unsecured. With a secured debt such as a mortgage, student loan etc., you must pay it back.Also JEM have over 6,000 clients and each client is worth $6,000. Do the math, that is $36,000,000. These are real figures that were given out. JEM will have a fit that I disclosed this information. Oh, by the way, JEM’s secret sauce is “Do not pay your creditors.” No wonder why JEM / Legal Helpers hate it when a client wants to cancel that is why they do not refund any money because we were instructed to tell the clients work have been done on the account.

      • Mr Dont Give A

        I will second everything you have same Truth.  I am a former employee of “JEM” Group as well and agree to everything you said.  I actually worked there, quit (due to not being able to sleep at night because of how what I was doing was affecting innocent consumers).  And by innocent I don’t mean that the debt enrolled is owned by the client who enrolled it, but the fact that most of the client’s are morally obligated to pay back their debt.  It’s the reason most of them sign up for the program.  This actually led me to quit, something I had never done before, and also put in my 2 weeks (Only to be told not to delay the inevitable before being told 2 days later it was going to be my last day).  I then had time to think about the other SARs and the fact that we took the job because most of us really do care and want to help the clients and decided to come back.  When I got back most of the employees that were there had been fired or had quit with the exception of a small amount, including the entire sales department and Operations manager. I spent a few months and then was fired yesterday for “lack of productivity” based on a tracking system that’s about as accurate as the Florida elections, and most of the Team Leads know this.  

        As a former employee I also agree with what Truth said about the client being able to accomplish what JEM can very easily.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that everyone can be their own SAR (Settlement Advisor Rep).  I actually am typically a few of my family members SAR, because I have called their creditors, negotiated a debt down to nearly 30-40% typically, got everything in writing, and moved on.  It is actually a lot easier to do than the clients think.  Although I am worried financially due to living in one of the worst unemployment rate states in the nation and having a family to provide for, I am glad to no longer have my name represent such wrong doings toward kind hearted American People.

      • Anonymous

        Why not go to work for a “performance based” company? One that actually has to do the work in order to get paid? I think Franklin Debt is in Chicago????

        Not all DS companies are created equal! There are plenty of scammers out there- It’s this simple, if they charge fees up front, stay away- If they get paid WHEN they settle… Then they must earn their money.

        Best of luck!

      • Helga04

        I didn’t go see a lawyeer in my state.  They did everything electronically!  Otherwise,  everything here has happened or been said to me! 

  • Murray1

    I am writing in re Legal Helpers, Debt Resolutions, LLC.  I wish to express hurt, stop the hurt, prevent it from occuring again.  The company in question has not responded to my calls, not that of my creditors.  I asked to speak to attorney who is in charge, who signs my letters, he cannot be reached.  It is dubious he is an expert in this area, or even licensed in the state(s) necessary.  Furthermore, I intitiated contact with this company, when my creditors received no notice of my actions of building up payback.  Floor manager basically harassed me:  When I had initiated contact, to resolve.  I am a responsible home owner, trustworthy, and credible, ethical.  This company is seemingly not, and very unprofessional.

  • Murray1

    I am writing in re Legal Helpers, Debt Resolutions, LLC.  I wish to express hurt, stop the hurt, prevent it from occuring again.  The company in question has not responded to my calls, not that of my creditors.  I asked to speak to attorney who is in charge, who signs my letters, he cannot be reached.  It is dubious he is an expert in this area, or even licensed in the state(s) necessary.  Furthermore, I intitiated contact with this company, when my creditors received no notice of my actions of building up payback.  Floor manager basically harassed me:  When I had initiated contact, to resolve.  I am a responsible home owner, trustworthy, and credible, ethical.  This company is seemingly not, and very unprofessional.

  • Damon Day

    Hey Matt,

    You had me at hello and then lost me at “go with credit solutions.” ha
    ha. Of course you did add they were only out to make a profit which
    redeems you :-)

    I do understand your point though, and I appreciate you sharing with
    consumers a perspective from someone on the other side of the coin that
    has to deal with these guys.

  • MATT

    Legal helpers is the worst company I have ever had the displeasure working with. I work for an attorneys office and I deal with over 30 different debt companies and they are by far the shadiest one I have worked with in over 15 years in the business. They sent a letter stating they were representing a debtor to our law office, so I call the number they provided and I would sit on hold for over 10-20 minutes everytime and never reach anyone. Finally 10 days later and 2 hours of sitting on hold I finally get someone on the phone they tell me they can’t help me and have to transfer me to another office, after the transfer another female tells me she can’t help me either and tells me to call another number and guess what number it was, the 1st number I called to start the whole process, WHAT A JOKE. PAY YOUR BILLS YOURSELF AND SAVE YOURSELF THE NIGHTMARE OF DEALING WITH THESE SCAM ARTISTS. LEGAL HELPERS ARE OUT TO MAKE MONEY OFF YOU AND DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR DEBT OR EVEN THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP YOU OUT OF DEBT. WE SUE DEBTORS EVERYDAY WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY LEGAL HELPERS. GO WITH CREDIT SOLUTIONS THEY AT LEAST DO THEIR JOBS MOST OF THE TIME, BUT THEY STILL ARE ONLY OUT TO MAKE A PROFIT OFF YOU!!! MAN UP AND PAY YOUR BILLS YOURSELF

  • MATT

    Legal helpers is the worst company I have ever had the displeasure working with. I work for an attorneys office and I deal with over 30 different debt companies and they are by far the shadiest one I have worked with in over 15 years in the business. They sent a letter stating they were representing a debtor to our law office, so I call the number they provided and I would sit on hold for over 10-20 minutes everytime and never reach anyone. Finally 10 days later and 2 hours of sitting on hold I finally get someone on the phone they tell me they can’t help me and have to transfer me to another office, after the transfer another female tells me she can’t help me either and tells me to call another number and guess what number it was, the 1st number I called to start the whole process, WHAT A JOKE. PAY YOUR BILLS YOURSELF AND SAVE YOURSELF THE NIGHTMARE OF DEALING WITH THESE SCAM ARTISTS. LEGAL HELPERS ARE OUT TO MAKE MONEY OFF YOU AND DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR DEBT OR EVEN THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP YOU OUT OF DEBT. WE SUE DEBTORS EVERYDAY WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY LEGAL HELPERS. GO WITH CREDIT SOLUTIONS THEY AT LEAST DO THEIR JOBS MOST OF THE TIME, BUT THEY STILL ARE ONLY OUT TO MAKE A PROFIT OFF YOU!!! MAN UP AND PAY YOUR BILLS YOURSELF

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Hey Matt,

      You had me at hello and then lost me at “go with credit solutions.” ha
      ha. Of course you did add they were only out to make a profit which
      redeems you :-)

      I do understand your point though, and I appreciate you sharing with
      consumers a perspective from someone on the other side of the coin that
      has to deal with these guys.

  • CAD

    Boy do you not have your facts straight. The people you deal with are NOT attorneys or not even para legals. They are first to tell you. When I asked to speak with an attorney they said they had attorney’s but they are not for the debt resolution area. Further more they can’t give legal advice because they are not attorneys. They are only workers. They leave you to deal with courts (and you DO get sued) and when you ask why they are not working for you they tell you that your account doesn’t have enough money and could you send them money to negotiate with this creditor. Then you say what is happening to the money I am paying you and they tell you that out of the 483.00 only 151.00 is going to your account and the difference is their accounting fees. At this rate, I will NEVER have enough money in my account to even pay one creditor unless I give them addtional thousands of dollars they keep asking me for. I keep telling them that if I had the thousands of dollars I would not have needed them. They come back and say they can’t negotiate for me then. What they say verablly and what you sign is totally different. I was called a liar because they went through it with me. If they’d been totally up front with me WHY would I be giving them 300.00 plus dollars a month full well knowing they would not collect enough money to pay any of my debt. I have made this mistake and 20 20 hind sight can’t help me, but maybe I can stop someone else from making this mistake. They are all them same. Legal Helpers may have an attorney, but it will be a cold day, when they help you. No attorney talked to me even when I wanted to talk bankruptcy. They get around the legal laws each state by having a list of bankruptcy attorneys in each state. As far as helping a person from filing bankruptcy it is a farce. They may be in a grey area to be legitimate, but far from honest legitimate. They take advantage of people only to help their own bottom line. The credit cards companies do not even get their money so why not file a BK and be done with it. I’m there so I am talking from experience. I should have filed and saved myself money even if I orginally wanted to pay something to my creditors. CAD

  • Jennifer

    What company?

  • Mckdsper

    It is now April of 2011 and I am looking into Legal Helpers so how is it going

  • Get a Clue

    You obviously do not understand their process. You debt is NOT cut in half. You are simply not paying on your debt and saving your funds in a special purpose account in the hopes that they will settle for what they have quoted you.

    The reality is they have no reason nor need to settle for that amount as they base their fees off your total debt enrolled into the program NOT how well they do. They also take their fees in advance of completing their service.

    Lets also note that any settlement company can do the same thing they are doing and still follow the FTC guidelines of not charging advance fees. A reputable company who is confident in their abilities will base their fees off the savings. This means if they don’t perform, they don’t get paid.

  • Taken for a ride by LHDR

    Funny story – I did $2,000 in website maintenance work for LHDR and was just notified tonight that they will not be paying for my services. I wish I would have found this blog BEFORE I donated all of that time to such a slimeball company.

    What I DO have, however, is a pitbull attorney for a friend and a list of first and last names that “Brad Neumann, branch manager” asked me to post as “testimonials”. Who wants to bet they’re fake?

    Pissed off in IL

  • Taken for a ride by LHDR

    Funny story – I did $2,000 in website maintenance work for LHDR and was just notified tonight that they will not be paying for my services. I wish I would have found this blog BEFORE I donated all of that time to such a slimeball company.

    What I DO have, however, is a pitbull attorney for a friend and a list of first and last names that “Brad Neumann, branch manager” asked me to post as “testimonials”. Who wants to bet they’re fake?

    Pissed off in IL

  • Taken for a ride by LHDR

    See my post above.

  • Taken for a ride by LHDR

    This is a funny point, obviously made from someone at Legal Helpers. I just did $2,000 worth of website work for them and they’ve now decided to pay me LESS THAN HALF than what is owed for the work that was done. You’re right, Legal Helpers Debt Resolution – that IS theft.

    Quote”Do you work for free? When you hire a contractor do you not pay them anything until all the work is done? Most i talk to want 1/3 down. Have you gone to Target taken a coffee maker home to see how it works prior to paying for it? That is called theft where i live. Think about this, some people not all but some who are in debt have not made payments, if a company did the work and lowered the debt what says the people who didn’t pay in the first place will pay them?”

    Well, LHDR, I DID work for free, apparently. See their website? That’s all my work. Oh, by the way, they’re also over at USADebtprofessionals.com. Buyer beware.

    I’ll be contacting my attorney tomorrow.

  • Ripped-off

    Hey LoppyHill…you sound like you work for those bums! Screw you and your buddies at LHDR. you don’t know my situation and I pray people don’t fall into the problems I had, but then to be taken advantage by some more crooks in the industry is just plain criminal. I hope the Attorney General of Il. closes down these sharks!

  • Damon Day

    Hello Max,
    I am sorry I did not see your comment until just now. I appreciate the kind words. I am not sure if you are subscribed to the comments on this blog, but if you are please come back and let me know how things are going and what you decided to do.

    It sounds to me as if this sales person was more interested in getting your banking information from you then actually taking the time to explain the ins and outs of what debt settlement really is. There is no such thing as 48 easy payments in debt settlement. The reality is your creditors simply are not getting paid until you raise enough money to settle with them. In the case of Legal Helpers, they expect you to pay almost all of your fees before you can save up enough money to take advantage of any settlements.

    This common sales tactic of front loaded programs to mislead (lie) about how they don’t charge their fees upfront is underhanded in my opinion. They know what you are asking them but they want to play word games and say oh no, we don’t charge “upfront” fees, they are rolled into the payment.

    What they don’t like to spend time explaining is that out of the 48 or so payments, the first 22 or so, are where the majority of the fees are paid.

    In my opinion, a debt settlement company front loading their fees is just about the worst thing they can do to a client and any company that does it, either does not care about the financial well being of their clients, or is simply ignorant to how the process works. Both are bad news.

    Besides, why hire legal helpers and pay them upfront and hope for a good outcome when there are programs that won’t charge you anything until after you approve a settlement? Doesn’t make much sense to me. I guess that is why they push so hard to get your banking information before letting you review the contract or find alternatives.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, and I am glad that I was able to help.

  • Damon Day

    Hello Cathy,

    I am sorry to hear about your experience with Legal Helpers and I understand how frustrated you are right now. I help clients clean up the messes of debt settlement programs on a daily basis.

    The reality is that if I did not charge my clients for advice, wouldn’t I then just have to focus on selling them something during the consultation in order to make a living?

    The question is simple. Do you want to talk to someone who works directly for you and does not have any financial motivation or obligation to do anything other than give you the best information?

    Or do you want to talk to a sales person who only can earn a living and feed his family if you buy what he is selling? I am not saying sales people are bad. There is certainly a need for them, but not when you are looking for financial advice. You call them when you already know what you need and you are just shopping different companies to see who might offer the best service.

    You don’t ask a car sales person if you should by a new car, you ask your mechanic.

    With all due respect, you have already acted on the advice peddled during the free consultation with Legal Helpers and look how much money that has now cost you. Do you want to go ahead and roll the dice with another one?

    I do not accept back end referral fees from companies. Instead I ask them to give that money to my clients as a discount. Also quite often you do not even need to hire a company to resolve your problem. So regardless of what you need, speaking with me will always cost you less than getting free financial advice from a sales person.

    I am available if you would like my help.

  • LoppyHill

    Ysmal?

  • LoppyHill

    This is not in defense of LHDR. They provide a horrible deal to consumers. However!

    “None of my debt has been settled”
    –> Well, by month 6 you should have 1 account settled. However, if you leave a program at month 6 with $50k in debt I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing was settled. You may have a large account that should be settled first which may take more money to accumulate.

    “my credit score has gone from 720 to 598″
    –> Yup. When you don’t make payments to your creditors, you score drops. *Cough*, with 50K in debt, your credit don’t me squat! If they didn’t explain that to you, shame on them. If you didn’t real the disclosures and they provided you with them, shame on you.

    “one of my creditors turned their account over to a collection agency”
    –> Yes sir. Accounts do go into collections. They can still be settled, sounds like in your case it didn’t, which that does suck. But if you’re merely surprised about it going to collections, then 1) They misrepresented the program to you AND you failed to read the disclosures 2) They explained the program to you, you didn’t understand/hear and you failed to read the disclosures.

    “They led me to believe they would negoitate on my part and save me $20K off $50k”
    –> Look, I don’t know your situation. Maybe they did rip you off. However, how is it possible to save you 20K off 50K if you leave a program early.

    There’s a reason why LHDR is being sued by agencies and individuals. Heck, their fee structure is probably to blame for your grips which is valid. But some of these assertions like “the credit score” should have been known if you reviewed the contract they signed. Plus, the credit score issue and collection agency has nothing to do with the quality of service. Rather, maybe it was the disclosure of these issues.

  • ComplianceSlave

    How do you know that they are the ONLY debt resolution with attorneys in 50 states? You sure know a lot about all of their competitors.
    “Despite what you hear”… the ONLY comments saying LHDR has good service IS LHDR or their affiliates- Of which, you are the latter.
    Why don’t you sell something that has value? Stealing from already suffering Americans, for a living sucks- It just sucks.

  • cathy

    Really you want to charge me for a phone consultation after I feel I have been raked over by Legal helpers!!!

  • LoppyHill

    Maddog, Don’t pay an upfront fee for Debt Settlement Services. What State are you in? Some states have laws that bar companies from providing services unless they are attorneys. So if this is your situation, you can still probably find attorney debt settlement firms that won’t charge fees up front (if you should even do debt settlement).

    haha not about to jump on Damon for his link, but it’s probably worth while to speak with him…

    Actually, let me add this.. Cancel LHDR, figure something out and if you need to I’m sure they’ll send someone out to sign contracts again. You need to avoid up front fee companies.

  • Damon Day

    I am disappointed that I did not see this sooner. Thank you for your thoughts Nick, as usual and true to form the debt settlement sales person likes to create a fantasy to justify their actions.

    First to address your claim about LHDR getting the lowest settlements. In my experience most clients of LHDR seem to be sued before they are even able to obtain settlements. You can thank those genius 4 and 5 year plans you are peddling out there for that Nick.

    Second, you can make any unsubstantiated claims about LHDR all you want but the reality is they did not step up to the Senate hearings and open their books to show the world how great they were? Why is that? So go on making all your claims, but if you are so successful and all of your clients get such great deals, then why risk it all by continuing with the upfront fees? Knowing the FTC is very likely to go after you? What is the settlement percentage that LHDR gets from the original balance and including all of the people that dropped out?

    Easy questions for such an educated man of your experience and stature.

    1. Is a client more or less likely to get sued the longer they wait to settle the debt?

    2. Is it true that a majority of the client’s fees go to the sales affiliate that has a non-exclusive reciprocal referral agreement to service the client and not the lawfirm itself? Hmm, this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with why you refer clients to Legal Helpers now could it? I am sure it is the kindness in your heart that has led you to them. I mean all the unsubstantiated claims of their greatness means quite a bit doesn’t it?

    3. If LHDR gets what they would consider to be an acceptable settlement offer and the client cannot pay because they are still paying all of the fees that you earn for the referral, is it true that LHDR can then contractually chose not to represent that client if they are later sued?

    4. Would you refer consumers to another program if they had the same or better track record as legal helpers, but charged less and charged their fees on the back end? Knowing that you would not make as much money and it would not be upfront?

    Isn’t it true Nick that you get paid even if the client fails? Yes, why yes you do. Isn’t it true that everybody that participates in the con gets paid if the client fails? Why yes, yes that is also true. So I am wondering who is looking out for the client? Who is making sure that sales people like you are not just putting people into the program to get paid and not properly advising them of a better alternative. Educated you may be, but misguided you most certainly are.

    Now to address your theory about why companies need money to operate.
    I agree with you. I think a company should be able to charge a retainer. However, between your few finance degrees and your 12 years of experience, if you can’t grasp the simple concept of how Legal Helpers, and by extension you Nick, are totally screwing consumers by charging all of their fees upfront, I am not sure what else to say.

    Of course you need to find a way to try and justify what you do so you can sleep at night, but charging a fair retainer and then collecting fees on performance is a perfectly sound business model and it works in all sorts of industries.

    Now don’t come at me with this tired argument of if you don’t get all your money upfront then the settlement company will just rush in to take any deal. The reality is the sales guys get most of that upfront commission. Oh, that is you Nick. Ahh, now I know why you are so protective of this model. Second, you can get some great deals with the original creditors before charge-off, and as a bonus avoid a lawsuit. Now, if the company charged a fee based on how much they saved a client. Are you saying that a company would be dumb enough to take a 50% deal just to get paid if they new that they could get a 30% deal if they wait one more month and earn a higher fee?

    Your problem is you only think about what is best for your pocket apparently, and if you would step out of that mode, and actually think about your clients’ needs for a change, you will see there are some real great ways to make money and have happy and satisfied clients at the same time.

    So do I think companies shouldn’t be able to charge anything until a settlement? No, I think that totally sucks and it is hard to run a company like that, however what you fail to see is because Legal Helpers and companies like them were so greedy, and couldn’t care less about actually helping people, the FTC finally stepped in and just put in a blanket ban.

    So if you want to blame someone, then blame TASC, blame USOBA, blame your fabled Legal Helpers, blame all of you scam artist rip off settlement programs that were collecting fees and sending consumers to slaughter and shame on you for using your education to further the con.

    I eagerly await your response.

    PS. I forgot, I love your argument of not collecting money upfront creates a conflict for the client. So now I have a little window into your thoughts. So in your world, the company is always first and the client will get screwed if helping them conflicts with helping yourself.

    Thanks for the insight. Who now wants to enroll into Legal Helpers with Nick?
    Bueller…Bueller…Bueller

    Now for my magic. Nick according to your own reasoning a clients interests should never be pitted against a companies interests right? What about you? You make money when you enroll someone into legal helpers. What if that isn’t in their best financial interest? By your own logic, that should never be done. You shouldn’t get paid until the client is successful, otherwise you might be motivated to push people into Legal Helpers to get paid even though it might not be a good option for them. OOPS, guess you better do something else. In a performance model, as much as you will never admit this, the client and the companies interests are now actually in line, where as with Legal Helpers they are so ridiculously out of whack that someone like you must know that, but the money is just too good. Know what I am saying? ;-)

    Game…Set…Match

  • Damon Day

    Hello Maddog,

    A couple of issues. First, it is your decision whether or not you think the contract and program that Legal Helpers has enrolled you in is fair to you. If the contract is like the one I just received yesterday then my opinion is that it most certainly is not fair and there are a lot of other options to look at. According to the contract I have, it looks as if you have 5 days from the date of the face to face meeting to cancel the contract with no fees due. But you will have to double check the one you have. I have noticed most of the contracts are all different because of the 100s of sales affiliates they have. Also from what I can see it looks like the bulk of your money is going to pay the sales affiliates for servicing you, not the lawfirm. So if you think you are hiring an attorney, there are a lot of conditions to what you are actually getting when you hire them.

    Read your contract carefully. Especially the part about how easy it is for them to get out of representing you in court if you are sued. The contract I have says if they get you an offer at 65% of the balance at the time of suit (which is more like 85% of the balance when you enrolled with them) and you don’t accept the settlement, they have the right to not represent you and you are on your own. Oh, well, you can then pay an additional 200 dollars an hour on top of court costs and all the other money you are paying them and then they will represent you again.

    Now let me ask this question. If they are collecting all of their fees upfront, how are you going to fund a settlement offer if you get sued in month 12 and are still paying a bulk of your payments to their fees. The answer is you probably are not going to be able to and then they can skate out of the sales person’s promise of court representation. I bet that was clearly explained during the face to face meeting though right? Sorry that was sarcastic, and was meant to be a dig on Legal Helpers. Sometimes it drives me crazy what these guys think they can do to people and get away with.

    So the more we peel back the onion, the more we have to ask, just what is the benefit to the consumer of this front loaded fee structure? In the last 5 years I have yet to figure that out and no sales person has ever been able to enlighten me, though that has not been for lack of them trying. However I have a laundry list of benefits for the company to charge you all that money upfront. They are guaranteed to make money, you take on all of the risk. So the decision to stick with something like that is up to you.

    If it were me, I don’t think it would hurt you to take some time and do some further research. You can always re enroll into Legal Helpers if you don’t find a better option, although I seriously doubt that will happen.

    Just based on the upfront fees alone I would look at other programs that don’t charge you anything until they actually settle your debt.

    Another major issue and huge risk for a client signing up into LHDR is they are laughing in the face of the FTC with their front loaded fee model. What is going to happen if the FTC decides to go after them in the next year or two? How would you feel if you paid these guys all of your fees and then the FTC puts them out of business? I am not saying that will happen, but that is certainly a risk you need to consider.

    I will not recommend specific companies until I have a full understanding of your overall situation. My business is to make sure you are on the right path to resolve your situation in the best and shortest time possible, not to simply switch you from one program to another.

    I am an independent consultant and work directly for my clients. I do not accept back end referral fees from any debt settlement companies, but instead ask any company that my client would like to enroll with (if needed) to pass on what they would have paid to me to my client in the form of a discount.

    So one thing I can certainly guarantee is that as a client of mine, if you ultimately chose to hire either a debt settlement company that I like, or any other one, you will certainly pay much less money in fees and those fees will be paid on the back end, not the front.

    So if you think it is worth it to schedule a consult and pick my brain for an hour, feel free to contact me at the link below. I certainly know it is, but if I said that, then these sales guys would jump all over me for bias and just steeling clients and bla bla bla. I let consumers decide for themselves, who makes sense and who is completely full of it. Depending on your debt load, the information I give you will likely save you a few thousand dollars.

    http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-

  • Damon Day

    Typical sales person argument. I am sorry you are afraid of losing your cash cow, but it is inevitable at this point. Yes in a perfect world I agree that a legitimate settlement company should be able to charge a reasonable retainer and then get paid as they perform the work.

    However because of greedy rip off programs like Legal Helpers and the hundreds like them who enrolled anyone with a payment and a pulse and were systematically destroying consumers lives, the FTC finally stepped in and just put a blanket ban on upfront fees. You want to blame someone, then blame the board of TASC and USOBA. They screwed you, I am just educating you as to why you got screwed.

    Lets use your example against you. A contractor may want a percentage down, but he doesn’t get the rest of the money until certain points in the job and the customer approves the work. He doesn’t get paid all of it until he is completely done and the customer then again approves the overall job. How many consumers hired a scam contractor, paid the money upfront and then the contractor never showed or performed sub par work and then bailed after getting all their money? Get my point?

    How is that not the same as a settlement company who puts a client on a 4 year plan and then collects all of the money in less than 2 years? Not very many settlements are going to happen those first two years, so the client is just taking it on faith that the sales guy was forthright. Anyone want to place that bet in Vegas?

    Please come back in and share if you can actually think of a valid benefit for a consumer to pay all the fees upfront and just sit and wait to get sued. I would be happy to help.

  • Maddog77

    I’m reading this as I am on my first day of the program. I have sent an email to the person who signed me asking them about the law and the upfront fees. I’m guessing since they showed me the classic front loaded fee schedule, that meeting with an attorney to sign papers qualifies as services rendered. The sales person did mention something about legal reasons to do so. I am not opposed to paying fees if they can do what they say. However, I do not like the front loaded setup. I have talked with 2 other “non-profit” agaencies. If I followed their plan, I’d end up paying $4800 more than I owe. “non-profit?” (the one company I can remember is MMI).

    So who do you recommend Damon? I’ll take the loss of the first payment and switch if there is someone that is better out there. Please advise.

    Maddog

  • Damon Day

    This is what they do and unfortunately most consumers don’t realize it until it is too late. Give them 7K, they do nothing but collect your money and get you sued and then in the end you only have 300 bucks.

    Sure some people that go through it have a favorable outcome, but that is the exception because the program is designed to ensure they are paid, not to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome for the client.

  • Ripped-off

    Grace is exactly correct, LHDR is a scam…attorney general of Il. has just brought a suit against them for illegal practices. I too was scammed by them for 6 months, in the process of trying to recover over $7K. They led me to believe they would negoitate on my part and save me $20K off $50k debt, everytime I called to check progress they would always have nice young lady tell me they were elevating my settlement request to a legal specialist. None of my debt has been settled; my credit score has gone from 720 to 598; one of my creditors turned their account over to a collection agency and they have recently won a judgement against me; the money I’ve lost to date could have paid two of my creditors off! I’m in the process of retaining a real attorney and just filed a complaint to the consumer fraud division with the attoney general of Il., Lisa Madigan. RUN from LHDR, you can save yourself a lot of headaches..hire a real attorney from the beginning.

  • Karen Peters

    This is very true I have researched this myself, I spoke to a steve at Blue-Pencil debt solutions and asked him if they are so good why not take their fees after they settle. He actually told me that they have the ability to do that, its called there traditional model where I am not charged a cent until the debt is settled. He also told me that with my high amount of debt (which was 40k btw) that I might be prone to legal action and he recommended that I go with the legal model that does take their fees during the first half of the program but if I should be sued I will be represented by an attorney and the legal model has a guarantee. After much debating I decided to go with the legal model , and I could not be HAPPIER I was actually Sued and the lawyers took care of me without a hitch (that account is actually settled at 35% might I add) and I only have one more debt left. I highly recommend talking to Steve at blue-pencil debt solutions

  • Steve Rhode

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution has just been sued by the Attorney General of Illinois. You can read the suit here.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution has just been sued by the Attorney General of Illinois. You can read the suit here.

  • Kcz

    Hi: I am with LHDR for 6 months and so far, everything I have been told has been true. It is very stressful, but no one intends to be here. The economy dumping has taken it’s toll. They have answered all my question so far. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I hope OK. Just listen when they tell you about a 1099-C. This can be the major turn off. If you can prove you debt is larger than your assets {your value} ( garage sale or used prices) then you can file a paper to the IRS and clear the 1099-C’s. Good Luck…In Oregon

  • Kcz

    Hi: I am with LHDR for 6 months and so far, everything I have been told has been true. It is very stressful, but no one intends to be here. The economy dumping has taken it’s toll. They have answered all my question so far. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I hope OK. Just listen when they tell you about a 1099-C. This can be the major turn off. If you can prove you debt is larger than your assets {your value} ( garage sale or used prices) then you can file a paper to the IRS and clear the 1099-C’s. Good Luck…In Oregon

  • Observer

    F&B,

    Lenders lend to people who pay none of their debt back when discharged in a chapter 7. Lenders lend to those who settle.

    Credit reporting, scoring, and the future availability of credit for a reasonable price are certainly a consideration when identifying the most optimal solution for debt relief. IMO, the issue is given too much consideration.

    The topic is contentious, at least in my opinion, because the information and talking points out there are mostly attributable to the commenter talking their book.

    All the debt relief options track pretty well, when implementing the most suitable one for the individuals circumstances, and weighed along side credit recovery and access to affordable credit terms.

    The exception is chapter 13, which has longer impacts, but is still an appropriate option for those suited to take that path.

    Just to be clear, since I am posting this in an LHDR thread, my comment is not an endorsement of their business practices. Indeed, not a fan of LHDR at all.

  • F and B

    The settlements will be on your credit reports for 7 years. Would you loan money to someone who only pays you back half of what they owe you ?

  • F and B

    The settlements will be on your credit reports for 7 years. Would you loan money to someone who only pays you back half of what they owe you ?

    • Observer

      F&B,

      Lenders lend to people who pay none of their debt back when discharged in a chapter 7. Lenders lend to those who settle.

      Credit reporting, scoring, and the future availability of credit for a reasonable price are certainly a consideration when identifying the most optimal solution for debt relief. IMO, the issue is given too much consideration.

      The topic is contentious, at least in my opinion, because the information and talking points out there are mostly attributable to the commenter talking their book.

      All the debt relief options track pretty well, when implementing the most suitable one for the individuals circumstances, and weighed along side credit recovery and access to affordable credit terms.

      The exception is chapter 13, which has longer impacts, but is still an appropriate option for those suited to take that path.

      Just to be clear, since I am posting this in an LHDR thread, my comment is not an endorsement of their business practices. Indeed, not a fan of LHDR at all.

  • Steve Rhode

    Thanks for your feedback.

    You did make a statement I found puzzling. Can you help me to understand that is the difference between “a person of reckless spending” and a person that knowing uses a credit card to pay for repairs they can’t repay?

    Where did you get the impression that with a bankruptcy that you credit would have suffered for 10 years?

  • Jason Taylor

    “They have already cut my debt in half, and it will only take me 3 years to pay all of my debt off.”

    Johnson 65- so what your telling us is that they already settled ALL OF YOUR ACCOUNTS for half and your creditors are going to wait for 3 years to get at the 50% reduction?

  • Johnson65_2001

    Legal Helpers is the only Debt Resolution that is represented by Attorneys in all 50 states. I am currently enrolled in the program, and I have no complaints. Everything I was told is everything they are doing for me. Every one I have dealt with has been very forthcoming, and very helpful.
    I am almost more than sure that anyone complaining about this service is someone just looking for an Obama handout, or just a person of reckless spending who uses their credit cards for everything. They have already cut my debt in half, and it will only take me 3 years to pay all of my debt off. The only reason I had to use this service is because I had to short-sale a rental property I owned, and I was using my credit cards to make the improvements on the house. If I waould have been foreclosed on, or filed bankruptcy, my credit would have suffered for 7 – 10 years.
    Despite what you hear, Legal Helpers is a very upstanding service.

  • Johnson65_2001

    Legal Helpers is the only Debt Resolution that is represented by Attorneys in all 50 states. I am currently enrolled in the program, and I have no complaints. Everything I was told is everything they are doing for me. Every one I have dealt with has been very forthcoming, and very helpful.
    I am almost more than sure that anyone complaining about this service is someone just looking for an Obama handout, or just a person of reckless spending who uses their credit cards for everything. They have already cut my debt in half, and it will only take me 3 years to pay all of my debt off. The only reason I had to use this service is because I had to short-sale a rental property I owned, and I was using my credit cards to make the improvements on the house. If I waould have been foreclosed on, or filed bankruptcy, my credit would have suffered for 7 – 10 years.
    Despite what you hear, Legal Helpers is a very upstanding service.

    • Jason Taylor

      “They have already cut my debt in half, and it will only take me 3 years to pay all of my debt off.”

      Johnson 65- so what your telling us is that they already settled ALL OF YOUR ACCOUNTS for half and your creditors are going to wait for 3 years to get at the 50% reduction?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Thanks for your feedback.

      You did make a statement I found puzzling. Can you help me to understand that is the difference between “a person of reckless spending” and a person that knowing uses a credit card to pay for repairs they can’t repay?

      Where did you get the impression that with a bankruptcy that you credit would have suffered for 10 years?

    • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

      How do you know that they are the ONLY debt resolution with attorneys in 50 states? You sure know a lot about all of their competitors.
      “Despite what you hear”… the ONLY comments saying LHDR has good service IS LHDR or their affiliates- Of which, you are the latter.
      Why don’t you sell something that has value? Stealing from already suffering Americans, for a living sucks- It just sucks.

      • Taken for a ride by LHDR

        See my post above.

    • Get a Clue

      You obviously do not understand their process. You debt is NOT cut in half. You are simply not paying on your debt and saving your funds in a special purpose account in the hopes that they will settle for what they have quoted you.

      The reality is they have no reason nor need to settle for that amount as they base their fees off your total debt enrolled into the program NOT how well they do. They also take their fees in advance of completing their service.

      Lets also note that any settlement company can do the same thing they are doing and still follow the FTC guidelines of not charging advance fees. A reputable company who is confident in their abilities will base their fees off the savings. This means if they don’t perform, they don’t get paid.

      • Helga04

        This is why they pushed me into signing my papers before the end of last October.  The laws were changing and they wouldn’t have got their money up front.  Unfortunately they got mine.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I heard from someone else that Legal Helpers Debt Resolution had changed it’s name. It’s that official?

    • Helga04

      I was like you!  I believed they were looking out for me!  Signed up with them in October 2010 and now 13 months later I am worse off than I was then!  I got rid of all credit cards in October 2010.  I have been paying on time for the past 13 months and have nothing to show for it!  I really hope your situation is different Johnson, but I fear you will be in the same vote!

  • 4kobe

    I bet you would hate your life if you had to work 10 hour days and 3 Saturdays a month

  • Damon Day

    Hello Lookingforsolution,

    I am sorry I did not see your post until just now. A lot of consumers need help and It keeps me very busy so I can’t stay on top of all of my postings in various forums. If anyone needs to contact me directly please use
    http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-

    Also, anyone who pushes you for your bank account information after you just told them you want to discuss it with your wife, tell them to go pound sand. They care more about a sale then helping you make an educated decision.

  • Damon Day

    Hello Martin, I would stay away from Legal Helpers until they decide to create a program that is beneficial to consumers. There are several better solutions for consumers out there. It sounds like you found a CCCS program and if those payments are manageable it might be a good way to go. Clearly the legal helpers sales person did not actually explain how debt settlement really works, thus the reason for your confusion.

    Let me tell you what he should have said if he was honest. You stop paying your creditors and give the money to us instead, then we continue to collect money until your accounts get charged off and your creditors get increasingly anxious. You will likely get sued a few times because we aren’t doing anything with your creditors until you save enough money to settle. It will take you a really long time to save up the money because we are going to get a boatload out of you in fees first. However, if you stick around long enough we can negotiate these things for you. You take all the risk, we make all the money, please sign here. Click…

  • Damon Day

    Hello Bob,
    I am sorry to hear about your experience, unfortunately what you have gone through is more the norm with these front loaded programs. Legal Helpers can try to justify it all they want, but the bottom line is their business model harms consumers in order to line their own pockets and I have not seen anyone be able to articulately explain how that is not a fact.

    Steve wrote a good article that will help if you would like to try and get a refund. Typically you will be met with resistance, but I would keep pushing. If you were misled or paid for something that you did not receive, any company should honor that refund request. If they don’t, then consumers should take note as to why Legal Helpers continues to charge most of their fees upfront. It is just to help consumers right??

    http://getoutofdebt.org/20126/

    Please keep us updated on how they respond.

    Let me know if you need any further help dealing with your creditors and cleaning up the mess that legal helpers has gotten you into.

    http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-

  • Damon Day

    Hello TKS,
    Yes, there are plenty of people that stay on top of this stuff. There are so many shady things going on in the debt relief arena that it is hard to keep up with it all. Consumers barely stand a chance at getting real help.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Likely it came from a front end marketer of their services. No company name= Be very wary.

  • TKS10

    I’m not sure if anyone is reading or even monitoring this thread anymore…but I just a personal and confidential letter in the mail from Legal Helpers. In fact I did not know it was them who sent it. The letter states my name, address, estimated debt relief, a negotiating plan #, more of my personal information, and a toll-free number to call. There was no company name or website. Being the skeptic that I was I did an internet search for the toll free number, no hits, not 1. So finally I decided to call and spoke to Eba Nichelson at the Irvine office. He was very nice and it seemed like he really wanted to help. I only stayed on the phone long enough to find out the company’s name, the different debt options they offer, and a direct contact number for him. Then I searched the company name and found this blog. I’m glad I did, I’m a sucker for anything that sounds like a good deal. I didn’t like the fact either that they did not have any other information in the letter other then a phone number.

  • TKS10

    I’m not sure if anyone is reading or even monitoring this thread anymore…but I just a personal and confidential letter in the mail from Legal Helpers. In fact I did not know it was them who sent it. The letter states my name, address, estimated debt relief, a negotiating plan #, more of my personal information, and a toll-free number to call. There was no company name or website. Being the skeptic that I was I did an internet search for the toll free number, no hits, not 1. So finally I decided to call and spoke to Eba Nichelson at the Irvine office. He was very nice and it seemed like he really wanted to help. I only stayed on the phone long enough to find out the company’s name, the different debt options they offer, and a direct contact number for him. Then I searched the company name and found this blog. I’m glad I did, I’m a sucker for anything that sounds like a good deal. I didn’t like the fact either that they did not have any other information in the letter other then a phone number.

    • Anonymous

      Likely it came from a front end marketer of their services. No company name= Be very wary.

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Hello TKS,
      Yes, there are plenty of people that stay on top of this stuff. There are so many shady things going on in the debt relief arena that it is hard to keep up with it all. Consumers barely stand a chance at getting real help.

  • Damon Day

    Hey Michael,

    The short answer is yes. If you are in debt and want honest and straight forward information, you should contact me. If you don’t trust me you could of course contact a commissioned based debt relief sales person instead for free. I am not a sponsor of this site and I don’t pay Steve anything for the referrals. So you might ask yourself what would compel Steve to refer consumers to me if he doesn’t get compensated for it?

    Frankly, the best and least expensive thing a consumer in debt can do is schedule a consult with me. (Biased advice I know, but true all the same)

    http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-

  • Michael Sorenson

    Should I contact you to help me instead with my 35k problem? The reason I ask is because I noticed you’re a sponsor on Steve’s website. Seems like you guys have this circle going round and round to benefit you both. Not sure why I should trust you.

  • Bob123

    So here is my story. I had about 50K in debt and they promised to get rid of it for 40 cents on the dollar. I filled out all the forms online and then they said they would send me a paper copy for me to sign and then the debits would begin. I never sent those paper copies back but they started debiting the account anyway. I called and they said since I had signed electronically, they could do that. And not to worry, as soon as all the attorney fees were paid, they would stop the harassing calls. Also, I shouldnt make any payments because we had to show hardship.

    So I stopped making payments. And Legal Helpers kept taking their fees. And then three months passed and I asked ok, now what? Can we settle now? They said let some more money collect and we would go for the lowest debt first. At this time, their responses to my Emails had become much less frequent. I had to mail many times and call to get a single response.

    Finally, when enough was there to start settling the lowest debt, I said are you going to settle now? And they said no, we’ll wait three more months. I told them they had promised that we would start settling as soon as there was enough to settle the lowest debt first, but they said it wasnt a good idea now. At this point, I had lost complete faith and I cancelled my account.

    So basically, I was paying a ton of fees so that they could wait and wear out the creditors. In the meantime, I am getting letters from creditors to settle, sometimes for LESS than 40 cents on the dollar, which is what Legal Helpers promised, and without thousands of dollars in fees. I am also getting letters about lawsuits.

    I lost about 4K with Legal Helpers. Instead if I had just waited I could have saved enough to pay off a bunch of debt entirely.

    I am wondering if there is any way to get a refund since I never signed the paper forms authorizing them to debit money.

    Even if not, I think I am ahead since I am not going to lose more money.

    To all the folks out there, do not use them. Nothing but false promises and no action at all. SCAM.

  • Bob123

    So here is my story. I had about 50K in debt and they promised to get rid of it for 40 cents on the dollar. I filled out all the forms online and then they said they would send me a paper copy for me to sign and then the debits would begin. I never sent those paper copies back but they started debiting the account anyway. I called and they said since I had signed electronically, they could do that. And not to worry, as soon as all the attorney fees were paid, they would stop the harassing calls. Also, I shouldnt make any payments because we had to show hardship.

    So I stopped making payments. And Legal Helpers kept taking their fees. And then three months passed and I asked ok, now what? Can we settle now? They said let some more money collect and we would go for the lowest debt first. At this time, their responses to my Emails had become much less frequent. I had to mail many times and call to get a single response.

    Finally, when enough was there to start settling the lowest debt, I said are you going to settle now? And they said no, we’ll wait three more months. I told them they had promised that we would start settling as soon as there was enough to settle the lowest debt first, but they said it wasnt a good idea now. At this point, I had lost complete faith and I cancelled my account.

    So basically, I was paying a ton of fees so that they could wait and wear out the creditors. In the meantime, I am getting letters from creditors to settle, sometimes for LESS than 40 cents on the dollar, which is what Legal Helpers promised, and without thousands of dollars in fees. I am also getting letters about lawsuits.

    I lost about 4K with Legal Helpers. Instead if I had just waited I could have saved enough to pay off a bunch of debt entirely.

    I am wondering if there is any way to get a refund since I never signed the paper forms authorizing them to debit money.

    Even if not, I think I am ahead since I am not going to lose more money.

    To all the folks out there, do not use them. Nothing but false promises and no action at all. SCAM.

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Hello Bob,
      I am sorry to hear about your experience, unfortunately what you have gone through is more the norm with these front loaded programs. Legal Helpers can try to justify it all they want, but the bottom line is their business model harms consumers in order to line their own pockets and I have not seen anyone be able to articulately explain how that is not a fact.

      Steve wrote a good article that will help if you would like to try and get a refund. Typically you will be met with resistance, but I would keep pushing. If you were misled or paid for something that you did not receive, any company should honor that refund request. If they don’t, then consumers should take note as to why Legal Helpers continues to charge most of their fees upfront. It is just to help consumers right??

      http://getoutofdebt.org/20126/how-to-get-out-of-a-debt-settlement-program-and-get-a-big-refund

      Please keep us updated on how they respond.

      Let me know if you need any further help dealing with your creditors and cleaning up the mess that legal helpers has gotten you into.

      http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-Day

  • Steve Rhode

    Martin,

    See if this article doesn’t help you in your quest to find the right solution. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth About How to Get Out of Debt.

  • Martin Y

    This is an old thread but I am glad it is here because it stopped me at the last minute. I have credit card debit of $75K and LHDR offered a settlement of $1118 per month for 45 months. Currently I pay $1978 per month. They emailed the contract to me and the numbers in the financial spreadsheet were interesting. $1118 for 45 months is $50,310. Then I saw the spreadsheet.

    From the first six payments a fee of $150 is deducted. From the first 22 payments a fee of $515 is deducted. From all 45 payments there are fees of $79 (legal services) and $10.25 (trust fees). That means for the first six payments, only $363 is going toward debt settlement per month. They told me that calls from collection agencies were normal and to ignore them, that everything would come out alright.

    A couple things bothered me. How could $363 substitute for $1978 per month? After deducting all the fees, only $34K was going toward my debt settlement. That is half what I owe. I am able to pay all my debt each month now but there is not much left over and I am only paying the minimum each month.

    At the same time I was talking to LHDR I was also talking to another company with a more realistic solution but LHDR was luring me away with their promises (until I found this blog). They have an A- BBB rating (whereas LHDR has an F and does not belong to it) and what they will do is pay the debt entirely but at a lower interest rate, dropping me from $1978 per month to $1611 per month and paying it off in 5 years.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FKZ2XZCNUME3YZG4UEC7XHXBQE Martin Y

    This is an old thread but I am glad it is here because it stopped me at the last minute. I have credit card debit of $75K and LHDR offered a settlement of $1118 per month for 45 months. Currently I pay $1978 per month. They emailed the contract to me and the numbers in the financial spreadsheet were interesting. $1118 for 45 months is $50,310. Then I saw the spreadsheet.

    From the first six payments a fee of $150 is deducted. From the first 22 payments a fee of $515 is deducted. From all 45 payments there are fees of $79 (legal services) and $10.25 (trust fees). That means for the first six payments, only $363 is going toward debt settlement per month. They told me that calls from collection agencies were normal and to ignore them, that everything would come out alright.

    A couple things bothered me. How could $363 substitute for $1978 per month? After deducting all the fees, only $34K was going toward my debt settlement. That is half what I owe. I am able to pay all my debt each month now but there is not much left over and I am only paying the minimum each month.

    At the same time I was talking to LHDR I was also talking to another company with a more realistic solution but LHDR was luring me away with their promises (until I found this blog). They have an A- BBB rating (whereas LHDR has an F and does not belong to it) and what they will do is pay the debt entirely but at a lower interest rate, dropping me from $1978 per month to $1611 per month and paying it off in 5 years.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Martin,

      See if this article doesn’t help you in your quest to find the right solution. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth About How to Get Out of Debt.

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Hello Martin, I would stay away from Legal Helpers until they decide to create a program that is beneficial to consumers. There are several better solutions for consumers out there. It sounds like you found a CCCS program and if those payments are manageable it might be a good way to go. Clearly the legal helpers sales person did not actually explain how debt settlement really works, thus the reason for your confusion.

      Let me tell you what he should have said if he was honest. You stop paying your creditors and give the money to us instead, then we continue to collect money until your accounts get charged off and your creditors get increasingly anxious. You will likely get sued a few times because we aren’t doing anything with your creditors until you save enough money to settle. It will take you a really long time to save up the money because we are going to get a boatload out of you in fees first. However, if you stick around long enough we can negotiate these things for you. You take all the risk, we make all the money, please sign here. Click…

    • Jennifer

      What company?

  • justagirl

    Hi justsomeguy,
    I’m curious…it’s been a few months and I do not see any more posts from you. I have been talking with Legal Helpers 3 times in the last week and began researching after the call today. What has your experience been? They talk a good talk. I have also talked with New Hope Financial. Both conversations are regarding Home Loan Modifications.
    I find it very interesting to learn about the FTC ruling as they said I will not be paying up front yet wanted to email me their contract and fill it out online together and my online agreement would count as my signature for the contract (no mention of a face to face with a local attny). They would also be deducting $600/month for the next four months and it would take a minimum of 90-120 days to get my loan mod worked out (no guarantees, of course) but they have a 70% success rate. Hummm. But when I ask specific questions, he had an excellent way of redirecting the answers to not really answering my questions. Also, his answers were not the same answers I got from another sales rep from Legal Helpers. Example would be that one said I could get a loan mod even if I decided to rent and one said I would not qualify for a loan mod if I rented the house out. My life has been a living he!! the last few years and a loan mod would help me keep the house from going into forclosure and get back on my feet, but after reading all of this I definitely am not going to do business with these companies-not sure what to do. My current option is to pay my home mortgage and do without much needed medical insurance/meds after brain surgery removing a rare tumor and divorce of a husband of 18 years.
    All in all, how have they helped you so far?

  • Joe_debt_jr

    what’s the difference between a tangible product vs a promised service?

  • Question

    Do you work for free? When you hire a contractor do you not pay them anything until all the work is done? Most i talk to want 1/3 down. Have you gone to Target taken a coffee maker home to see how it works prior to paying for it? That is called theft where i live. Think about this, some people not all but some who are in debt have not made payments, if a company did the work and lowered the debt what says the people who didn’t pay in the first place will pay them?

  • Angelo

    you lost me at “bankruptcy is the only way” Really? Chapter 13 is nothing but a payment plan. Please explain how it’s the only way?

  • Angelo

    Believe it or not there are debt settlement companies that have been around for years that have not charged any upfront fees. Not too many, but there are a few. My negotiators will talk to someone at Chase who says they do not deal with settlement companies so they hang up, hit redial and the next person in line is willing to negotiate.

    Let me make this as clear (when sold correctly) anyone enrolling in a debt settlement program completely understands that their credit is going to take a big hit so you are not uncovering a great myth here. Debt Settlement is for consumers who can no longer afford minimum payments and cannot qualify for Bankruptcy. Anyone who knows the collections game knows that once an account is charged off it either gets assigned to a collection agency for a period of time and then continuously re-assigned, sold to a debt buyer, kept in house for collections or sent to a law firm If the original creditor will not settle, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th agency will and in most cases for much lower because they only paid 5-9 cents on the dollar to begin with even if they settle at 30% they are still making out like bandits. To further prove this, let me state that as a success bassed company I DO NOT GET PAID UNTILL I SETTLE MY CLIENTS DEBT. IF WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE I WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF BUSINESS A LONG TIME AGO!!!

  • Damon Day

    Hello thoughtful,
    I understand that you need to convince yourself of certain things in order to continue selling these types of programs to consumers. Nothing I say is likely to change your mind. Unfortunately I speak with many current and former clients of legal helpers as well as countless other front loaded and attorney model settlement companies, who come to me for help after experiencing not so great service and results. Everything you are telling me is an attempt to explain why the legal helpers plan is better for the sales person and the company. Shouldn’t you try to create something that is better for the client?

    It is clear that your livelihood requires you to hold certain beliefs that I consider to be erroneous and we are not going to agree on those things. So lets do something that is constructive and helpful to consumers at the same time:

    You tell consumers what you believe and then send them to me. I will tell them what I believe and then they can decide for themselves which one of us makes more sense. Now they will have two different view points and be able to decide how to best resolve their specific financial circumstances. I know that isn’t very fair because the facts and common sense are on my side, but I will even put one arm behind my back if you want.

    PS. if you look at the comment to me from Thomas Macey a few months ago he told me specifically that “Mr. Day…for the record post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt. I would only ask that you withhold passing judgement on a model that you havent seen yet. Once its released to the public I believe you will be happy with its results.”

    I wonder why legal helpers changed their mind and continued to front load their fees? Could it be because they believe they found a loophole that attracts more sales people to sell their program?

    http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-

  • ComplianceSlave

    Funny their customers seem to disagree. So do their former and current employees.

  • Thoughtful Consumer

    Damon,

    Your zeal is laudable even if your facts are incorrect. If you really took the time to research the settlement industry, its players, the FTC, its politics and the politics of Credit and Debt in this country you would not, in good conscience say the things you say.

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution is playing by the rules set out by the FTC to assist the general consumer with overwhelming debt. In fact, they do have a minimum performance standard that states that if they cannot reach a settlement of at least 65% of the enrolled balance for ANY account they will not accept or refund any fee associated with that account. Furthermore, they have instituted the Face-to-Face meeting with a local attorney to MAKE SURE that anyone engaging their services understands EXACTLY what is involved. Does this allow them to begin to collect fees at the outset of the agreement – YES. Why is that? because the FTC says its OK to do so if you are not just selling someone something over the phone. The FTC knows that you cannot do business and service consumers properly without either getting paid from the outset, or bankrolling your business with millions of dollars to cover the payroll and marketing costs of reaching out to people and properly handing their files; really providing a service. LHDR is a growing NATIONAL law firm that is working to assist people in trouble and is doing whatever common sense and the FTC mandate should be done to do so properly, diligently and with consumer clarity and service in mind.

  • Asenath

    Firms that are trying to help people do not have “F” ratings with the BB, nor do they make most of their money through the sale of “leads” (client information, including annual income, and in some cases social security numbers) to “affiliates” (every guy who wants to purchase the leads for whatever reason).

  • Kohmlaw

    This is the biggest bullshit company I have ever seen in my life! HOW STUPID CAN PEOPLE BE TO FALL FOR THIS SCAM!!!! Bankruptcy is the only way!!!! Stupid Americans.

  • Kohmlaw

    This is the biggest bullshit company I have ever seen in my life! HOW STUPID CAN PEOPLE BE TO FALL FOR THIS SCAM!!!! Bankruptcy is the only way!!!! Stupid Americans.

    • Angelo

      you lost me at “bankruptcy is the only way” Really? Chapter 13 is nothing but a payment plan. Please explain how it’s the only way?

  • Asenath Waite

    Legalhelpers has a “F” rating by the BBB nationwide. They are involved in several large lawsuits and are being investigated by the Illinois Attorney General for consumer fraud, etc. CBS News Chicago recently did a story on these guys:

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20

    LHDR is a spinoff run by the same people.

  • John G

    Legal Helpers is heavily telemarketing their face-to-face plan, as is US Debt Help Center aka Noveck & Moore in MI. There are many posts still on the Web placed by DSC’s in ’08 and ’09 chortling about the high commissions they will pay to get folks signed up. Or the “debt Settlement is an amazing business to be in” baloney. That’s where da dough goes — to the closers. And the Web has lots of Craigslist postings for debt settlement closers dangling $60-70-100 in eaarnings for da closers. So does the front-loaded fee sound like it will even leave enough $ for the DSC to operate with? No. It’s a Ponzi scheme. Get the dough while the gettin’s good.

  • DW22

    Bravo Observer!!! I am a analyst and love the numbers, in my line of work you make all statements you want but if you do not or cannot provide data to back up your claims then keep your damn mouth shut!!!! I think Nick V. just may be a LHDR plant……… LOL

  • DW22

    I can tell you Consumer Credit Counseling will assist you but if you are able to stay afloat or have residual income e.g you bring in 6K but still have 1.5k left over at the end of the month they are going to tell you to to apply your residual income to your debt. They will still work out a plan for you but don’t think your going to get a lot of empathy from them…… My wife and I tried although we have 40k in debt the CCCS ran the numbers and actually advised us not to start a program with them due to the income that we make ,kinda sucks paying out 1.5k a month in debt (credit cards and consolidation loan) but it boils down debt to income ratio. We did sign up with a company to auto draft our payments every week exceeding the minimum payment (although most finical advisers don’t advise it) but in our case we don’t have the discipline to actually make the payments to start the “snow ball” so I have no problem paying the 2 dollar transaction fee for them to do it for us, to each his own I say. I agree with you (confused in FL) there is all kinds of help for those already under but if you are suffering but can make it most of what you see on the net and junk mail are scams. Something else that I have realized in all of this not knowing your situation so may apply to you I got myself in this mess and will have live with the struggles of paying it off there is not a easy road to take but light is at the end of the tunnel…… Hope you work it out I know it is tough but hang in there.

  • ComplianceSlave

    Try Allison Brown http://business.ftc.gov/multim

  • Needsomerealanswers

    Well I’ve waited a week, and have not gotten any response from any of the Legal Helpers “happy customers”. I’m not surprised, considering I’ve sent certified return receipt letters to Legal Helpers and have received no response to my requests from them.

  • Needsomerealanswers

    Well I’ve waited a week, and have not gotten any response from any of the Legal Helpers “happy customers”. I’m not surprised, considering I’ve sent certified return receipt letters to Legal Helpers and have received no response to my requests from them.

  • ComplianceSlave

    That’s just about the most pathetic post i’ve seen on this thread…. And that’s saying a lot. What in the world is the intent in that? A veiled threat- Calling yourself the law & making an open threat intending obvious harm… You are not The Law.
    If you have a problem with an open forum concerned with consumer protection then i will guess your pocketbook is what this site’s hurting. It’s hurting your ability to continue to steal and you sir are giving our industry more of the bad reputation we have worked so hard to better. Why don’t you go into auto mod’s or time shares, or better yet, buy a handgun and simply rob your victims at gunpoint?

  • Joe_debt_jr

    can you really get in trouble for speaking the TRUTH?

  • Steve Rhode

    So who is we and what are you watching?

    Steve

  • Thelaw

    Its going to be a bad day real soon for you Mr. Rhodes and Damon Day. We are watching!

  • Thelaw

    Its going to be a bad day real soon for you Mr. Rhodes and Damon Day. We are watching!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      So who is we and what are you watching?

      Steve

    • Anonymous

      can you really get in trouble for speaking the TRUTH?

      • John G

        Legal Helpers is heavily telemarketing their face-to-face plan, as is US Debt Help Center aka Noveck & Moore in MI. There are many posts still on the Web placed by DSC’s in ’08 and ’09 chortling about the high commissions they will pay to get folks signed up. Or the “debt Settlement is an amazing business to be in” baloney. That’s where da dough goes — to the closers. And the Web has lots of Craigslist postings for debt settlement closers dangling $60-70-100 in eaarnings for da closers. So does the front-loaded fee sound like it will even leave enough $ for the DSC to operate with? No. It’s a Ponzi scheme. Get the dough while the gettin’s good.

    • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

      That’s just about the most pathetic post i’ve seen on this thread…. And that’s saying a lot. What in the world is the intent in that? A veiled threat- Calling yourself the law & making an open threat intending obvious harm… You are not The Law.
      If you have a problem with an open forum concerned with consumer protection then i will guess your pocketbook is what this site’s hurting. It’s hurting your ability to continue to steal and you sir are giving our industry more of the bad reputation we have worked so hard to better. Why don’t you go into auto mod’s or time shares, or better yet, buy a handgun and simply rob your victims at gunpoint?

  • Damon Day

    Hello J,

    Yes I am very familiar with the ruling. However, it appears to me that Legal Helpers is more concerned with charging upfront fees, that are not in the best interest of consumers. So they are looking for loop holes to allow them to continue with a fee structure that is hurting consumers. I would disagree that they are in compliance certainly with the spirit of the law and most likely with the letter as well. However that will be for the FTC to decide.

    My opinion is simple. Compliance or not, if they want to continue to charge consumers a front loaded fee structure, then stay away from them at all costs. They care more about helping themselves than they do about helping you.

  • J. Tressel

    Do Damon, are you familiar with the FTC Ruling that went into effect on Oct. 27? Did you know that the FTC is now reviewing all “debt settlement” contracts & terms? Have you heard that Legal Helpers is in compliance and everything is now done face-to-face? All of these things I was told by a paralegal with the law firm in IL.

    What do you know about any/all of this?

  • Eroru

    I noticed that you have several articles about Legal Helpers and CDS client Services. I wanted to shed some light on this matter for you as well as kind of tell you HOW they operate.

    Well, lets start off with legal helpers as you may know they sell their name to be the front cover for many unscrupulous debt settlement companies taking advantage of consumers such as CDS Client Services located at 2152 Dupont # 101 Irvine, CA owned by Steve Brennen who has two guys run the place for him by the Names of MARC PENSO who incidentally has a CEASE and DESIST letter from Department of real estate and DAVID T. Henson who is the President(one of Steve Brennen’s Goons).

    basically what legal helpers do is go around selling their names(it even says in their contract that they have a NON-Exclusive agreement) as I know of other companies that bought/paid for to be able to use their name which involved macy aleman attorneys coming to your office for a “sales pitch” and then basically take money for clients they(debt settlement companys such as CDS client services enrolls) but there is no attorney involvement whatsoever, they say they are compliant however its business as usaul and they take money from consumers yet do not provide any REAL services.

    The latest thing to come down the pipe is that for the next month they will not be enrolling NEW clients as they are TESTING some enrollment procedures (all B.S.)

    Bottom line these guys(CDS client Services, legal helpers) are just not legit! not only that macy aleman’s offices is headquarter in IL they just CON other lawyers to join their circle(to bear the legal helpers name) just so they could say they have lawyers in 50 states but IN REALITY they are BASED in CHICAGO and just pay to use other attorneys’ names on their letterhead all in all they are a NAME MARKETER LEGAL HELPERS and THE REAL SERVICE providers are the debt settlement companies that pay to play

  • Eroru

    I noticed that you have several articles about Legal Helpers and CDS client Services. I wanted to shed some light on this matter for you as well as kind of tell you HOW they operate.

    Well, lets start off with legal helpers as you may know they sell their name to be the front cover for many unscrupulous debt settlement companies taking advantage of consumers such as CDS Client Services located at 2152 Dupont # 101 Irvine, CA owned by Steve Brennen who has two guys run the place for him by the Names of MARC PENSO who incidentally has a CEASE and DESIST letter from Department of real estate and DAVID T. Henson who is the President(one of Steve Brennen’s Goons).

    basically what legal helpers do is go around selling their names(it even says in their contract that they have a NON-Exclusive agreement) as I know of other companies that bought/paid for to be able to use their name which involved macy aleman attorneys coming to your office for a “sales pitch” and then basically take money for clients they(debt settlement companys such as CDS client services enrolls) but there is no attorney involvement whatsoever, they say they are compliant however its business as usaul and they take money from consumers yet do not provide any REAL services.

    The latest thing to come down the pipe is that for the next month they will not be enrolling NEW clients as they are TESTING some enrollment procedures (all B.S.)

    Bottom line these guys(CDS client Services, legal helpers) are just not legit! not only that macy aleman’s offices is headquarter in IL they just CON other lawyers to join their circle(to bear the legal helpers name) just so they could say they have lawyers in 50 states but IN REALITY they are BASED in CHICAGO and just pay to use other attorneys’ names on their letterhead all in all they are a NAME MARKETER LEGAL HELPERS and THE REAL SERVICE providers are the debt settlement companies that pay to play

  • Damon Day

    If this was recent, I would contact your bank and dispute the charge. I wouldn’t let them get away with ripping your off. The work they are referring to is the work the sales person put in to make the sale. Has nothing to do with anything they did for you. It is all about the sale. I would file complaints with the BBB, the FTC, the AG in your state, and dispute the charge with your bank.

  • Negroncma

    Legal Helper’s are some bad people stealing our hard earned money… I went to them for help, then read some info online that scared me… went to a local attorney he said they are legit but not responsible, so I changed my mind the very next morning. Do you know they kept my money and claimed it could not be refunded because of the work they put in. The very next day… hell the check had not even been cashed yet when I canceled. I truly think they should be put out of business or something with all the complaints I have read and now this… Watch out people. They can hurt you more than they claim to help you!!!

  • Negroncma

    Legal Helper’s are some bad people stealing our hard earned money… I went to them for help, then read some info online that scared me… went to a local attorney he said they are legit but not responsible, so I changed my mind the very next morning. Do you know they kept my money and claimed it could not be refunded because of the work they put in. The very next day… hell the check had not even been cashed yet when I canceled. I truly think they should be put out of business or something with all the complaints I have read and now this… Watch out people. They can hurt you more than they claim to help you!!!

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      If this was recent, I would contact your bank and dispute the charge. I wouldn’t let them get away with ripping your off. The work they are referring to is the work the sales person put in to make the sale. Has nothing to do with anything they did for you. It is all about the sale. I would file complaints with the BBB, the FTC, the AG in your state, and dispute the charge with your bank.

  • duped in Ohio

    DON”T DO IT!!!!! My husband enlisted the help of this company when he found himself strapped, but not yet delinquent on his bills…..They advised him to STOP paying his bills, and after 6 months of delinquency, they would negotiate with the creditors to reduce his debt to 48 cents on the dollar. Not happening…instead, he is now being SUED and when he contacted this company(who he has already paid close to $5,000), they told him they could not help him because he does not have enough money in his account to negotiate….and LEGAL Helpers Debt Resolution does not proved assistance in lawsuits……WHAT???? We now get to start the process of getting out of this Debt Relief Program AND handling the lawsuit…

  • duped in Ohio

    DON”T DO IT!!!!! My husband enlisted the help of this company when he found himself strapped, but not yet delinquent on his bills…..They advised him to STOP paying his bills, and after 6 months of delinquency, they would negotiate with the creditors to reduce his debt to 48 cents on the dollar. Not happening…instead, he is now being SUED and when he contacted this company(who he has already paid close to $5,000), they told him they could not help him because he does not have enough money in his account to negotiate….and LEGAL Helpers Debt Resolution does not proved assistance in lawsuits……WHAT???? We now get to start the process of getting out of this Debt Relief Program AND handling the lawsuit…

  • Needsomerealanswers

    Please tell me who you spoke with, and send me their contact information. You are having a much better experience than I am, and perhaps if I was dealing with the same people you are, my results would be better. Thank you.

  • Needsomerealanswers

    Please tell me who you spoke with, and send me their contact information. You are having a much better experience than I am, and perhaps if I was dealing with the same people you are, my results would be better.

  • Needsomerealanswers

    Dear Happy So Far,
    I will ask you the same question I asked another satisfied customer earlier. Please give me the specifics on who is responding to your questions quickly. If I could get someone from Legal Helpers to respond to some of my questions and concerns, it might change my opinion of them from negative to positive.

  • needsomerealanswers

    I glad that this company worked for you. Times are tough, and it gives me hope to see that this company that my family and I have had so many problems with actually did what they promised for you. Help me please, and give me some names / numbers / email addresses of the folks at Legal Helpers who were so good at giving you updates. Perhaps if I contacted those people instead of the ones I’ve been dealing with, my opinion of them would change.

  • ComplianceSlave

    That’s great! You sure are a lucky one…. To be so happy and yet searching the internet to find a blog on your DS company… That’s super.

  • quency

    Mr macy
    ca you please xplain to me why your firm has an F ratng

  • Happy So Far

    I have never had any problems with LHDR so far, I have been involved with them for a couple of months and they have been courteous, knowledgeable, and they have always responded to my questions quickly. I even recommended my Mother to their service.

  • Happy So Far

    I have never had any problems with LHDR so far, I have been involved with them for a couple of months and they have been courteous, knowledgeable, and they have always responded to my questions quickly. I even recommended my Mother to their service.

    • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

      That’s great! You sure are a lucky one…. To be so happy and yet searching the internet to find a blog on your DS company… That’s super.

    • Needsomerealanswers

      Dear Happy So Far,
      I will ask you the same question I asked another satisfied customer earlier. Please give me the specifics on who is responding to your questions quickly. If I could get someone from Legal Helpers to respond to some of my questions and concerns, it might change my opinion of them from negative to positive.

  • Observer

    Mike,

    Is LHDR charging in advance for settlement services?

    If they are, and are marketing throughout the nation with affiliate partners to boot, their stature can easily be called into question.

    Charging advance fees has been labeled abusive by state and federal regulators. As a result, companies who continue to charge advance fees stand under, not above.

    If they have lawyers in all 50 states, but continue with marketing and affiliate relationships that were standard prior to the FTC rule promulgation, I am not so sure they wont wind up being the next JLG.

    Several states have indicated they are not up for the shenanigans of attorney fronted debt settlement. Look no further than recent actions by Kansas and North Carolina attorney general offices. Those get expensive!

    Mike – Do you work directly for LHDR? Are you an affiliate? Do you know the industry issues or are you parroting what you are told or hear from others?

    Get to know the issues in depth if you don’t already. See if you have the same opinion once you do.

    If you do already have a firm grasp of the industry issues and support any company that is not honoring the spirit of the TSR’s, your motives are not to assist consumers in the best capacity available to them.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    I am a happy reader of GetOutofDebt.org because it brings truth and not fiction to the table. No I am not being paid to post this but that would be nice. But with the help of this site, I am sure most companies can agree that it gives them a wake up call to clean their act up. Alot of great information about what NOT TO DO and HOW to put your CLIENT first before yourself.

  • Damon Day

    Hello Lisa,

    I have found that when a settlement company sends a creditor a cease communication letter it actually greatly increases the chances that the consumer will be sued. So in many cases, the debt settlement company will make a consumers situation worse, simply to make it more convenient for the settlement company. So in most cases, you are paying them to make it worse. They should not be sending letters to the creditor to cease all communication. Odds are, you would have not been sued as quickly as you were if Legal Helpers hadn’t done anything.

    I can teach you how to get sued for free. Why pay 1,000′s of dollars to have a settlement company do it for you.

  • Mike

    LHDR is a stand up company. Look at their size, track record, and ultimately what their clients say about them! I mean, they are a huge national firm (LAWYERS) offering a service on consumer debt. Lawyers already know the consequences of failed disclosures and they are guilty of over-disclosing things to a point where it may even make a prospective client shy away from the service. Why is this? Hello, they make a living finding fault in others procedures, disclosures and inaccurate execution. My friend after wrestling the whole credit score idea, chose to do this when he realized he’d never pay of $50k anytime soon with what little he made. This reminds me of a movie quote I love:
    “Money isn’t real George, it doesn’t matter. It only seems like it does.” FRED JUNG “BLOW”

  • Mike

    LHDR is a stand up company. Look at their size, track record, and ultimately what their clients say about them! I mean, they are a huge national firm (LAWYERS) offering a service on consumer debt. Lawyers already know the consequences of failed disclosures and they are guilty of over-disclosing things to a point where it may even make a prospective client shy away from the service. Why is this? Hello, they make a living finding fault in others procedures, disclosures and inaccurate execution. My friend after wrestling the whole credit score idea, chose to do this when he realized he’d never pay of $50k anytime soon with what little he made. This reminds me of a movie quote I love:
    “Money isn’t real George, it doesn’t matter. It only seems like it does.” FRED JUNG “BLOW”

    • Observer

      Mike,

      Is LHDR charging in advance for settlement services?

      If they are, and are marketing throughout the nation with affiliate partners to boot, their stature can easily be called into question.

      Charging advance fees has been labeled abusive by state and federal regulators. As a result, companies who continue to charge advance fees stand under, not above.

      If they have lawyers in all 50 states, but continue with marketing and affiliate relationships that were standard prior to the FTC rule promulgation, I am not so sure they wont wind up being the next JLG.

      Several states have indicated they are not up for the shenanigans of attorney fronted debt settlement. Look no further than recent actions by Kansas and North Carolina attorney general offices. Those get expensive!

      Mike – Do you work directly for LHDR? Are you an affiliate? Do you know the industry issues or are you parroting what you are told or hear from others?

      Get to know the issues in depth if you don’t already. See if you have the same opinion once you do.

      If you do already have a firm grasp of the industry issues and support any company that is not honoring the spirit of the TSR’s, your motives are not to assist consumers in the best capacity available to them.

  • ComplianceSlave

    The one above hers as well, tho it doesnt say the debt amount… At least theyre getting more detailed. If LHDR really wanted to help anyone, they wouldnt allow these ridiculous posts. It’s laughable.

  • Observer

    Lisa,

    In 8 months you appear to have been able to pay all of the fees charged by LHDR and fund settlements on more than half your debt and having been sued to boot. Rare indeed.

    Most consumers do not post happy pink cloud stories on strange websites. When they do, they generally don’t take such personal responsibility for their debt like you do while suggesting others do the same. Mostly, consumers talk about their hardship or how the banks would not work with them etc… You are a rare poster indeed.

    If your post is a plant, please hone your skills a bit in order to be more believable.

  • lisa1965

    I have been using Legal Helpers for almost 8 months and have nothing but good things to say. I started with 35K in debt and now I only owe 14K. While I am not done yet, I am sure they will finish they job they started.

    I will say that I was sued on one account, but Legal Helpers was able to help me resolve that one as well. However, being sued on a debt that I could not pay any more due to my own financial situation was not the fault of Legal Helpers. If I was going to be sued, it would not have mattered if I was with Legal Helpers or not. They did not sue me, my credit card company did. In fact, I am glad I had a law firm on my side; they ended up settling with the creditor for a reasonable amount that was fair for everyone involved. Yes it was stressful, but my whole situation is.

    By the way, while reading some of your comments, I have noticed many people blame the companies they have turned to for assistance. Should you not be looking more at the ones that incurred the debt? Why is no one looking at the person responsible? After all, I know my debt is my fault and no one else’s. I just wish more people in this country would stop passing blame and take responsibility for their actions. Maybe if we all did that, less people would be so willing to borrow beyond what they can realistically pay back. I have to admit that my experience with both my creditors and Legal Helpers has made me think twice about using credit cards so irresponsibility again in the future.

    Bottom line, I can’t say what Legal Helpers has, or has not, done for others. Since I have only dealt with them on my debt, I can only tell you about my experience. In my experience, I am happy to know I have someone working with me and doing the best they can to help me out of my situation. After all, that is all I can ask. With my debt, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels great!

  • lisa1965

    I have been using Legal Helpers for almost 8 months and have nothing but good things to say. I started with 35K in debt and now I only owe 14K. While I am not done yet, I am sure they will finish they job they started.

    I will say that I was sued on one account, but Legal Helpers was able to help me resolve that one as well. However, being sued on a debt that I could not pay any more due to my own financial situation was not the fault of Legal Helpers. If I was going to be sued, it would not have mattered if I was with Legal Helpers or not. They did not sue me, my credit card company did. In fact, I am glad I had a law firm on my side; they ended up settling with the creditor for a reasonable amount that was fair for everyone involved. Yes it was stressful, but my whole situation is.

    By the way, while reading some of your comments, I have noticed many people blame the companies they have turned to for assistance. Should you not be looking more at the ones that incurred the debt? Why is no one looking at the person responsible? After all, I know my debt is my fault and no one else’s. I just wish more people in this country would stop passing blame and take responsibility for their actions. Maybe if we all did that, less people would be so willing to borrow beyond what they can realistically pay back. I have to admit that my experience with both my creditors and Legal Helpers has made me think twice about using credit cards so irresponsibility again in the future.

    Bottom line, I can’t say what Legal Helpers has, or has not, done for others. Since I have only dealt with them on my debt, I can only tell you about my experience. In my experience, I am happy to know I have someone working with me and doing the best they can to help me out of my situation. After all, that is all I can ask. With my debt, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels great!

    • Observer

      Lisa,

      In 8 months you appear to have been able to pay all of the fees charged by LHDR and fund settlements on more than half your debt and having been sued to boot. Rare indeed.

      Most consumers do not post happy pink cloud stories on strange websites. When they do, they generally don’t take such personal responsibility for their debt like you do while suggesting others do the same. Mostly, consumers talk about their hardship or how the banks would not work with them etc… You are a rare poster indeed.

      If your post is a plant, please hone your skills a bit in order to be more believable.

      • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

        The one above hers as well, tho it doesnt say the debt amount… At least theyre getting more detailed. If LHDR really wanted to help anyone, they wouldnt allow these ridiculous posts. It’s laughable.

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Hello Lisa,

      I have found that when a settlement company sends a creditor a cease communication letter it actually greatly increases the chances that the consumer will be sued. So in many cases, the debt settlement company will make a consumers situation worse, simply to make it more convenient for the settlement company. So in most cases, you are paying them to make it worse. They should not be sending letters to the creditor to cease all communication. Odds are, you would have not been sued as quickly as you were if Legal Helpers hadn’t done anything.

      I can teach you how to get sued for free. Why pay 1,000′s of dollars to have a settlement company do it for you.

    • Helga04

      Being sued is not the issue……It’s the promise of them taking care of the problem without being sued.  I could have gon to a lawyer and been done with this whole thing with as much as I have paid in fees upfront.  Instead I am now having to deal with being sued and have less money  because they got paid and not my creditors!

  • Steve Rhode

    Others have made comments about the sudden wave of “happy client” comments now appearing here. Even I have to admit now with them coming so close together they appear planted. I think this comment makes five in 24 hours. Coincidence?

  • Happy Client

    I have been a client of Legal Helpers for about a year and a half now. I am very pleased with them so far. They have settled 3 accounts for me already and saved me approximetly $14,300. I have 2 more accounts to go wich they tell me should be settled within the next 6 months or so. One of the things I like best is the fact that they stay in contact with me all the time giving me updates and I can always reach someone if I need to. I would highly recommend Legal Helpers to any friend or family member.

  • Happy Client

    I have been a client of Legal Helpers for about a year and a half now. I am very pleased with them so far. They have settled 3 accounts for me already and saved me approximetly $14,300. I have 2 more accounts to go wich they tell me should be settled within the next 6 months or so. One of the things I like best is the fact that they stay in contact with me all the time giving me updates and I can always reach someone if I need to. I would highly recommend Legal Helpers to any friend or family member.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Others have made comments about the sudden wave of “happy client” comments now appearing here. Even I have to admit now with them coming so close together they appear planted. I think this comment makes five in 24 hours. Coincidence?

    • Anonymous

      I am a happy reader of GetOutofDebt.org because it brings truth and not fiction to the table. No I am not being paid to post this but that would be nice. But with the help of this site, I am sure most companies can agree that it gives them a wake up call to clean their act up. Alot of great information about what NOT TO DO and HOW to put your CLIENT first before yourself.

    • needsomerealanswers

      I glad that this company worked for you. Times are tough, and it gives me hope to see that this company that my family and I have had so many problems with actually did what they promised for you. Help me please, and give me some names / numbers / email addresses of the folks at Legal Helpers who were so good at giving you updates. Perhaps if I contacted those people instead of the ones I’ve been dealing with, my opinion of them would change.

  • Observer

    Nick,

    You do have a point with some debt settlement companies likely jumping at offers that are not optimized for savings in order to get paid, but not all will behave in this way. To this point, the four largest issuers are offering the best balance concession prior to charge off and often with assignees just out of charge off. Due to the market share of the top issuers, it is akin to shooting fish in a barrel in order to hit the earliest, best optimized offers.

    Until the economy, job market and most certainly the more than double historic credit card charge off percentages improve, I see your point as immaterial in the near term.

    Your statement of LHDR being the best in the industry is empty and cannot be taken seriously. You have provided no analytic to support the claim. You do suggest in your post that they are getting close to a 25% average (75% savings for their clients). I call bull shit. Either prove it or quit saying it.

    If in the event you do wish to prove up your claim(you wont), please do so in a manner consistent with the rules set forth by the FTC (you cant).

    If by affiliated with LHDR you mean you refer people to them for a commission, you can be held to account for their practices just as they can be for yours. If you are selling their service with claims of savings similar to what you post – good luck with that.

    In your so called research of 30 companies I would suggest you settled on LHDR in order to get paid the most, which is what most debt settlement affiliates do. If I am wrong in this assumption, please provide a comparison of the 30 companies side by side and the commission/pay out structure. Otherwise, its just bullshit.

    You brought your weakest game to your post. If you would like to come back and mix it up a bit, please come back prepared – with facts and data to back up your claims.

  • Damon Day

    Hmm, 4 vague positive comments all within 4 hours of each other. Looks like legal helpers sales affiliates are working overtime. I talk to consumers every week that have been mislead by sales people pushing legal helpers. Maybe I should start sending them over here to share their stories.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    I was just thinking the same thing. I wonder if these are their past BK clients that had already discharged and LHDR is asking these clients to post nice comments or who knows maybe these are real clients that are happy which can be good too but problem is out of 77 comments and only 3 good reviews, let the viewer decide on this one.

  • Nick V.

    Here we have one of those unique situations where the town crier just happens to be the town idiot.

    Simple fact: He who yells loudest is almost never right. In fact, it’s offensive to read DD’s thoughts. He couldn’t be more wrong.

    There’s a very simple issue that most individuals are missing that’s being perpetuated by Mr. Day. Up front fees are actually a good thing for the client. Let me explain why….

    Any business model that attempts to operate without working capital is problematic. Why? Simple. As it applies to debt resolution, under a “pay when we settle” plan, the goal isn’t to get the lowest settlement, the goal simply becomes to settle AT ANY COST. This is because the settlement company needs CAPITAL TO OPERATE. ANY settlement firm that you’re not going to pay until they settle has developed a CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITH THE CLIENT. Again, the company that you’ve just hired is now pitted against your better interests.

    In other words, In these models, you’re asking for problems because the hired company will settle (regardless of the settlement rate) just to get paid.

    Know that the banks are not going to offer you their best settlement right away. It takes some time, but it will come. Simple fact: when you’re negotiating, you never give your best offer first.

    Its somewhat counterintuitive, but if you hold out long enough, you’re going to get a better settlement than if you act right away. Every negotiated on a car? Does the salesman give you his best offer right away?

    The professionals within the industry know this, but unfortunately some senator’s (CS) (who’s received 13 million from the banking/finance industries over the last 5 years) has been paid to act in his constituent’s best interest….not yours. Unfortunately this is the same model that DD is advocating.

    And based upon his statement ” our clients pay back 50%”, you’re about twice that of what LHDR clients have been getting.

    For the record, I’ve personally interviewed over 30 debt settlement companies, and law firms and have not seen a company settling for less than LHDR. This is why I’m affiliated with them. Let me say that again. I’m not saying they’re great because I’m affiliated with them. I’m saying that I’m affiliated with them because they’re great.

    In fact, LHDR is the best in the industry.

    Armed with a few degrees in finance and over 12 years in finance myself, I think I’d like to contact DD over the next couple of weeks and see what other nonsense he’s feeding people. I agree that no upfront fees is a good idea in theory, but if fails in practice. DD, you’re failing to look at the law of unintended consequences:

    Higher debt settlement averages for the consumer….

    Oooops! You’re already there!

    CAVEAT EMPTOR: THE YARDSTICK BY WHICH ANY SETTLEMENT COMPANY IS MEASURED, IS THEIR SETTLEMENT RATE. After 30 companies, I have yet to find a law firm, or company that settles for less than LHDR.

  • ComplianceSlave

    4 in a row…. Nice- Tom, You said you would disclose your model after 10-27…. My understanding is youre still charging upfront fees using the “face to face” exemption.

    Quote:

    “Mr. Day…for the record post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt. I would only ask that you withhold passing judgement on a model that you havent seen yet. Once its released to the public I believe you will be happy with its results.

    Now, after 77 comments about how crappy your service is & has been, 4 that LOVE your service in 3 hours… That’s genuine.

  • melissa

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution has been a great experience. They have promptly answered all of my questions and have been very informative. It has been such a huge relief. I cannot wait to be debt free. I would recommend their services to anyone.

  • melissa

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution has been a great experience. They have promptly answered all of my questions and have been very informative. It has been such a huge relief. I cannot wait to be debt free. I would recommend their services to anyone.

    • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

      4 in a row…. Nice- Tom, You said you would disclose your model after 10-27…. My understanding is youre still charging upfront fees using the “face to face” exemption.

      Quote:

      “Mr. Day…for the record post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt. I would only ask that you withhold passing judgement on a model that you havent seen yet. Once its released to the public I believe you will be happy with its results.

      Now, after 77 comments about how crappy your service is & has been, 4 that LOVE your service in 3 hours… That’s genuine.

      • Anonymous

        I was just thinking the same thing. I wonder if these are their past BK clients that had already discharged and LHDR is asking these clients to post nice comments or who knows maybe these are real clients that are happy which can be good too but problem is out of 77 comments and only 3 good reviews, let the viewer decide on this one.

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Hmm, 4 vague positive comments all within 4 hours of each other. Looks like legal helpers sales affiliates are working overtime. I talk to consumers every week that have been mislead by sales people pushing legal helpers. Maybe I should start sending them over here to share their stories.

      • J. Tressel

        Do Damon, are you familiar with the FTC Ruling that went into effect on Oct. 27? Did you know that the FTC is now reviewing all “debt settlement” contracts & terms? Have you heard that Legal Helpers is in compliance and everything is now done face-to-face? All of these things I was told by a paralegal with the law firm in IL.

        What do you know about any/all of this?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello J,

        Yes I am very familiar with the ruling. However, it appears to me that Legal Helpers is more concerned with charging upfront fees, that are not in the best interest of consumers. So they are looking for loop holes to allow them to continue with a fee structure that is hurting consumers. I would disagree that they are in compliance certainly with the spirit of the law and most likely with the letter as well. However that will be for the FTC to decide.

        My opinion is simple. Compliance or not, if they want to continue to charge consumers a front loaded fee structure, then stay away from them at all costs. They care more about helping themselves than they do about helping you.

      • Helga04

        Legal helpers told me today that they have not taken any new clients in November of 2010.  Hmm that’s why they really pushed for me to sign paperwork eltectronically on the 28th of October!  Atleast that is what I am assuming…..they are now doing business under another name!

      • Helga04

        well, it’s not like they are helping their clients out :)

    • Needsomerealanswers

      Please tell me who you spoke with, and send me their contact information. You are having a much better experience than I am, and perhaps if I was dealing with the same people you are, my results would be better. Thank you.

  • Bcleigh

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution was easy to get a hold of whenever I had a question. They were not pushy and extremely understanding with my concerns.

  • Bcleigh

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution was easy to get a hold of whenever I had a question. They were not pushy and extremely understanding with my concerns.

    • Needsomerealanswers

      Please tell me who you spoke with, and send me their contact information. You are having a much better experience than I am, and perhaps if I was dealing with the same people you are, my results would be better.

  • Sarah

    I know Legal Helpers Debt Resolution always discloses everything up front and provides a written agreement.

  • Sarah

    I know Legal Helpers Debt Resolution always discloses everything up front and provides a written agreement.

  • Josh

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution is a legitimate firm with experienced attorneys. They have a team of attorneys with years of consumer law experience.

  • Josh

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution is a legitimate firm with experienced attorneys. They have a team of attorneys with years of consumer law experience.

  • Jenny

    Also i need to write letter , bec i got summons and i have no clue what to write? can u please help. bec i saw u went thru the same thing!!!!!

  • Jenny

    Grace, i would like to ask u something ? i am also dealing with Legal Help! an di read u went to Bankruptcy attorney? can u do that ? ur new attorney is able to help u ? please i an suck in a hole and i cant get out ? i am getting all stress about this ?

  • speakingout

    YAHOO….THANK YOU!!YOU ARE SO DEAD ON

  • Joe_debt_jr

    Sorry to hear what has happened to you Grace. Steve has written about how to get a refund back. Source- http://getoutofdebt.org/20126/… hope that helps.

  • Grace

    My husband & I have been dealing w Legal helpers for 7.5 mnths,paying them in excess of $6,000.We were told our fees would be paid in 3 mnths the rest to be put in acct to build to pay creditors after they settled them for us,ha ha.Our creditors have not been contacted by LHDR.phone calls 20 times a day have never let up,the original debt counselor we were given we are now told is not ours anymore..we have received 2 summons to appear in court(being sued) so we tried calling them 3 wks later NO RESPONSE!! We have now consulted w/bankruptcy attorney and guess what they knew exactly who we were dealing with!! It is a scam,we closed our acct w/them(LHDR) I went on line to check our funds and all but 300.00plus some change is GONE! The attorney we hired for bankruptcy is assisting us in getting a FULL refund(- fees)we WILL be reporting them to Oregon State Bar,Dept of Justice,BBB,and anyone else our REAL attorney advices us to!!Best recommendation is to avoid this company like the plague.Good Luck!!

  • Gracea

    GET A CLUE!!! mean?? opinions are meant to be shared….DUH!!!

  • Daniellehouse

    You all are mean and should keep opinions to yourself…The issue that many are having is with the facts. Clean up the facts and the rest will follow.

  • ComplianceSlave

    Sue them. As attorneys (hahahaha) they would know: 1- Its illegal to advise you to stop paying your bills. 2- If you had a loan mod in the last 2 years, the bank will automatically deny you. If you disclosed (and im sure you did) that you had had one 11 months before, then they were simply stealing $ from you at the expense of your families home. I would spend the next month blogging that fact and writing BBB comments if it were my home. I would file a grievance with Mr. Macy and the state attorney as well. I understand the need to make money. But at what cost? You earned a law degree- now go EARN a living.
    Good luck David

  • objectivelyspeaking

    If sounds like many people are having big problems from Legal Helpers: inaccurate sales pitches, not performing the basic job they are supposed to do, spending more time on sales than working with a person’s actual case, shoddy performance in day-to-day doing their supposed job, retraining sales people in to get around the new law (??) to go in effect in 11 days, having a not-so-good success rate while plugging themselves as having great success (what are their success rates–is this internally-held info?), not informing clients of the new law prohibiting ‘front-loading’ while enrolling debt-stressed clients, and using sub-standard, negligent, and/or aggressive sales practices. Is this company being sued by multiple people? Many appear to have lost big time from them. Any guess as to who is ahead in the non-contact sport of ‘debt resolution’?: ie CONSUMERS ( )vs. LHDR? ( ) If only 33% are successfully negotiated (as sounds dubious to begin with if the above CC card company employee’s post might indicate–may vary w/ firm), then with front loading of 100% of clients, 66% would be getting sca-rewed? Any input as to what is really happening here with LHDR and other such companies? Of course, we may be getting an unrepresentative sample of people’s experiences, as in people having big problems making complaints while those doing well not being motivated to ‘complain’ or look around for input and information. The above was a summary of some of the problems mentioned in this string of comments relating to Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. Were the Legal Helpers problems localized in certain states and localities? O were they spotty and generalized across the country? It would be nice if a few folks with positive experiences would comment to see about the other side to this coin, if there is much of one. If the new law pans out as mentioned based on the CC companies, debt resolution co’s, and indebt people, then the debt resolution rate should go up remarkably, but the overall no. of folks qualifying for debt resolution (because of the new performance-payoff required model for companies) would plummet. Which means, in theory, the same no. of people may qualify for debt resolution as before overall but people who aren’t likely to qualify would be factored out at the outset…euo

  • objectivelyspeaking

    If sounds like many people are having big problems from Legal Helpers: inaccurate sales pitches, not performing the basic job they are supposed to do, spending more time on sales than working with a person’s actual case, shoddy performance in day-to-day doing their supposed job, retraining sales people in to get around the new law (??) to go in effect in 11 days, having a not-so-good success rate while plugging themselves as having great success (what are their success rates–is this internally-held info?), not informing clients of the new law prohibiting ‘front-loading’ while enrolling debt-stressed clients, and using sub-standard, negligent, and/or aggressive sales practices. Is this company being sued by multiple people? Many appear to have lost big time from them. Any guess as to who is ahead in the non-contact sport of ‘debt resolution’?: ie CONSUMERS ( )vs. LHDR? ( ) If only 33% are successfully negotiated (as sounds dubious to begin with if the above CC card company employee’s post might indicate–may vary w/ firm), then with front loading of 100% of clients, 66% would be getting sca-rewed? Any input as to what is really happening here with LHDR and other such companies? Of course, we may be getting an unrepresentative sample of people’s experiences, as in people having big problems making complaints while those doing well not being motivated to ‘complain’ or look around for input and information. The above was a summary of some of the problems mentioned in this string of comments relating to Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. Were the Legal Helpers problems localized in certain states and localities? O were they spotty and generalized across the country? It would be nice if a few folks with positive experiences would comment to see about the other side to this coin, if there is much of one. If the new law pans out as mentioned based on the CC companies, debt resolution co’s, and indebt people, then the debt resolution rate should go up remarkably, but the overall no. of folks qualifying for debt resolution (because of the new performance-payoff required model for companies) would plummet. Which means, in theory, the same no. of people may qualify for debt resolution as before overall but people who aren’t likely to qualify would be factored out at the outset…euo

  • Houseofglass

    I was contacted by LHDR 7/9/10, minutes after I had paid my mortgage online. Tyler Wincup a sales rep, myself and my wife spent the next 3 hours discussing what LHDR could do for us even though we had done a loan mod on our mort. with GMAC 11 months earlier. We were told that LHDR had special contacts at GMAC and that they were confident that our mort. payment would be lowered by $400-$450/mo. I was convinced to cancel my $1118 July payment and send them $900 to get the new loan mod. started. Big Mistake! Over the next 2 months I sent them money totaling $2400. Our house is now in foreclosure and I have been told that I will not get a full refund. I have submitted a letter terminating our need of their services which put us $4617 behind in our mortgage. I have requested arbitration and, as usual, my calls are not being returned. I believe that more time was spent selling us this program than was spent fulfilling their obligations under this agreement which had slim chances of ever succeeding. They owe us a full refund and late fees for our motgage but Mr. Jason Benedict; we will be satisfied with $2400. You prey on people when they are most vulnerable and you are damn good at it. We are waiting to hear about a date in front of an arbitrator and we are confident that we will win. You really out did yourself on this one even asking me to rewrite my financial statement to help cover your deceit. How do you sleep at night? I hope I get the chance to apologize for this comment and I would be happy to write all of us a happy ending. Sincerely, David Knox

  • Houseofglass

    I was contacted by LHDR 7/9/10, minutes after I had paid my mortgage online. Tyler Wincup a sales rep, myself and my wife spent the next 3 hours discussing what LHDR could do for us even though we had done a loan mod on our mort. with GMAC 11 months earlier. We were told that LHDR had special contacts at GMAC and that they were confident that our mort. payment would be lowered by $400-$450/mo. I was convinced to cancel my $1118 July payment and send them $900 to get the new loan mod. started. Big Mistake! Over the next 2 months I sent them money totaling $2400. Our house is now in foreclosure and I have been told that I will not get a full refund. I have submitted a letter terminating our need of their services which put us $4617 behind in our mortgage. I have requested arbitration and, as usual, my calls are not being returned. I believe that more time was spent selling us this program than was spent fulfilling their obligations under this agreement which had slim chances of ever succeeding. They owe us a full refund and late fees for our motgage but Mr. Jason Benedict; we will be satisfied with $2400. You prey on people when they are most vulnerable and you are damn good at it. We are waiting to hear about a date in front of an arbitrator and we are confident that we will win. You really out did yourself on this one even asking me to rewrite my financial statement to help cover your deceit. How do you sleep at night? I hope I get the chance to apologize for this comment and I would be happy to write all of us a happy ending. Sincerely, David Knox

    • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

      Sue them. As attorneys (hahahaha) they would know: 1- Its illegal to advise you to stop paying your bills. 2- If you had a loan mod in the last 2 years, the bank will automatically deny you. If you disclosed (and im sure you did) that you had had one 11 months before, then they were simply stealing $ from you at the expense of your families home. I would spend the next month blogging that fact and writing BBB comments if it were my home. I would file a grievance with Mr. Macy and the state attorney as well. I understand the need to make money. But at what cost? You earned a law degree- now go EARN a living.Good luck David

  • Sleepless in NJ

    I hired Stratton and Feinstein (another legally backed debt relief firm) about a year ago to help me settle my $50K in credit card debt. About 2 months ago, the original company was bought out by Legal Helpers. Now, Legal Helpers are representing me, and within the year, the following has occurred thus far, as far as my debt settlements:

    - I was sued by one of the credit card companies for $9,200. I have accumulated about $3,500 thus far, and they called me to request for another $2,500 to get this settled. I’ve agreed to borrow this money from my family to get this debt settled next week, and we’ll see how it goes. Keep in mind the original balance on the credit card was about $6800 when I hired them.

    - Coincedentally, I got home today from work and I’m served another summons from a different credit card company for a similar amount. However, I have no more money at the moment in the escrow. I’m concerned about how this will turn out, as it looks like my wages may be garnished if no immediate action is taken.

    I’ve been worried about my debt situation (having all of these creditors call me isn’t helping either) for so long now, that I’m beginning to feel physically sick. I hope everything works out for me in the end, but it’s not really looking good at the moment. I understand how many of you reading this board must be feeling right now. Some of you may be interested in this, especially if you are in a similar situation as I am currently in.

    - Sleepless in NJ

  • Sleepless in NJ

    I hired Stratton and Feinstein (another legally backed debt relief firm) about a year ago to help me settle my $50K in credit card debt. About 2 months ago, the original company was bought out by Legal Helpers. Now, Legal Helpers are representing me, and within the year, the following has occurred thus far, as far as my debt settlements:

    - I was sued by one of the credit card companies for $9,200. I have accumulated about $3,500 thus far, and they called me to request for another $2,500 to get this settled. I’ve agreed to borrow this money from my family to get this debt settled next week, and we’ll see how it goes. Keep in mind the original balance on the credit card was about $6800 when I hired them.

    - Coincedentally, I got home today from work and I’m served another summons from a different credit card company for a similar amount. However, I have no more money at the moment in the escrow. I’m concerned about how this will turn out, as it looks like my wages may be garnished if no immediate action is taken.

    I’ve been worried about my debt situation (having all of these creditors call me isn’t helping either) for so long now, that I’m beginning to feel physically sick. I hope everything works out for me in the end, but it’s not really looking good at the moment. I understand how many of you reading this board must be feeling right now. Some of you may be interested in this, especially if you are in a similar situation as I am currently in.

    - Sleepless in NJ

  • Joe_debt_jr

    Great information CCanon and I totally agree with your process. My cousin who is still attending college, went over his head to pay for school supplies, worked for minimum wage but still wasn’t cutting it to pay his living cost since he lives on his own. Well he stopped making the payments hoping to bounce back and repay the debt to his creditors. 8 months later with no payments, to his suprise his original creditor Capital One is sending him a hardship letter stating they will settle for I believe less than 40% if he is willing to payoff lumpsum. Another creditor sent off to a collections agency now is willing to take a 20% settlement. And all these came in the mail. So I agree with the fact that if you are a consumer who genuinely can’t afford to make ends meet and would want to settle with your creditors, all you have to do is save as much as you can each month just like you would pay a monthly payment but built those funds and do your best to not touch those savings, wait for an offer in the mail and contact them to see if you can renogiate a much lower offer and worst case you already gotten a good offer from your lender. Pay it off and move on to the next account. It does not take an SPECIAL TECHNIQUES to settle with a creditor. Just think logic, if you are lend money to a family or friend or even stranger and that person can’t pay you back, what will you do? 1. Try to get as much back as you can? 2. Ask for the smallest amount of payments each month and hope they can slowly payoff the full balance? 3. Give them a settlement offer that is reasonable and fair? But will you do all those 3 if the person you lend the money too just brush you off and ignore you? NO so keep talking to the creditors and keep telling them the same thing, I am in no shape or form to make any arrangement right now but I will be corporative with you so we can resolve this issue together. Hope that helps.

  • CCanon

    Let me preface my comment by saying the following: I found this article on accident and felt I needed to respond. I have no intention to come back and view anyone’s reactions to my comments (though I may get bored and stumble upon this again). I also have no intention to personally help you with your debt with my company (or even disclose my company’s name for that matter). You may choose to accept or ignore what I have to say.

    I am very much enjoying this conversation. Very enlightening.

    That being said, I work for a MAJOR credit card company. I specifically deal with seriously delinquent accounts. I ONLY deal with accounts that have straight rolled between 4-6 months behind. This means I deal with individuals who had nearly perfect credit history with us and something life-changing has happened. Job loss, retirement, divorce, etc. By the time these account reach my department, the bank has designated them for liquidation. We recognize that the client can no longer make monthly payments and we want to get whatever we can before it writes off.

    Let me tell you about debt settlement companies:

    WE DO NOT WORK WITH THEM.

    If you think that your debt is going to stay with the original creditor when you are with a debt settlement company, you are mistaken. We will decline any and all offers. With a little research, you will see that the industry leaders in credit DO NOT deal with debt settlement companies. In fact, we are more inclined to negotiate a HIGHER settlement. My company with negotiate settlements and payoffs to fit your needs (within reason). We have specific criteria (some that are OCC required, some that are bank guidelines) for what we will take.

    The notion that debt settlement companies can negotiate lower settlements because they deal in “bulk” is a flat out myth. Credit Card companies do not receive a big stack of settlements from the debt settlement companies and simply stamp “Approved” or “Denied” on all of them. All accounts are dealt with on an INDIVIDUAL basis because we look at a myriad of factors including, but not limited to: Payback ratio, date became member, life time charges, related accounts, reason for delay, current income, and credit report (yes, we pull those and see if you have other bad debt). These are our rationale for settling. NOT because some firm tries to low-ball us.

    If you deal with a debt settlement company, they will send a cease and desist to all your creditors so you won’t be hassled. That gives you a SERIOUSLY flawed sense of relief. That just means we won’t call you and offer you a good deal. In fact, when you have a cease and desist, we are more than likely going to refer your account to an attorney or third party collection agency earlier than 6 months. You basically said you do not want to work with us. Fine, meet our attorney. You’ll have to respond now.

    Many credit card companies will send “blind” settlement offers meaning that you will receive an offer without even asking for it. TAKE ADVANTAGE. The people who design these offers recognize that we will probably get a certain percentage from you through legal action. So they will send a settlement offer that is SLIGHTLY higher than the amount we could get by using an attorney. It saves us on a legal costs, and it will save you considerably on legal costs and credit damage as well.

    In my career, I have heard every excuse in the world from a debt settlement company on the phone to get me or my associates to negotiate with them. They will claim they have POA. Very well. Power of attorney just means you can ask for any information on the account and we will give it to you. You are able to change the address, add or remove numbers, etc. But there is no power of attorney in the world that will REQUIRE us to negotiate. Negotiations are completely voluntary by bank’s choice. We choose not to negotiate with debt settlement companies.

    Bottom line: Debt settlement companies will take your money, charge fees, put your money in an escrow, not pay creditors when you think they are, wait for the account to charge off, and then settle with an attorney or third party who will take the money. It will cost you thousands in fees and countless damage to your credit report.

  • CCanon

    Let me preface my comment by saying the following: I found this article on accident and felt I needed to respond. I have no intention to come back and view anyone’s reactions to my comments (though I may get bored and stumble upon this again). I also have no intention to personally help you with your debt with my company (or even disclose my company’s name for that matter). You may choose to accept or ignore what I have to say.

    I am very much enjoying this conversation. Very enlightening.

    That being said, I work for a MAJOR credit card company. I specifically deal with seriously delinquent accounts. I ONLY deal with accounts that have straight rolled between 4-6 months behind. This means I deal with individuals who had nearly perfect credit history with us and something life-changing has happened. Job loss, retirement, divorce, etc. By the time these account reach my department, the bank has designated them for liquidation. We recognize that the client can no longer make monthly payments and we want to get whatever we can before it writes off.

    Let me tell you about debt settlement companies:

    WE DO NOT WORK WITH THEM.

    If you think that your debt is going to stay with the original creditor when you are with a debt settlement company, you are mistaken. We will decline any and all offers. With a little research, you will see that the industry leaders in credit DO NOT deal with debt settlement companies. In fact, we are more inclined to negotiate a HIGHER settlement. My company with negotiate settlements and payoffs to fit your needs (within reason). We have specific criteria (some that are OCC required, some that are bank guidelines) for what we will take.

    The notion that debt settlement companies can negotiate lower settlements because they deal in “bulk” is a flat out myth. Credit Card companies do not receive a big stack of settlements from the debt settlement companies and simply stamp “Approved” or “Denied” on all of them. All accounts are dealt with on an INDIVIDUAL basis because we look at a myriad of factors including, but not limited to: Payback ratio, date became member, life time charges, related accounts, reason for delay, current income, and credit report (yes, we pull those and see if you have other bad debt). These are our rationale for settling. NOT because some firm tries to low-ball us.

    If you deal with a debt settlement company, they will send a cease and desist to all your creditors so you won’t be hassled. That gives you a SERIOUSLY flawed sense of relief. That just means we won’t call you and offer you a good deal. In fact, when you have a cease and desist, we are more than likely going to refer your account to an attorney or third party collection agency earlier than 6 months. You basically said you do not want to work with us. Fine, meet our attorney. You’ll have to respond now.

    Many credit card companies will send “blind” settlement offers meaning that you will receive an offer without even asking for it. TAKE ADVANTAGE. The people who design these offers recognize that we will probably get a certain percentage from you through legal action. So they will send a settlement offer that is SLIGHTLY higher than the amount we could get by using an attorney. It saves us on a legal costs, and it will save you considerably on legal costs and credit damage as well.

    In my career, I have heard every excuse in the world from a debt settlement company on the phone to get me or my associates to negotiate with them. They will claim they have POA. Very well. Power of attorney just means you can ask for any information on the account and we will give it to you. You are able to change the address, add or remove numbers, etc. But there is no power of attorney in the world that will REQUIRE us to negotiate. Negotiations are completely voluntary by bank’s choice. We choose not to negotiate with debt settlement companies.

    Bottom line: Debt settlement companies will take your money, charge fees, put your money in an escrow, not pay creditors when you think they are, wait for the account to charge off, and then settle with an attorney or third party who will take the money. It will cost you thousands in fees and countless damage to your credit report.

    • Angelo

      Believe it or not there are debt settlement companies that have been around for years that have not charged any upfront fees. Not too many, but there are a few. My negotiators will talk to someone at Chase who says they do not deal with settlement companies so they hang up, hit redial and the next person in line is willing to negotiate.

      Let me make this as clear (when sold correctly) anyone enrolling in a debt settlement program completely understands that their credit is going to take a big hit so you are not uncovering a great myth here. Debt Settlement is for consumers who can no longer afford minimum payments and cannot qualify for Bankruptcy. Anyone who knows the collections game knows that once an account is charged off it either gets assigned to a collection agency for a period of time and then continuously re-assigned, sold to a debt buyer, kept in house for collections or sent to a law firm If the original creditor will not settle, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th agency will and in most cases for much lower because they only paid 5-9 cents on the dollar to begin with even if they settle at 30% they are still making out like bandits. To further prove this, let me state that as a success bassed company I DO NOT GET PAID UNTILL I SETTLE MY CLIENTS DEBT. IF WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE I WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF BUSINESS A LONG TIME AGO!!!

  • Backside

    Tom,

    Can I please sign up for your program so you can put a pole up my backside?

  • Maxferlim

    Hello Damon, I loved the way you exposed your knowledge in this business. See my case, I contact this office which work with legal helper and I tried to get some info about the program, I loved the sales presentation but I was ripped off by a former lawyer by name Mark Shoemaker who entitled himself expert to help people with loan modification and I prefer to search more and analyze if everything was true. This sales rep told me that I was going to have my debt relief in 48 months and I was glad to hear that because something like that was my goal. I asked her about paying up front and she told me do not worry about it because they do not charge anything upfront the monthly payment is already included and no more charges will be added to my account with them. I did the math and the total payment was going to be 40% less than what I actually own in my credit cards, this sounds like magic but because I was ripped off before and I heard many stories my concern did not leave me alone. When the rep called be back she said that I qualify for the program and told her “good”, let me speak to my wife and we can talk later, she said ok, however she asked me for my bank account as account number and routing number. Asked why and she said in order to start in the program they need because money will be deduct from there to another account. I asked which account, your account? She said no, it will be a trust account. I asked her who has the power to manage this account and she said you. I told her it is confused. She never mention to send me paper work, she never asked me to read agreement, just went straight as much as possible information about me. What do you think? Do you believe they are trying to charge me somenthing right now even though i did not close any deal with them? I confess that after see all your comments I changed my mind about this program. I asked her to send me all the paper work as contract, payment plan and she promised to do it however my day is over and no email was received. I believe monday she will attempt again to get my account information and I wll tell her that we will not be possible because i do not trust in this program. If you need the info about this sales rep I can give name and phone number for you to try out and see what she says. Thank you very much for your time in this blog, the world needs volunteers people as you are, congratulations. Oh by the way if you run for any eletion position you can count with my vote, :). Just kiding, big hug!!!

  • lookingforsolution

    Yes, He sound as inocent and I hope so, but probably he is another victim, working for a vampire (legal helpers). I Believe Damon comments are more trustfull.

  • Pamme71

    Please check Better Business Bureau website. Put in Irvine CA as city and state and you will find an F rating. This is where my MIL’s billing comes from. I pulled up the higher ratings others have found, but I think this is the one to look at. I looked further because of Steve’s questions. My elderly MIL is paying a large upfront fee and receiving calls from creditors.

  • Pamme71

    Please check Better Business Bureau website. Put in Irvine CA as city and state and you will find an F rating. This is where my MIL’s billing comes from. I pulled up the higher ratings others have found, but I think this is the one to look at. I looked further because of Steve’s questions. My elderly MIL is paying a large upfront fee and receiving calls from creditors.

    • Anonymous

      Great information CCanon and I totally agree with your process. My cousin who is still attending college, went over his head to pay for school supplies, worked for minimum wage but still wasn’t cutting it to pay his living cost since he lives on his own. Well he stopped making the payments hoping to bounce back and repay the debt to his creditors. 8 months later with no payments, to his suprise his original creditor Capital One is sending him a hardship letter stating they will settle for I believe less than 40% if he is willing to payoff lumpsum. Another creditor sent off to a collections agency now is willing to take a 20% settlement. And all these came in the mail. So I agree with the fact that if you are a consumer who genuinely can’t afford to make ends meet and would want to settle with your creditors, all you have to do is save as much as you can each month just like you would pay a monthly payment but built those funds and do your best to not touch those savings, wait for an offer in the mail and contact them to see if you can renogiate a much lower offer and worst case you already gotten a good offer from your lender. Pay it off and move on to the next account. It does not take an SPECIAL TECHNIQUES to settle with a creditor. Just think logic, if you are lend money to a family or friend or even stranger and that person can’t pay you back, what will you do? 1. Try to get as much back as you can? 2. Ask for the smallest amount of payments each month and hope they can slowly payoff the full balance? 3. Give them a settlement offer that is reasonable and fair? But will you do all those 3 if the person you lend the money too just brush you off and ignore you? NO so keep talking to the creditors and keep telling them the same thing, I am in no shape or form to make any arrangement right now but I will be corporative with you so we can resolve this issue together. Hope that helps.

  • Steve Rhode

    While I certainly applaud ingenuity and opportunity for consumers to get more and better care when it comes to debt relief problems I am concerned that this wave of “attorney model” approaches simply attempts to get around the new rules of the land to protect consumers will inevitably lead to bad news.

    Clever attempts to get around the rules seem to always and historically lead to more regulation, more people who experience unfulfilled expectations, financial loss, more lawsuits, and not much good for many.

    I don’t think the industry has learned the needed lessons yet in this arena. Look at the advent of the AADR association for attorneys and TASC is now accepting law firms as members.

    My prediction is this is not going to end well for consumers or lawyers.

    Steve

  • Confused Provider

    Damon,
    Sorry about that typo. I meant that Thomas Macey’s approach to work around the Intent of the FTC Ruling is a threat to the industry’s fragile reputation (and not your approach). It means more upset consumers, more bad press, and more non-compliant front-ends that frankly should be closing shop and moving on to alternative pastures at this point. It will be very interesting to see how aggressively the industry starts to police itself to avoid unethical firms from being able to spoil the remaining opportunity for business and consumers. The news out of Kansas today is a big blow to the Attorney models with many more to come. My hunch is that the compliant firms out there will be teaming up with the regulators to turn out the lights on these attorney-models and their co-conspirators.

  • Damon Day

    Hello Confused Provider,

    Your guess is as good as mine. If they do move forward with a front loaded fee structure by trying to use a face to face attorney doc signing or something, it would appear, at least in my opinion, that they don’t seem to understand or really care that this fee structure harms consumers. That is the main reason the FTC passed the law in the first place. I guess I have a front row seat to watch what they will roll out Oct 27th.

    I was however amused by your comment that “my approach is a huge threat to “our” industry’s fragile reputation” – What “approach” is it that you are referring to exactly?

    In my experience the only programs that feel “threatened” by the information that I share with consumers, are programs that have a reason to want consumers to make uninformed decisions.

  • Confused Provider

    Damon,

    I was surprised to see Thomas Macey (Sr. Partner at Legal Helpers) jump into this blog 1 month ago and expressly tell you that as of Oct 27th his firm would no longer be charging front end fees.

    His words to you exactly were “for the record post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt”.

    However, as of the past 2 weeks, all the Legal Helpers companies are running around recruiting affiliates and pitching a future fee model that is actually more front-loaded than they are currently selling. I have heard it will not only include the 15%, but it will also include a substantial monthly maintenance fee and a steep up-front retainer fee????????

    If that was indeed Mr. Macey communicating with you (and not some online clone), I would like to hear his explanation on what promted this quick reversion in his business model, and how he is justifying it?

    For the ethical Companies out there that are taking a leap of faith and making major sacrifices to be compliant with the INTENT of the FTC ruling, Mr. Damon’s approach is a huge threat to our industry’s fragile reputation. The last thing we need in our industry right now is a Civil War – but I fear its coming. Then again, this could all be a bluff on the part of LHDR to keep those files rolling in for the next 30 days…. Only time will tell.

    But did anyone else reading this blog also notice Mr. Macey’s comments?

  • Joe_debt_jr

    If settlement companies are being compensated based on the amount they can save the client than the quality of service is much higher versus collecting most of the fees first and settle later on so I don’t see how JD can’t see that? and i can’t believe he even say the negative affect a consumer will have, like lawsuit, wage garnishment is the same in both Traditional and Performance which doesn’t make any sense what so ever when common sense tells you that if you can built your settlement savings faster, FASTER, than you can actually lesson those risk that much FASTER!!!! JD

  • Joe_debt_jr

    Damon, I don’t think he has a rebuttal for that lol…

  • Damon Day

    Hello JD,
    Actually yes, you are missing alot and your conclusions are based on false assumptions. I will be happy to clarify it for you.

    Let me apologize ahead of time. If this comes off as harsh or condescending, it isn’t directed at you specifically, just to all of the debt settlement sales people who don’t understand or prefer not to acknowledge that they are screwing consumers every day they go into work and pitch a front loaded fee settlement company and even some that pitch a performance based company to the wrong clients. I happen to be extra peeved about it right now because every client I spoke with today was screwed by a settlement company and I had to spend half of my consultation helping them first try and clean up the damage before we could implement something that would actually work. So again, sorry.
    How about we take this point for point.

    1. You are not sure how financing fees over 24 months is front loaded? This should be fairly obvious and self explanatory, but let me lay it out real simple. 48 month program, all fees collected in 18 to 24 months. Client still requires service for 2 more years but all fees have already been taken. So all of the fees are taken in the front half of the program, why? Uh, I know, because that is when the sales guy wants to get paid, because he knows most of his clients are going to bomb out of the program when they realize they can’t afford it.

    2. You don’t understand how not charging the fees upfront will decrease lawsuits. Let me explain. 1st and most obvious, if you can’t charge fees upfront, sales people won’t enroll clients that can’t settle their debt in a reasonable time. If they do, the company will go out of business eventually. I call this, thinning the herd. Second, the longer you take to settle with your creditors, the more likely you are to be sued. If your first year in a program is spent mainly paying fees, how much debt do you settle in the first year? Answer, not much. However, if you don’t have to pay all of the fees upfront, you can start settling a lot sooner and decrease the risk of the more aggressive creditors suing you.

    3. You can’t understand why I argue front loaded fees are much worse than performance fees because you claim the amount paid would be the same either way. Ok, well, you would be right if we lived in some parallel universe where 100% of clients that enroll into settlement programs actually successfully complete them. However, in the real world where we actually live, the dropout and failure rates in most debt settlement companies are extremely high. Even the inflated, success numbers put out by our exasperated pals over at TASC claim a success rate of only 34%. That is a fantasy, but as you say “we’ll go with that”. So let’s put some numbers on here for you so you can understand why it is not the same. We have company A and company B. To keep it easy we assume everything about these two companies is the same. Everything except Company A charges 15% of debt upfront, and Company B charges 15% of Debt, but only after a debt is settled. I think companies should charge their fees based on a percentage of what they save the consumer, but I want to keep everything equal for this example to clearly illustrate only the difference between upfront fees vs fees after settlement.

    Now, both of these companies are typical sucky debt settlement companies with 66% drop out rates. Why again? Oh ya, the sales guys don’t care. They just want a payment and a pulse. Ok, 100 clients with 50K of debt in each company. Company A charges all their fees first and earns 750,000 in fees. Only 34 clients are successful. 66 of them pay all their fees but don’t settle all their debt and likely end up in BK, but they still had to pay their 7500 upfront. Why again? Say it with me….

    So the FTC says, this blows, people are getting ripped off. So now company B, armed with the same sales people have to change. Like company A, they only have 34 people successfully complete the program. However, they can only charge after they settle a debt. So they only earn 255,000 on the clients that were successful. The 66 that didn’t settle any debt, didn’t pay anything. Hmm, that is half a million that the debt settlement company didn’t make because they suck. Well, hmm, now let’s put our thinking caps on here. I would say the debt settlement company now has half a million reasons TO GET BETTER AT THEIR FREAKING JOBS. Guess what happens to sales guys that don’t qualify their clients now? Now they cost company money and company no likey things that cost money. So they ACTUALLY TRAIN THEIR FREAKING SALES PEOPLE TO NOT ENROLL PEOPLE THAT DON’T BELONG IN THEIR FREAKING PROGRAM. I mean, this is Business 101 here. Sucky companies that don’t enroll the right clients, go out of business. So if a company is complaining about the new law, I would call that a clue.

    4. As far as your 6 points of all these horrible things that will happen if a consumer hires a company that charges after a settlement, are you actually suggesting that those things won’t happen if a consumer pays all the fees upfront? That is what happens when a consumer settles their debt. It has nothing to do with when or how the fees are charged.

    However, I have to ask you about number 5. I don’t understand your reasoning. If I am a negotiator for a company that charged a fee based on the percentage that I saved my client. Are you suggesting that I would be happy just taking any settlement, when I would make more money if I got a lower settlement? Who in their right mind would just take a deal just to get paid when a little effort would not only get you a happier client but more money?

    I will take you up on your challenge to just wait and see how this works out. I already see it bearing juicy fruit as debt settlement programs that can’t figure out how to actually help people go out of business. Settlement companies have been operating on performance models like this for years, most sales people just aren’t aware of it, because it takes a different kind of person to run a successful program where a good service must actually be provided.

    If there is anything else I can help you with, please feel free to ask.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    JD, sorry but I must ask you question and please be honest here. If you were a consumer that is barely making ends meet to feed your, wife and 2 children. You have over $40k in credit card debt and now you are starting to fall behind. You have a Chase bank for $12k an American Express for $10k, a Captial One for $18k. Knowing what you know now about the debt settlement business so be very honest here. Pretend your that consumer with those 3 major creditors what plan would you rather take, A. Traditional Debt Settlement model where most of the fees are collected within the first 3 to 4 months and rest spread out in the remain half of the program including monthly maintaince fee? OR B. Performance Model – where you are only paying a small upfront retainer of $500 and the rest is set aside into savings so if you are paying $1000 a month only $39 is taken out and rest goes to trust. Which plan will you take? Traditional OLD an ILLEGAL plan or the Performance Model for yourself? Please be honest here :)

  • JD

    If a reputable company such as Legal Helpers Debt Resolution charges fees “upfront” and I’m not sure how financing fees over 24 months is “up front” but we’ll go with that, or if they charge fees as settlements are made…the program will be exactly the same length and the fees will be exactly the same. So the consumer still runs into the same problems, this does not decrease the chances of lawsuits at all, which Damon Day seems to argue.

    If someone is on a 36 month plan to settle 6 cards, it will still take 36 months to settle the 6 cards no matter how you charge the fees, over 12-24 months, or as each debt is settled. Am i missing something here? How is this better for the consumer??

    The problem with going to a company that charges fees after a settlement has been made is that:

    1. You will still get harassing calls
    2. You will still get threats of lawsuits
    3. Your credit is still screwed for the short term
    4. Your balances will still rise
    5. the company will be motivated to take any settlement they can get even if it is high so they can get paid.
    6. And what will that company do for you when you get a summons/lawsuit and you’ve paid them nothing?? They will drop you like a hot potato and move on to easier fish to fry.

    So in an effort of the govt to protect the consumer, they are actually going to leave them worse. Just wait, you will see that this model is one of failure, period.

  • JD

    If a reputable company such as Legal Helpers Debt Resolution charges fees “upfront” and I’m not sure how financing fees over 24 months is “up front” but we’ll go with that, or if they charge fees as settlements are made…the program will be exactly the same length and the fees will be exactly the same. So the consumer still runs into the same problems, this does not decrease the chances of lawsuits at all, which Damon Day seems to argue.

    If someone is on a 36 month plan to settle 6 cards, it will still take 36 months to settle the 6 cards no matter how you charge the fees, over 12-24 months, or as each debt is settled. Am i missing something here? How is this better for the consumer??

    The problem with going to a company that charges fees after a settlement has been made is that:

    1. You will still get harassing calls
    2. You will still get threats of lawsuits
    3. Your credit is still screwed for the short term
    4. Your balances will still rise
    5. the company will be motivated to take any settlement they can get even if it is high so they can get paid.
    6. And what will that company do for you when you get a summons/lawsuit and you’ve paid them nothing?? They will drop you like a hot potato and move on to easier fish to fry.

    So in an effort of the govt to protect the consumer, they are actually going to leave them worse. Just wait, you will see that this model is one of failure, period.

    • Anonymous

      JD, sorry but I must ask you question and please be honest here. If you were a consumer that is barely making ends meet to feed your, wife and 2 children. You have over $40k in credit card debt and now you are starting to fall behind. You have a Chase bank for $12k an American Express for $10k, a Captial One for $18k. Knowing what you know now about the debt settlement business so be very honest here. Pretend your that consumer with those 3 major creditors what plan would you rather take, A. Traditional Debt Settlement model where most of the fees are collected within the first 3 to 4 months and rest spread out in the remain half of the program including monthly maintaince fee? OR B. Performance Model – where you are only paying a small upfront retainer of $500 and the rest is set aside into savings so if you are paying $1000 a month only $39 is taken out and rest goes to trust. Which plan will you take? Traditional OLD an ILLEGAL plan or the Performance Model for yourself? Please be honest here :)

    • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

      Hello JD,Actually yes, you are missing alot and your conclusions are based on false assumptions. I will be happy to clarify it for you. Let me apologize ahead of time. If this comes off as harsh or condescending, it isn’t directed at you specifically, just to all of the debt settlement sales people who don’t understand or prefer not to acknowledge that they are screwing consumers every day they go into work and pitch a front loaded fee settlement company and even some that pitch a performance based company to the wrong clients. I happen to be extra peeved about it right now because every client I spoke with today was screwed by a settlement company and I had to spend half of my consultation helping them first try and clean up the damage before we could implement something that would actually work. So again, sorry.How about we take this point for point.1. You are not sure how financing fees over 24 months is front loaded? This should be fairly obvious and self explanatory, but let me lay it out real simple. 48 month program, all fees collected in 18 to 24 months. Client still requires service for 2 more years but all fees have already been taken. So all of the fees are taken in the front half of the program, why? Uh, I know, because that is when the sales guy wants to get paid, because he knows most of his clients are going to bomb out of the program when they realize they can’t afford it. 2. You don’t understand how not charging the fees upfront will decrease lawsuits. Let me explain. 1st and most obvious, if you can’t charge fees upfront, sales people won’t enroll clients that can’t settle their debt in a reasonable time. If they do, the company will go out of business eventually. I call this, thinning the herd. Second, the longer you take to settle with your creditors, the more likely you are to be sued. If your first year in a program is spent mainly paying fees, how much debt do you settle in the first year? Answer, not much. However, if you don’t have to pay all of the fees upfront, you can start settling a lot sooner and decrease the risk of the more aggressive creditors suing you.3. You can’t understand why I argue front loaded fees are much worse than performance fees because you claim the amount paid would be the same either way. Ok, well, you would be right if we lived in some parallel universe where 100% of clients that enroll into settlement programs actually successfully complete them. However, in the real world where we actually live, the dropout and failure rates in most debt settlement companies are extremely high. Even the inflated, success numbers put out by our exasperated pals over at TASC claim a success rate of only 34%. That is a fantasy, but as you say “we’ll go with that”. So let’s put some numbers on here for you so you can understand why it is not the same. We have company A and company B. To keep it easy we assume everything about these two companies is the same. Everything except Company A charges 15% of debt upfront, and Company B charges 15% of Debt, but only after a debt is settled. I think companies should charge their fees based on a percentage of what they save the consumer, but I want to keep everything equal for this example to clearly illustrate only the difference between upfront fees vs fees after settlement.Now, both of these companies are typical sucky debt settlement companies with 66% drop out rates. Why again? Oh ya, the sales guys don’t care. They just want a payment and a pulse. Ok, 100 clients with 50K of debt in each company. Company A charges all their fees first and earns 750,000 in fees. Only 34 clients are successful. 66 of them pay all their fees but don’t settle all their debt and likely end up in BK, but they still had to pay their 7500 upfront. Why again? Say it with me….So the FTC says, this blows, people are getting ripped off. So now company B, armed with the same sales people have to change. Like company A, they only have 34 people successfully complete the program. However, they can only charge after they settle a debt. So they only earn 255,000 on the clients that were successful. The 66 that didn’t settle any debt, didn’t pay anything. Hmm, that is half a million that the debt settlement company didn’t make because they suck. Well, hmm, now let’s put our thinking caps on here. I would say the debt settlement company now has half a million reasons TO GET BETTER AT THEIR FREAKING JOBS. Guess what happens to sales guys that don’t qualify their clients now? Now they cost company money and company no likey things that cost money. So they ACTUALLY TRAIN THEIR FREAKING SALES PEOPLE TO NOT ENROLL PEOPLE THAT DON’T BELONG IN THEIR FREAKING PROGRAM. I mean, this is Business 101 here. Sucky companies that don’t enroll the right clients, go out of business. So if a company is complaining about the new law, I would call that a clue.4. As far as your 6 points of all these horrible things that will happen if a consumer hires a company that charges after a settlement, are you actually suggesting that those things won’t happen if a consumer pays all the fees upfront? That is what happens when a consumer settles their debt. It has nothing to do with when or how the fees are charged. However, I have to ask you about number 5. I don’t understand your reasoning. If I am a negotiator for a company that charged a fee based on the percentage that I saved my client. Are you suggesting that I would be happy just taking any settlement, when I would make more money if I got a lower settlement? Who in their right mind would just take a deal just to get paid when a little effort would not only get you a happier client but more money? I will take you up on your challenge to just wait and see how this works out. I already see it bearing juicy fruit as debt settlement programs that can’t figure out how to actually help people go out of business. Settlement companies have been operating on performance models like this for years, most sales people just aren’t aware of it, because it takes a different kind of person to run a successful program where a good service must actually be provided.If there is anything else I can help you with, please feel free to ask.

      • Anonymous

        Damon, I don’t think he has a rebuttal for that lol…

      • Anonymous

        If settlement companies are being compensated based on the amount they can save the client than the quality of service is much higher versus collecting most of the fees first and settle later on so I don’t see how JD can’t see that? and i can’t believe he even say the negative affect a consumer will have, like lawsuit, wage garnishment is the same in both Traditional and Performance which doesn’t make any sense what so ever when common sense tells you that if you can built your settlement savings faster, FASTER, than you can actually lesson those risk that much FASTER!!!! JD

      • Maxferlim

        Hello Damon, I loved the way you exposed your knowledge in this business. See my case, I contact this office which work with legal helper and I tried to get some info about the program, I loved the sales presentation but I was ripped off by a former lawyer by name Mark Shoemaker who entitled himself expert to help people with loan modification and I prefer to search more and analyze if everything was true. This sales rep told me that I was going to have my debt relief in 48 months and I was glad to hear that because something like that was my goal. I asked her about paying up front and she told me do not worry about it because they do not charge anything upfront the monthly payment is already included and no more charges will be added to my account with them. I did the math and the total payment was going to be 40% less than what I actually own in my credit cards, this sounds like magic but because I was ripped off before and I heard many stories my concern did not leave me alone. When the rep called be back she said that I qualify for the program and told her “good”, let me speak to my wife and we can talk later, she said ok, however she asked me for my bank account as account number and routing number. Asked why and she said in order to start in the program they need because money will be deduct from there to another account. I asked which account, your account? She said no, it will be a trust account. I asked her who has the power to manage this account and she said you. I told her it is confused. She never mention to send me paper work, she never asked me to read agreement, just went straight as much as possible information about me. What do you think? Do you believe they are trying to charge me somenthing right now even though i did not close any deal with them? I confess that after see all your comments I changed my mind about this program. I asked her to send me all the paper work as contract, payment plan and she promised to do it however my day is over and no email was received. I believe monday she will attempt again to get my account information and I wll tell her that we will not be possible because i do not trust in this program. If you need the info about this sales rep I can give name and phone number for you to try out and see what she says. Thank you very much for your time in this blog, the world needs volunteers people as you are, congratulations. Oh by the way if you run for any eletion position you can count with my vote, :). Just kiding, big hug!!!

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello Lookingforsolution,

        I am sorry I did not see your post until just now. A lot of consumers need help and It keeps me very busy so I can’t stay on top of all of my postings in various forums. If anyone needs to contact me directly please use
        http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-Day

        Also, anyone who pushes you for your bank account information after you just told them you want to discuss it with your wife, tell them to go pound sand. They care more about a sale then helping you make an educated decision.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello Max,
        I am sorry I did not see your comment until just now. I appreciate the kind words. I am not sure if you are subscribed to the comments on this blog, but if you are please come back and let me know how things are going and what you decided to do.

        It sounds to me as if this sales person was more interested in getting your banking information from you then actually taking the time to explain the ins and outs of what debt settlement really is. There is no such thing as 48 easy payments in debt settlement. The reality is your creditors simply are not getting paid until you raise enough money to settle with them. In the case of Legal Helpers, they expect you to pay almost all of your fees before you can save up enough money to take advantage of any settlements.

        This common sales tactic of front loaded programs to mislead (lie) about how they don’t charge their fees upfront is underhanded in my opinion. They know what you are asking them but they want to play word games and say oh no, we don’t charge “upfront” fees, they are rolled into the payment.

        What they don’t like to spend time explaining is that out of the 48 or so payments, the first 22 or so, are where the majority of the fees are paid.

        In my opinion, a debt settlement company front loading their fees is just about the worst thing they can do to a client and any company that does it, either does not care about the financial well being of their clients, or is simply ignorant to how the process works. Both are bad news.

        Besides, why hire legal helpers and pay them upfront and hope for a good outcome when there are programs that won’t charge you anything until after you approve a settlement? Doesn’t make much sense to me. I guess that is why they push so hard to get your banking information before letting you review the contract or find alternatives.

        Thanks for sharing your experience, and I am glad that I was able to help.

  • Jodiwoodrow

    I just got a phone call from this company, I had to do a little research on who they where since the lady who called looking for my brother who has been deceased for over a year didn’t identify herself or the company she was with, when I stated that my brother was not married and in fact had passed away she yelled ” you could have just told me that” and then hung up the phone on me. I would never work with this company and would never recommend it to anyone. Bad customer service is the worst!!!

  • Jodiwoodrow

    I just got a phone call from this company, I had to do a little research on who they where since the lady who called looking for my brother who has been deceased for over a year didn’t identify herself or the company she was with, when I stated that my brother was not married and in fact had passed away she yelled ” you could have just told me that” and then hung up the phone on me. I would never work with this company and would never recommend it to anyone. Bad customer service is the worst!!!

  • Damon Day

    No, he hasn’t released his new fee structure yet.

  • Anthony

    I worked with LHDR to try to fix my debt. I’m worse now then when they started “working” with me. They didn’t do anything. They didn’t contact my creditors, they didn’t take the phone calls (I had to), meanwhile they were taking money out of my account. When I did manage to get through to customer service, I was rushed off the phone or told to write a letter or call back. So after dealing with all that, I told them to stop drafting my account. They did stop, but now i’m out $1000.00 and no recourse because they aren’t giving it back. They said I had to request a refund in writing and then wait. Well, I did that. They think they did $1000.00 worth of work, so I’m not getting any of that back. And now I’m mad. I was on a non-profit debt reduction plan but my wife convinced me to go with Legal Helpers because it would be faster and cheaper. After this fiasco I called up all my creditors (who never did received those letters of representation – and wouldn’t work with LHDR even if they did..something LHDR won’t tell you). And am trying to fix this mess by myself. Managed to get two of my creditors to lower my interest rates and put me on a payment plan. That’s a start. Two more went into collections while I was dealing with LHDR. So I guess I gotta deal with that. I already filed a complaint with the BBB, but I don’t think that will lead to much. Seems they’ve been getting no response to the complaints. I bet the complaints will skyrocket here real soon. In short: I should have stayed on the plan I was on, but I listened to my wife who was sucked into the pitch. Worst mistake I could have made. STAY CLEAR OF THIS COMPANY. Read some of the complaints on BBB to see similar stories to mine, only a couple of which have been addressed.

  • Anthony

    I worked with LHDR to try to fix my debt. I’m worse now then when they started “working” with me. They didn’t do anything. They didn’t contact my creditors, they didn’t take the phone calls (I had to), meanwhile they were taking money out of my account. When I did manage to get through to customer service, I was rushed off the phone or told to write a letter or call back. So after dealing with all that, I told them to stop drafting my account. They did stop, but now i’m out $1000.00 and no recourse because they aren’t giving it back. They said I had to request a refund in writing and then wait. Well, I did that. They think they did $1000.00 worth of work, so I’m not getting any of that back. And now I’m mad. I was on a non-profit debt reduction plan but my wife convinced me to go with Legal Helpers because it would be faster and cheaper. After this fiasco I called up all my creditors (who never did received those letters of representation – and wouldn’t work with LHDR even if they did..something LHDR won’t tell you). And am trying to fix this mess by myself. Managed to get two of my creditors to lower my interest rates and put me on a payment plan. That’s a start. Two more went into collections while I was dealing with LHDR. So I guess I gotta deal with that. I already filed a complaint with the BBB, but I don’t think that will lead to much. Seems they’ve been getting no response to the complaints. I bet the complaints will skyrocket here real soon. In short: I should have stayed on the plan I was on, but I listened to my wife who was sucked into the pitch. Worst mistake I could have made. STAY CLEAR OF THIS COMPANY. Read some of the complaints on BBB to see similar stories to mine, only a couple of which have been addressed.

  • IXVXI

    Did you even contact that thomas guy to see what he had to say?

  • Ana

    As a former employee of Legal Helpers Macey & Aleman, the bankruptcy law firm, I would NOT hire them or anything related to them. They are horrible to their clients, the managers are useless, the employees hate their lives, and I hear they’ve hired a top-notch IT firm to eliminate all bad reviews about their company.

    • Joe debt jr.

      Justsomeguyindebt, you sound excited to finally find a resolution to debt problems, but you are forgetting its still a long path away to resolving your debt. I know a few good debt settlement companies, who will not collect any unearned fees until the debt has been settled. and after they settle they will not charge you no more than 25% of your savings. It is only logical, since you can no longer afford to pay your creditor their required payments each month than the best bet to do is find a way to repay them somehow as fast as you can. Look at your contract and do the math to see if it makes sense. How much of your monthly payment is for fees including setup fee($500) aka retainer fee, your monthly maintainence fee($49 or $69?) and how much is going towards your trust savings right away 12% or 90%. Warning!!!! you are not getting a great deal my friend and I will bet you are definitely not getting a safe deal aswell. In my opinion I rather save that money myself, man up to the creditors and tell them look, im strugglin, I have 3 kids to feed, and I am going to do whatever I can to attempt to repay you but not right now. Call all you (which they will when u enrolled in a debt settlement plan) Scare me all you want(which they will once u enroll in a debt settlement plan) send me a summons to court(which they still can while your enrolled in a debt settlement plan) because when i do face the judge, i will genuilely express my hardship on the reasons why i couldnt meet my creditor obligation. Why pay thousands of dollars to go to court anyways? By that time I bet you will panic and found another exciting solution called bankruptcy, and guess what? now its gonna cost you a few more thousands. once do it old school, discipline yourself, stash the cash until you are ready to face your creditor like a man, and offer them a settlement. when you hire a debt settlement co, that is what you are doing having them do your work that you are afraid to do and they are just gonna laugh at you all the way to court because they collected so much money already from you, so who’s next?

      • Justsomeguyindebt

        Ya, they explained that the fisrt 15 months would be mostly fees, and I saw the schedule….they are still able to knock out one of my smaller cards in the first year…the big ones will be saved until later in the program. Why would i need a lot of money in my trust account at the beginning of the program, when at that time, the creditors are not willing to negociate anyway?

        If Legal Helpers screws me, I’m gonna drag their name through the mud. but for now, everything is working fine, I’m saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, so their fee is more than justifed and they pay for themselves. I don’t see why having front loaded fees are bad if you are dealing with a repudiable company. You know?

        And I’m not hiring Legal Helpers because I’m afraid of settling the debt myself? that’s the stupidst thing I’ve ever read…can’t beleive it was approved to post….Are you any less of a man because you hire a mechanic to fix your transmission? or are you less of man when you hire a doctor to figure out how to fix a health issue? NO…they are professionals, that know what they are doing.

        They deal in BULK, millions of dollars at a time, so they get better settlments. Also, I have a life and a career…I don’t have time to play phone tag with 9 credit card companies and 9 more collection agencies? why not just pay someone? its FAR less than my current payment anyway, and I’ll be out of debt at the end. So, I let a rofessional do what they specialize in…it feels like their working for free because they are saving me so much money.

      • Joe debt jr.

        Justsomeguyindebt, sorry to offend u didn’t mean to come across that bluntly. u response “I don’t have time to play phone tag with 9 credit card companies and 9 more collection agencies? why not just pay someone?” i know it sounds refreshing to just pay someone to do the work for you but, with all due respect have you not read enough to learn that all debt settlement procedures are all the same. there is no tricks or techniques to settle a debt with a creditor. i used to work for a debt settlement shop, i was brainwashed to believe i was really helping a consumer and come to find out they got sued anyways. let me ask u something do you have a Chase credit card on that program? if you do best of luck, they will sue in after 4 miss payments and reject any third party offers. insider tip for you. another tip for u, do u know why ur smallest account is getting settled first? so this way the company can justify that they can settle ur credit card. keep in mind u still acrue interest and penalties. the settlement offer is based off the current balance so if you accumulated thousands more while you sit back and let your professionals do the work u will come to realize that the $10,000 u started off is now $13,000. so instead of hoping to get a settlement of 40% of 10,000, its 40% maybe on $13,000. most creditors will offer you settlement anyways once they see that they cannot recover the debt and alot of times even give u a better offer. u can’t sit there and think u saved thousands already when u just enrolled into the program. well to shorten this up, pray my friend. Math don’t lie, u read ur payment schedule now all u can do is pray you dont get sued buddy. if debt settlement was a great options there wouldnt be so much noise on this topic. so u walked urself into a nice trap with all the warning signs and ignoring it so now its only u that will have to deal with it. but than its not to late to find a performance base solution where u will have instant savings in ur trust so u can settle these big accounts right away.

      • speakingout

        YAHOO….THANK YOU!!YOU ARE SO DEAD ON<I COULDN"T HAVE SAID IT ANY BETTER!….STUPIDITY IF YOU IGNORE THIS POST!!!

      • justagirl

        Hi justsomeguy,
        I’m curious…it’s been a few months and I do not see any more posts from you. I have been talking with Legal Helpers 3 times in the last week and began researching after the call today. What has your experience been? They talk a good talk. I have also talked with New Hope Financial. Both conversations are regarding Home Loan Modifications.
        I find it very interesting to learn about the FTC ruling as they said I will not be paying up front yet wanted to email me their contract and fill it out online together and my online agreement would count as my signature for the contract (no mention of a face to face with a local attny). They would also be deducting $600/month for the next four months and it would take a minimum of 90-120 days to get my loan mod worked out (no guarantees, of course) but they have a 70% success rate. Hummm. But when I ask specific questions, he had an excellent way of redirecting the answers to not really answering my questions. Also, his answers were not the same answers I got from another sales rep from Legal Helpers. Example would be that one said I could get a loan mod even if I decided to rent and one said I would not qualify for a loan mod if I rented the house out. My life has been a living he!! the last few years and a loan mod would help me keep the house from going into forclosure and get back on my feet, but after reading all of this I definitely am not going to do business with these companies-not sure what to do. My current option is to pay my home mortgage and do without much needed medical insurance/meds after brain surgery removing a rare tumor and divorce of a husband of 18 years.
        All in all, how have they helped you so far?

    • 4kobe

      I bet you would hate your life if you had to work 10 hour days and 3 Saturdays a month

  • sue m

    I want to thank everyone for the information in this blog. I received a phone call from one of these sales people today and was seriously considering it, but now i think i’ll wait till after oct 27th. Lots of good info-thanks again

  • Thomas Macey

    Mr. Day…for the record post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt. I would only ask that you withhold passing judgement on a model that you havent seen yet. Once its released to the public I believe you will be happy with its results.

    “Confused In FL”…Based on the large amount of debt that you currently have I would recommend you call a bankruptcy attorney to discuss all of your options. If you are below the means test and do not have any significant assets gaining a fresh start through the bankruptcy code may in fact be your best option.

    Tom Macey
    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution

    • http://damonday.com Damon Day

      Mr Macey,

      With all due respect to you and your firm, I am not passing judgment on a model I haven’t seen yet. I am passing judgment on a model that you are currently using when consumers call your sales affiliates.

      When you change your fee model, I will be happy to look it over. I spoke with a consumer today who talked to one of your sales affiliates a few days ago. She was pitched a front loaded fee spread out only over the first part of the plan. The fee was over 10,000 dollars and would significantly hamper her ability to raise much money for settlements within the first 18 months. Thereby increasing her risk of being sued by some of her creditors.

      Now this sales rep did not inform this consumer that your fee would be changing on 10/27 and that after that date she would not have to pay that 10,000 upfront. I find this to be a shady sales practice and as a Senior Partner in this firm, you might want to check into how sales affiliates are representing your firm to consumers. When are your sales guys going to start informing consumers of this change? Now that you know of this change I would hope you find it prudent to inform consumers right away.

      So in sum, if your sales reps are going to continue to pitch a very damaging front loaded fee model to consumers, I will continue to inform them of this practice when I am asked about it. When I see that you are no longer doing this, then I of course will inform consumers of your new fee structure. Whatever that happens to be.

      • Tom Macey

        Fair enough Mr. Day please feel free to reach out to me personally after our new model is complete. I will give you all the details so you can make an independent judgement of the new offer. As I’m sure you understand I will not disclose it prior to 9/27 for competitive reasons.

        You can contact me at tmacey[@]legalhelpersdr.com

        Thank you

      • Confused Provider

        Damon,

        I was surprised to see Thomas Macey (Sr. Partner at Legal Helpers) jump into this blog 1 month ago and expressly tell you that as of Oct 27th his firm would no longer be charging front end fees.

        His words to you exactly were “for the record post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt”.

        However, as of the past 2 weeks, all the Legal Helpers companies are running around recruiting affiliates and pitching a future fee model that is actually more front-loaded than they are currently selling. I have heard it will not only include the 15%, but it will also include a substantial monthly maintenance fee and a steep up-front retainer fee????????

        If that was indeed Mr. Macey communicating with you (and not some online clone), I would like to hear his explanation on what promted this quick reversion in his business model, and how he is justifying it?

        For the ethical Companies out there that are taking a leap of faith and making major sacrifices to be compliant with the INTENT of the FTC ruling, Mr. Damon’s approach is a huge threat to our industry’s fragile reputation. The last thing we need in our industry right now is a Civil War – but I fear its coming. Then again, this could all be a bluff on the part of LHDR to keep those files rolling in for the next 30 days…. Only time will tell.

        But did anyone else reading this blog also notice Mr. Macey’s comments?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello Confused Provider,

        Your guess is as good as mine. If they do move forward with a front loaded fee structure by trying to use a face to face attorney doc signing or something, it would appear, at least in my opinion, that they don’t seem to understand or really care that this fee structure harms consumers. That is the main reason the FTC passed the law in the first place. I guess I have a front row seat to watch what they will roll out Oct 27th.

        I was however amused by your comment that “my approach is a huge threat to “our” industry’s fragile reputation” – What “approach” is it that you are referring to exactly?

        In my experience the only programs that feel “threatened” by the information that I share with consumers, are programs that have a reason to want consumers to make uninformed decisions.

      • Confused Provider

        Damon,
        Sorry about that typo. I meant that Thomas Macey’s approach to work around the Intent of the FTC Ruling is a threat to the industry’s fragile reputation (and not your approach). It means more upset consumers, more bad press, and more non-compliant front-ends that frankly should be closing shop and moving on to alternative pastures at this point. It will be very interesting to see how aggressively the industry starts to police itself to avoid unethical firms from being able to spoil the remaining opportunity for business and consumers. The news out of Kansas today is a big blow to the Attorney models with many more to come. My hunch is that the compliant firms out there will be teaming up with the regulators to turn out the lights on these attorney-models and their co-conspirators.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        While I certainly applaud ingenuity and opportunity for consumers to get more and better care when it comes to debt relief problems I am concerned that this wave of “attorney model” approaches simply attempts to get around the new rules of the land to protect consumers will inevitably lead to bad news.

        Clever attempts to get around the rules seem to always and historically lead to more regulation, more people who experience unfulfilled expectations, financial loss, more lawsuits, and not much good for many.

        I don’t think the industry has learned the needed lessons yet in this arena. Look at the advent of the AADR association for attorneys and TASC is now accepting law firms as members.

        My prediction is this is not going to end well for consumers or lawyers.

        Steve

      • lookingforsolution

        Yes, He sound as inocent and I hope so, but probably he is another victim, working for a vampire (legal helpers). I Believe Damon comments are more trustfull.

    • http://www.settleshort.com Andy Faria

      Hey Tom,

      A commenter on this article ‘justsomeguyindebt’ was considering getting started in one of your debt settlement programs right away. I mentioned that he may be better off waiting until LHDR has began using its new business model.

      Based on your comment, “post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt”

      Would ‘justsomeguyindebt’ be better off waiting until you unveil your new compliant business model, to enroll with you?

      Would you enroll him in under the new model now, if he were to ask?

      Thx

      • Tom Macey

        Its tough for me to comment without knowing the urgency of “justsomeguyindebts” situation. If he can withstand the creditor harassment that he may be experiecing till than it may in fact be best for him to wait…as our new model will have a couple of other improvements in addition to a different fee structure.

      • http://www.settleshort.com Andy Faria

        What kind of protection would LHDR provide for him to help “withstand the creditor harassment” between now and 10/27?

        Would you enroll him in under the new model now, if he were to ask?

        I think it would be a great example of how LHDR embraces the new FTC regulations and is already taking steps to impliment them.

      • Backside

        Tom,

        Can I please sign up for your program so you can put a pole up my backside?

      • quency

        Mr macy
        ca you please xplain to me why your firm has an F ratng

    • victim of the LHDR

      A new model for a new pocket and that seems to be the practice for people who realized that their footprint will lead to bad news.

  • justsomeguyindebt

    I’m still following this tread, its getting interested.

    I just checked the law: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/marketing/bus72.pdf

    (i always love a reliable source…as we all know, just because its written in a blog doesn’t make it factual)

    That being said, I’d like to turn your attention to page 4 which touches upon the EXEMPTIONS. A company that does face-to-face contract signing is exempt from the rule. Legal Helpers has legal affiliates in every state, so now, people just drive down to a local lawyers office and sign the papers.

    I understand how this loop hole will be TOO much for the small debt settlement companies to handle…and that’s the point, right? get rid of the illegitimate companies leaving the real ones to provide the real service?

    Now, this is what my guy at Legal Helpers told me to look up when i raised the question. He gave me that link and explained the new procedure…I’m actually glad i was able to get in before this ruling, I don’t feel like taking the extra step to drive down to a law office is necessary, but then again, I’m not as skeptical as you guys are about Legal Helpers. Its probably because I did my RESEARCH, where as you are speculating based on experience with other companies in that industry.

    My question was about Legal Helpers, specifically. If I wanted to assume they were just like every crappy debt settlement company I would bother asking. So, I’ll let people know if Legal Helpers is good, or bad, as I go through their program.

    • http://damonday.com Damon Day

      I must applaud Legal Helpers for showing their true anti consumer colors.

      What legal helpers seems to completely ignore is the fact that their 15% of debt front loaded fee structure is bad for consumers period. It insures that they will get paid, while making the client wait longer to achieve settlements, thereby highly increasing the likelihood the client will be sued. It is clear to me that Legal Helpers doesn’t give a crap about their clients. Instead of admitting that what they do is a complete scam and puts the consumers in much more harm’s way then they need to, they spend their energy trying to figure out loop holes so they don’t have to comply with the law and can keep ripping off their clients. Way to go Legal Helpers.

      If you think you are going to use your telemarketing sales guys to continue ripping off consumers with these front loaded fees, and then simply direct them to a local office to sign a contract for your scam, then good luck with that. Please keep me posted on how well that works out for you.

      How many consumers do you think will be lining up at your local office, when you are charging all that money upfront while nobody else is? Hmm, give consumers a little credit.

      Good luck with your local office tactic though, it will be intersting.

      • justsomeguyindebt

        ok, I won’t be able to keepyou posted on how it works out for legal helpers keeping their business, but i promice to keep you posted with my experience over the next couple years.

        Damon, what else can i do besides bankruptcy or credit counceling? just paying down my cards one at a time for the next 20 years? I got three kids (17, 15, 12) that are going to college soon…what’s the alternative to debt settlement?

      • justsomeguyindebt

        Also, if anyone out there has delt with Legal Helpers before, Please let me know what happened, good or bad.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello Justsomeguy,

        I do not know anything about your financial situation, so I certainly cannot advise you on what you should be doing. However, I can say with confidence that there is a big difference between the concept of debt settlement, where you focus on raising as much money as you can, as quickly as you can to pay back your creditors at a reduced amount in the shortest time possible, and the one sized fits all programs that most debt settlement companies offer. Complete with fee structures, that when implemented work, completely against a consumers goals of raising money quickly.

        Hope that helps.

      • Maddog77

        I’m reading this as I am on my first day of the program. I have sent an email to the person who signed me asking them about the law and the upfront fees. I’m guessing since they showed me the classic front loaded fee schedule, that meeting with an attorney to sign papers qualifies as services rendered. The sales person did mention something about legal reasons to do so. I am not opposed to paying fees if they can do what they say. However, I do not like the front loaded setup. I have talked with 2 other “non-profit” agaencies. If I followed their plan, I’d end up paying $4800 more than I owe. “non-profit?” (the one company I can remember is MMI).

        So who do you recommend Damon? I’ll take the loss of the first payment and switch if there is someone that is better out there. Please advise.

        Maddog

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello Maddog,

        A couple of issues. First, it is your decision whether or not you think the contract and program that Legal Helpers has enrolled you in is fair to you. If the contract is like the one I just received yesterday then my opinion is that it most certainly is not fair and there are a lot of other options to look at. According to the contract I have, it looks as if you have 5 days from the date of the face to face meeting to cancel the contract with no fees due. But you will have to double check the one you have. I have noticed most of the contracts are all different because of the 100s of sales affiliates they have. Also from what I can see it looks like the bulk of your money is going to pay the sales affiliates for servicing you, not the lawfirm. So if you think you are hiring an attorney, there are a lot of conditions to what you are actually getting when you hire them.

        Read your contract carefully. Especially the part about how easy it is for them to get out of representing you in court if you are sued. The contract I have says if they get you an offer at 65% of the balance at the time of suit (which is more like 85% of the balance when you enrolled with them) and you don’t accept the settlement, they have the right to not represent you and you are on your own. Oh, well, you can then pay an additional 200 dollars an hour on top of court costs and all the other money you are paying them and then they will represent you again.

        Now let me ask this question. If they are collecting all of their fees upfront, how are you going to fund a settlement offer if you get sued in month 12 and are still paying a bulk of your payments to their fees. The answer is you probably are not going to be able to and then they can skate out of the sales person’s promise of court representation. I bet that was clearly explained during the face to face meeting though right? Sorry that was sarcastic, and was meant to be a dig on Legal Helpers. Sometimes it drives me crazy what these guys think they can do to people and get away with.

        So the more we peel back the onion, the more we have to ask, just what is the benefit to the consumer of this front loaded fee structure? In the last 5 years I have yet to figure that out and no sales person has ever been able to enlighten me, though that has not been for lack of them trying. However I have a laundry list of benefits for the company to charge you all that money upfront. They are guaranteed to make money, you take on all of the risk. So the decision to stick with something like that is up to you.

        If it were me, I don’t think it would hurt you to take some time and do some further research. You can always re enroll into Legal Helpers if you don’t find a better option, although I seriously doubt that will happen.

        Just based on the upfront fees alone I would look at other programs that don’t charge you anything until they actually settle your debt.

        Another major issue and huge risk for a client signing up into LHDR is they are laughing in the face of the FTC with their front loaded fee model. What is going to happen if the FTC decides to go after them in the next year or two? How would you feel if you paid these guys all of your fees and then the FTC puts them out of business? I am not saying that will happen, but that is certainly a risk you need to consider.

        I will not recommend specific companies until I have a full understanding of your overall situation. My business is to make sure you are on the right path to resolve your situation in the best and shortest time possible, not to simply switch you from one program to another.

        I am an independent consultant and work directly for my clients. I do not accept back end referral fees from any debt settlement companies, but instead ask any company that my client would like to enroll with (if needed) to pass on what they would have paid to me to my client in the form of a discount.

        So one thing I can certainly guarantee is that as a client of mine, if you ultimately chose to hire either a debt settlement company that I like, or any other one, you will certainly pay much less money in fees and those fees will be paid on the back end, not the front.

        So if you think it is worth it to schedule a consult and pick my brain for an hour, feel free to contact me at the link below. I certainly know it is, but if I said that, then these sales guys would jump all over me for bias and just steeling clients and bla bla bla. I let consumers decide for themselves, who makes sense and who is completely full of it. Depending on your debt load, the information I give you will likely save you a few thousand dollars.

        http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-Day

      • LoppyHill

        Maddog, Don’t pay an upfront fee for Debt Settlement Services. What State are you in? Some states have laws that bar companies from providing services unless they are attorneys. So if this is your situation, you can still probably find attorney debt settlement firms that won’t charge fees up front (if you should even do debt settlement).

        haha not about to jump on Damon for his link, but it’s probably worth while to speak with him…

        Actually, let me add this.. Cancel LHDR, figure something out and if you need to I’m sure they’ll send someone out to sign contracts again. You need to avoid up front fee companies.

      • Justsomeguyindebt

        I can see how upfront fees could be bad for the consumer…but what about if you spread the fees out over the entire program and then Legal helpers is able to get you out of debt before the orginal quoted date? Not a rhetorical question.

        that would mean that the people are out of debt, but they haven’t paid all their fees, so they will owe legal helpers money. I don’t know about you, but i would consider that debt. what if you need a debt settlement company to settle you debt settlement bill? that’s what could happen if you spead the fees across the entire plan. right? or am i just flat wrong? I’m just using my logic here, and its average at best.

      • anonymous

        My understanding of the industry is that they generally won’t settle the final creditors unless there is enough in reserve for both the settlement and their fees, they will just tell you to save more before a settlement can be reached.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        That is exactly what the sales people always say to consumers. It is a fools argument because that “problem” if you could even call it that, could be easily remedied. It is a poor attempt to justify why a company, must charge you all the money upfront and it just plain fails on its face.

      • Guest

         Aman, Mr. Damon.
        The scam Legal Helpers uses is guaranteed to fail because they took all your money up front and very little if any left to settle your debts.

      • IXVXI

        Did you even contact that thomas guy to see what he had to say?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        No, he hasn’t released his new fee structure yet.

      • guest

         You really going to believe a person who stole your money the first time to offer you a better saving plan?

      • Nick V.

        Here we have one of those unique situations where the town crier just happens to be the town idiot.

        Simple fact: He who yells loudest is almost never right. In fact, it’s offensive to read DD’s thoughts. He couldn’t be more wrong.

        There’s a very simple issue that most individuals are missing that’s being perpetuated by Mr. Day. Up front fees are actually a good thing for the client. Let me explain why….

        Any business model that attempts to operate without working capital is problematic. Why? Simple. As it applies to debt resolution, under a “pay when we settle” plan, the goal isn’t to get the lowest settlement, the goal simply becomes to settle AT ANY COST. This is because the settlement company needs CAPITAL TO OPERATE. ANY settlement firm that you’re not going to pay until they settle has developed a CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITH THE CLIENT. Again, the company that you’ve just hired is now pitted against your better interests.

        In other words, In these models, you’re asking for problems because the hired company will settle (regardless of the settlement rate) just to get paid.

        Know that the banks are not going to offer you their best settlement right away. It takes some time, but it will come. Simple fact: when you’re negotiating, you never give your best offer first.

        Its somewhat counterintuitive, but if you hold out long enough, you’re going to get a better settlement than if you act right away. Every negotiated on a car? Does the salesman give you his best offer right away?

        The professionals within the industry know this, but unfortunately some senator’s (CS) (who’s received 13 million from the banking/finance industries over the last 5 years) has been paid to act in his constituent’s best interest….not yours. Unfortunately this is the same model that DD is advocating.

        And based upon his statement ” our clients pay back 50%”, you’re about twice that of what LHDR clients have been getting.

        For the record, I’ve personally interviewed over 30 debt settlement companies, and law firms and have not seen a company settling for less than LHDR. This is why I’m affiliated with them. Let me say that again. I’m not saying they’re great because I’m affiliated with them. I’m saying that I’m affiliated with them because they’re great.

        In fact, LHDR is the best in the industry.

        Armed with a few degrees in finance and over 12 years in finance myself, I think I’d like to contact DD over the next couple of weeks and see what other nonsense he’s feeding people. I agree that no upfront fees is a good idea in theory, but if fails in practice. DD, you’re failing to look at the law of unintended consequences:

        Higher debt settlement averages for the consumer….

        Oooops! You’re already there!

        CAVEAT EMPTOR: THE YARDSTICK BY WHICH ANY SETTLEMENT COMPANY IS MEASURED, IS THEIR SETTLEMENT RATE. After 30 companies, I have yet to find a law firm, or company that settles for less than LHDR.

      • Observer

        Nick,

        You do have a point with some debt settlement companies likely jumping at offers that are not optimized for savings in order to get paid, but not all will behave in this way. To this point, the four largest issuers are offering the best balance concession prior to charge off and often with assignees just out of charge off. Due to the market share of the top issuers, it is akin to shooting fish in a barrel in order to hit the earliest, best optimized offers.

        Until the economy, job market and most certainly the more than double historic credit card charge off percentages improve, I see your point as immaterial in the near term.

        Your statement of LHDR being the best in the industry is empty and cannot be taken seriously. You have provided no analytic to support the claim. You do suggest in your post that they are getting close to a 25% average (75% savings for their clients). I call bull shit. Either prove it or quit saying it.

        If in the event you do wish to prove up your claim(you wont), please do so in a manner consistent with the rules set forth by the FTC (you cant).

        If by affiliated with LHDR you mean you refer people to them for a commission, you can be held to account for their practices just as they can be for yours. If you are selling their service with claims of savings similar to what you post – good luck with that.

        In your so called research of 30 companies I would suggest you settled on LHDR in order to get paid the most, which is what most debt settlement affiliates do. If I am wrong in this assumption, please provide a comparison of the 30 companies side by side and the commission/pay out structure. Otherwise, its just bullshit.

        You brought your weakest game to your post. If you would like to come back and mix it up a bit, please come back prepared – with facts and data to back up your claims.

      • DW22

        Bravo Observer!!! I am a analyst and love the numbers, in my line of work you make all statements you want but if you do not or cannot provide data to back up your claims then keep your damn mouth shut!!!! I think Nick V. just may be a LHDR plant……… LOL

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        I am disappointed that I did not see this sooner. Thank you for your thoughts Nick, as usual and true to form the debt settlement sales person likes to create a fantasy to justify their actions.

        First to address your claim about LHDR getting the lowest settlements. In my experience most clients of LHDR seem to be sued before they are even able to obtain settlements. You can thank those genius 4 and 5 year plans you are peddling out there for that Nick.

        Second, you can make any unsubstantiated claims about LHDR all you want but the reality is they did not step up to the Senate hearings and open their books to show the world how great they were? Why is that? So go on making all your claims, but if you are so successful and all of your clients get such great deals, then why risk it all by continuing with the upfront fees? Knowing the FTC is very likely to go after you? What is the settlement percentage that LHDR gets from the original balance and including all of the people that dropped out?

        Easy questions for such an educated man of your experience and stature.

        1. Is a client more or less likely to get sued the longer they wait to settle the debt?

        2. Is it true that a majority of the client’s fees go to the sales affiliate that has a non-exclusive reciprocal referral agreement to service the client and not the lawfirm itself? Hmm, this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with why you refer clients to Legal Helpers now could it? I am sure it is the kindness in your heart that has led you to them. I mean all the unsubstantiated claims of their greatness means quite a bit doesn’t it?

        3. If LHDR gets what they would consider to be an acceptable settlement offer and the client cannot pay because they are still paying all of the fees that you earn for the referral, is it true that LHDR can then contractually chose not to represent that client if they are later sued?

        4. Would you refer consumers to another program if they had the same or better track record as legal helpers, but charged less and charged their fees on the back end? Knowing that you would not make as much money and it would not be upfront?

        Isn’t it true Nick that you get paid even if the client fails? Yes, why yes you do. Isn’t it true that everybody that participates in the con gets paid if the client fails? Why yes, yes that is also true. So I am wondering who is looking out for the client? Who is making sure that sales people like you are not just putting people into the program to get paid and not properly advising them of a better alternative. Educated you may be, but misguided you most certainly are.

        Now to address your theory about why companies need money to operate.
        I agree with you. I think a company should be able to charge a retainer. However, between your few finance degrees and your 12 years of experience, if you can’t grasp the simple concept of how Legal Helpers, and by extension you Nick, are totally screwing consumers by charging all of their fees upfront, I am not sure what else to say.

        Of course you need to find a way to try and justify what you do so you can sleep at night, but charging a fair retainer and then collecting fees on performance is a perfectly sound business model and it works in all sorts of industries.

        Now don’t come at me with this tired argument of if you don’t get all your money upfront then the settlement company will just rush in to take any deal. The reality is the sales guys get most of that upfront commission. Oh, that is you Nick. Ahh, now I know why you are so protective of this model. Second, you can get some great deals with the original creditors before charge-off, and as a bonus avoid a lawsuit. Now, if the company charged a fee based on how much they saved a client. Are you saying that a company would be dumb enough to take a 50% deal just to get paid if they new that they could get a 30% deal if they wait one more month and earn a higher fee?

        Your problem is you only think about what is best for your pocket apparently, and if you would step out of that mode, and actually think about your clients’ needs for a change, you will see there are some real great ways to make money and have happy and satisfied clients at the same time.

        So do I think companies shouldn’t be able to charge anything until a settlement? No, I think that totally sucks and it is hard to run a company like that, however what you fail to see is because Legal Helpers and companies like them were so greedy, and couldn’t care less about actually helping people, the FTC finally stepped in and just put in a blanket ban.

        So if you want to blame someone, then blame TASC, blame USOBA, blame your fabled Legal Helpers, blame all of you scam artist rip off settlement programs that were collecting fees and sending consumers to slaughter and shame on you for using your education to further the con.

        I eagerly await your response.

        PS. I forgot, I love your argument of not collecting money upfront creates a conflict for the client. So now I have a little window into your thoughts. So in your world, the company is always first and the client will get screwed if helping them conflicts with helping yourself.

        Thanks for the insight. Who now wants to enroll into Legal Helpers with Nick?
        Bueller…Bueller…Bueller

        Now for my magic. Nick according to your own reasoning a clients interests should never be pitted against a companies interests right? What about you? You make money when you enroll someone into legal helpers. What if that isn’t in their best financial interest? By your own logic, that should never be done. You shouldn’t get paid until the client is successful, otherwise you might be motivated to push people into Legal Helpers to get paid even though it might not be a good option for them. OOPS, guess you better do something else. In a performance model, as much as you will never admit this, the client and the companies interests are now actually in line, where as with Legal Helpers they are so ridiculously out of whack that someone like you must know that, but the money is just too good. Know what I am saying? ;-)

        Game…Set…Match

      • Don

         Don’t believe whatever Legal Helpless is claiming… They know full well of what is actually happening. Can’t believe this is actually legal business practice in this country. Took all money up front and claimed that clients don’t have enough money to pay off their debts so they get sued and then Legal Helpless is laughing on the side :(

      • Thoughtful Consumer

        Damon,

        Your zeal is laudable even if your facts are incorrect. If you really took the time to research the settlement industry, its players, the FTC, its politics and the politics of Credit and Debt in this country you would not, in good conscience say the things you say.

        Legal Helpers Debt Resolution is playing by the rules set out by the FTC to assist the general consumer with overwhelming debt. In fact, they do have a minimum performance standard that states that if they cannot reach a settlement of at least 65% of the enrolled balance for ANY account they will not accept or refund any fee associated with that account. Furthermore, they have instituted the Face-to-Face meeting with a local attorney to MAKE SURE that anyone engaging their services understands EXACTLY what is involved. Does this allow them to begin to collect fees at the outset of the agreement – YES. Why is that? because the FTC says its OK to do so if you are not just selling someone something over the phone. The FTC knows that you cannot do business and service consumers properly without either getting paid from the outset, or bankrolling your business with millions of dollars to cover the payroll and marketing costs of reaching out to people and properly handing their files; really providing a service. LHDR is a growing NATIONAL law firm that is working to assist people in trouble and is doing whatever common sense and the FTC mandate should be done to do so properly, diligently and with consumer clarity and service in mind.

      • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

        Funny their customers seem to disagree. So do their former and current employees.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello thoughtful,
        I understand that you need to convince yourself of certain things in order to continue selling these types of programs to consumers. Nothing I say is likely to change your mind. Unfortunately I speak with many current and former clients of legal helpers as well as countless other front loaded and attorney model settlement companies, who come to me for help after experiencing not so great service and results. Everything you are telling me is an attempt to explain why the legal helpers plan is better for the sales person and the company. Shouldn’t you try to create something that is better for the client?

        It is clear that your livelihood requires you to hold certain beliefs that I consider to be erroneous and we are not going to agree on those things. So lets do something that is constructive and helpful to consumers at the same time:

        You tell consumers what you believe and then send them to me. I will tell them what I believe and then they can decide for themselves which one of us makes more sense. Now they will have two different view points and be able to decide how to best resolve their specific financial circumstances. I know that isn’t very fair because the facts and common sense are on my side, but I will even put one arm behind my back if you want.

        PS. if you look at the comment to me from Thomas Macey a few months ago he told me specifically that “Mr. Day…for the record post 10/27 Legal Helpers Debt Resolution will not be front loading their fees and charging 15% of the scheduled debt. I would only ask that you withhold passing judgement on a model that you havent seen yet. Once its released to the public I believe you will be happy with its results.”

        I wonder why legal helpers changed their mind and continued to front load their fees? Could it be because they believe they found a loophole that attracts more sales people to sell their program?

        http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-Day

    • Mckdsper

      It is now April of 2011 and I am looking into Legal Helpers so how is it going

  • justsomeguyindebt

    Has anyone actually dealt with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution? or is this just a puff piece to help this Damon guy? I’ve talked to them and they have shown me examples actual debt settlements, I just want to make sure it isn’t all smoke and mirrors, I want to talk to someone who has used this company.

    Also, they said they offer a money back guarantee, if they don’t get me out of debt, i get my money back, is that true? or lies? does ANYONE actually know?

    • http://www.settleshort.com Andy Faria

      justsomeguy,

      I have never worked with Legal Helpers but if you are dead set on using them, you would probably be better off (safer anyway) waiting until after 10/27 to get started in any program with them.

      On that date, debt settlement companies will no longer be allowed to charge advance fees (yes, even attorney’s). It won’t matter that they offer a “money back guarantee”, because they won’t be able to charge you until they settle debts, you won’t need one.

      You don’t want to be one of the “last in the door” and sign up for an advance fee debt settlement program a couple months before the practice is banned. Plus, you will save much more money to settle debts with and faster than you would if you started paying advance fees now. In fact, i bet if you look at the fee schedule they proposed, between now and 10/27, most if not all of your payments would go to pay Legal Debt Helpers anyway.

      You should tell Legal Debt Helpers that you know about the ban on advance fees, and that if they want your business, to enroll you into the performance based fee structure they will be using after the ban takes effect. If they don’t agree, tell them to call you on Nov 1. If they say that the ban doesn’t apply to them, they’re trouble and you should look elsewhere for help

      • justsomeguyindebt

        I found a guy on a another forum that has used them in the past, he said they worked great. I’m not in a position to wait around until October to get this ball rolling, two of my cards jacked up their interest rates as of September…Also, I found out that Legal Helpers has been in business since 1994, that’s good enough for me…thanks for the info though.

      • http://www.settleshort.com Andy Faria

        you can lead a horse to water……

      • Chris Foulke

        Legal Helpers may have been in business since 1994 but they have only been in the debt resolution business for a fraction of that, less than 2 years I believe. So the BBB rating is sort of moot, not enough time to rack up complaints and a realistic picture of their business in debt resolution per se. I worked with a really nice and helpful rep from them, but they didn’t spell out their policy re negotiating debt restructuring/reduction is void if one has made recent cash advances (less than 3 months previous to). They were really good and sound-sounding have no idea what a cc company is actually going to do. What if they refuse to settle the debt despite the best efforts of someone from a debt resolution company’s legal staff? If I had already paid the fees, that would just be another big loss. The odds were sort of stacked, but now with the ban on advance fees, the playing field has changed dramatically. Good news for consumers seeking this kind of relief.

      • http://notgivingoutanymore Joe Anderson

        Legal helpers debt resolution will not be effected by the consumer protection act spoken of here as they are attorneys who main business is NOT settlement. I know they do what they say because i work for LHDR today as a manager of the negotiations dept in a southern california location. I do what i say i do, 35% reduction minimum standard guarantee, if not we did our work for free. Now we have tight enrollement criteria as well, if we cant get these results you will be told we would not be able to get them and not include this guarantee in that contact. over all you are in good hands!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Joe,

        Just to be 100% certain I sent your comment to the FTC for their opinion on your claim that you would not be subject to the TSR.

        Attorney Allison Brown from the FTC responded and said, “There’s no exemption from the TSR for attorneys who engage in telemarketing, whether that attorneys’ main business is debt settlement or not.”

        I hope that helps.

        Steve

      • http://damonday.com Damon Day

        Hey Joe,

        Is that what Legal Helpers is telling their sales affiliates? Not to worry because they are ok? I sure hope not.

        I suggest that every sales person currently working for a debt settlement company should actually read the new law for themselves and try to have an honest discussion in private with your boss. If your company is going to fold it would be better for you to know now and be able to plan than to find out the hard way.

        The reality is that usually the employees and customers of a business are always the last to know about the company closing because management doesn’t want to hurt moral, or distract employees from making money right up until the end. Educate yourself so you can protect yourself.

      • P

        You let Allison know that LHDR is involved in using an auto dialer that transfers live calls to Debt Mediation Network (DMN), a NJ company (that by the way I don’t believe is licensed). The only criteria DMN has is that you can afford to make the payments for the length of the program. DMN also states that you never have to physically see the attorney in your state. That’s some way around the FTC rule. LHDR also posts their attorneys on their website, and if you sample some, you’d be hard pressed to find one that holds any kind of state debt license (debt settlement, debt adjuster, etc). And those are pretty simple licenses to obtain and pay for. Just because the FTC has amended the TSR rule does not mean that states that have passed legislation (such as UDMSA, debt adjuster, check cashier, etc) are no longer a requirement for companies to comply with.

        Joe if you see a bunch of guys in windbreaker jackets with big letters on the back knocking on the front door, HIDE

      • http://[email protected] Andy Faria

        I wonder how the president or owner of LDHR feels about their “negotiations manager” coming on this site and claiming that the TSR doesn’t apply to them, because “they are attorneys who main business is NOT settlement”

        My goodness.

      • Chris Foulke

        My understanding of Legal Helpers Debt Resolution agreement which I went over several times and that one must sign is that their guarantee only applies to their ongoing service fees (monthly throughout the term of the plan) but does not apply to the huge payments made in the first months and year of the plan, a large chunk of which goes to a separate financing company and lawyer’s fees, so what Mr. Anderson says is only partly true, as in, how did Mark Twain put it? L-I-E ? If they have tight enrollment criteria and are so sure they can get successful resolution, then maybe they should make that mostly an ‘internal risk’, and there should be a close to 100% refund (say 90% refund) of all fees paid, guaranteed, if they can’t successfully renegotiate your debt.

      • Jackie

        Where can I find the ruling (ban) that says DCS cannot charge a front-end load. We are just about to sign up with American Debt Services and if that is the case, I want to rethink joining at this time.

      • Jackie

        Where can I find the ruling (ban) that says DSC cannot charge a front-end load after 10/27? We are just about to sign up with American Debt Services and if that is the case, I want to rethink joining at this time.

    • Grace

      My husband & I have been dealing w Legal helpers for 7.5 mnths,paying them in excess of $6,000.We were told our fees would be paid in 3 mnths the rest to be put in acct to build to pay creditors after they settled them for us,ha ha.Our creditors have not been contacted by LHDR.phone calls 20 times a day have never let up,the original debt counselor we were given we are now told is not ours anymore..we have received 2 summons to appear in court(being sued) so we tried calling them 3 wks later NO RESPONSE!! We have now consulted w/bankruptcy attorney and guess what they knew exactly who we were dealing with!! It is a scam,we closed our acct w/them(LHDR) I went on line to check our funds and all but 300.00plus some change is GONE! The attorney we hired for bankruptcy is assisting us in getting a FULL refund(- fees)we WILL be reporting them to Oregon State Bar,Dept of Justice,BBB,and anyone else our REAL attorney advices us to!!Best recommendation is to avoid this company like the plague.Good Luck!!

      • Anonymous

        Sorry to hear what has happened to you Grace. Steve has written about how to get a refund back. Source- http://getoutofdebt.org/20126/how-to-get-out-of-a-debt-settlement-program-and-get-a-big-refund hope that helps.

      • Jenny

        Grace, i would like to ask u something ? i am also dealing with Legal Help! an di read u went to Bankruptcy attorney? can u do that ? ur new attorney is able to help u ? please i an suck in a hole and i cant get out ? i am getting all stress about this ?

      • Jenny

        Also i need to write letter , bec i got summons and i have no clue what to write? can u please help. bec i saw u went thru the same thing!!!!!

      • Ripped-off

        Grace is exactly correct, LHDR is a scam…attorney general of Il. has just brought a suit against them for illegal practices. I too was scammed by them for 6 months, in the process of trying to recover over $7K. They led me to believe they would negoitate on my part and save me $20K off $50k debt, everytime I called to check progress they would always have nice young lady tell me they were elevating my settlement request to a legal specialist. None of my debt has been settled; my credit score has gone from 720 to 598; one of my creditors turned their account over to a collection agency and they have recently won a judgement against me; the money I’ve lost to date could have paid two of my creditors off! I’m in the process of retaining a real attorney and just filed a complaint to the consumer fraud division with the attoney general of Il., Lisa Madigan. RUN from LHDR, you can save yourself a lot of headaches..hire a real attorney from the beginning.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        This is what they do and unfortunately most consumers don’t realize it until it is too late. Give them 7K, they do nothing but collect your money and get you sued and then in the end you only have 300 bucks.

        Sure some people that go through it have a favorable outcome, but that is the exception because the program is designed to ensure they are paid, not to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome for the client.

      • cathy

        Really you want to charge me for a phone consultation after I feel I have been raked over by Legal helpers!!!

      • LoppyHill

        Ysmal?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hello Cathy,

        I am sorry to hear about your experience with Legal Helpers and I understand how frustrated you are right now. I help clients clean up the messes of debt settlement programs on a daily basis.

        The reality is that if I did not charge my clients for advice, wouldn’t I then just have to focus on selling them something during the consultation in order to make a living?

        The question is simple. Do you want to talk to someone who works directly for you and does not have any financial motivation or obligation to do anything other than give you the best information?

        Or do you want to talk to a sales person who only can earn a living and feed his family if you buy what he is selling? I am not saying sales people are bad. There is certainly a need for them, but not when you are looking for financial advice. You call them when you already know what you need and you are just shopping different companies to see who might offer the best service.

        You don’t ask a car sales person if you should by a new car, you ask your mechanic.

        With all due respect, you have already acted on the advice peddled during the free consultation with Legal Helpers and look how much money that has now cost you. Do you want to go ahead and roll the dice with another one?

        I do not accept back end referral fees from companies. Instead I ask them to give that money to my clients as a discount. Also quite often you do not even need to hire a company to resolve your problem. So regardless of what you need, speaking with me will always cost you less than getting free financial advice from a sales person.

        I am available if you would like my help.

      • LoppyHill

        This is not in defense of LHDR. They provide a horrible deal to consumers. However!

        “None of my debt has been settled”
        –> Well, by month 6 you should have 1 account settled. However, if you leave a program at month 6 with $50k in debt I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing was settled. You may have a large account that should be settled first which may take more money to accumulate.

        “my credit score has gone from 720 to 598″
        –> Yup. When you don’t make payments to your creditors, you score drops. *Cough*, with 50K in debt, your credit don’t me squat! If they didn’t explain that to you, shame on them. If you didn’t real the disclosures and they provided you with them, shame on you.

        “one of my creditors turned their account over to a collection agency”
        –> Yes sir. Accounts do go into collections. They can still be settled, sounds like in your case it didn’t, which that does suck. But if you’re merely surprised about it going to collections, then 1) They misrepresented the program to you AND you failed to read the disclosures 2) They explained the program to you, you didn’t understand/hear and you failed to read the disclosures.

        “They led me to believe they would negoitate on my part and save me $20K off $50k”
        –> Look, I don’t know your situation. Maybe they did rip you off. However, how is it possible to save you 20K off 50K if you leave a program early.

        There’s a reason why LHDR is being sued by agencies and individuals. Heck, their fee structure is probably to blame for your grips which is valid. But some of these assertions like “the credit score” should have been known if you reviewed the contract they signed. Plus, the credit score issue and collection agency has nothing to do with the quality of service. Rather, maybe it was the disclosure of these issues.

      • Ripped-off

        Hey LoppyHill…you sound like you work for those bums! Screw you and your buddies at LHDR. you don’t know my situation and I pray people don’t fall into the problems I had, but then to be taken advantage by some more crooks in the industry is just plain criminal. I hope the Attorney General of Il. closes down these sharks!

    • Debhibbert

      We have and they are no good! We are in a bancruptcy now because of them! Everything that everyone is saying about them is true! your best bet is to find another way to deal with your debt!

  • confused in FL

    Hi Damon,

    I have done more research than you can imagine and have talked to different types of relief companies and can’t find anyone to give me the advice I need to get out of debt. I have credit card debt of $96K and am able to pay the minimum payments and a little more usually, but am not able to make a dent. I do not know how to get out of this hole. Most have decent rates except for one at 29%, due to a day late payment 3 yrs ago. My credit score is good. I have no late payments, but my debt to income ratio is too high.

    I have talked to a company called NovaDebt (referred by one of my creditors) that will negotiate lower the interest rates and requires a weekly payment deducted from my account, they will pay the creditors and they say I will be debt free in 5 yrs. Their fee is a monthly contributory fee that they suggest. From what I’ve read it’s usually $50. This sounds somewhat appealing, although I know they are working for the creditor and would still be required to pay the amount in full over the 5 yrs.

    I’m currently paying approx $2200 a month on my own, and this program would be closer to $2000.

    I recently talked to Legal Helpers Debt Resolution. I called two different numbers and spoke with 2 different reps. One stated their fees are paid over the first 15 months in the program. When I said I didn’t agree, he said they could spread it out. The other rep said they spread it out over the term of the program. They are affiliated with a top bankruptcy law firm that has been in biz 20 yrs (Macey, Aleman…) with debt settlement added 14 yrs ago. They claim to have my out of debt in 36-48 mo and my payments would be $1400, but no negotiations until their fee is paid. They claim that the attorney’s have personal relationships with the credit card companies and because of the volume of biz they bring, they can typically get much lower settlements, even 20-25%. Appealing, but as many, I’m concerned about them taking their money first and not doing anything on my behalf until much later. In addition to no feeling of security that they will even do what they say they will (based on what I’ve read from others.) And I have a feeling there are many company “faces” rolled into one so they can tout BBB ratings, affiliations, etc. I’ve seen many crossovers that concern me.

    I also have a rental property that has been destroyed that I’m in the process of listing for potential short sale. I’ve taken a beating on it for years and can’t do anymore. If it doesn’t sell, I’m going to be faced with Deed In Lieu or Foreclosure. I know this will damage my credit, so I’ve been researching to see if I should tackle the rest of my debt at the same time and then rebuild credit from there.

    I’ve also heard a lot about the Dave Ramsey course but don’t know if it would work with such a high amount of debt. I don’t know how I could create any momentum to “snowball” with amount I’m already paying out.

    I make decent money and can stay afloat, but can’t pay anything off and bring any relief. I rent currently but would like to buy again in the future. I need to know what someone in my situation should do. Do you have any suggestions or do you know of any financial or credit advisors you could recommend? Your feedback is greatly appreciated. There seems to be a lot of suggestions for people who can’t make ends meet and are caving in, but none for people just trying to move on and get back on their feet. It seems that if you make the minimum payments, you are actually penalized because no relief is offered. This doesn’t offer any solution to actually get out of debt.

    I’m open to considering debt resolution if there really is a reputable one out there that won’t take my money and screw me. I would love the idea of a fresh start in the next few years. I know there is a lot of info on trying to do it yourself too, but also a ton of info on different creditors responding to different approaches, varying time lines of when negotiation should be done and they fact that it takes many contacts and months of negotiating to get a settlement. I need some actual advice on how to get out of this situation.

    Thanks

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Confused,

      It sounds like you are suffering from the paralysis of analysis with everyone sharing their sales pitch with you. Ultimately the right decision is going to be one that best addresses the goals you are trying to achieve and your overall situation.

      It seems to me the most cost effective first step is to talk to Damon Day for a private and personal consultation about which way to proceed. I can already see some issues that he will help you to see through clearly.

      Steve

      • confused in FL

        Hi Steve,

        Thanks for the reply. I actually thought I was contacting Damon, as he has commented on this thread. Can he review my post as well?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        You’ll need to contact him directly for a consultation. I don’t know if he is monitoring comments since he is busy with consultations.

        Steve

      • Daniellehouse

        You all are mean and should keep opinions to yourself…The issue that many are having is with the facts. Clean up the facts and the rest will follow.

      • Gracea

        GET A CLUE!!! mean?? opinions are meant to be shared….DUH!!!

    • http://www.firstsourcefm.com Joe Anderson

      I have been on the front and back end for debt settlement and credit couseling, and seriously if you have 90k and bad property, the only answer you should be reviewing is a local attorney for bankruptcy, i know it stings but sometimes getting it right the first time really is what people need to do, lock into chapter 13 with a good attorney only pay back 55% over 5 years and your golden.

    • http://www.nfcc.org Amanda Sue

      I strongly suggest looking at Debt Management vs Debt Settlement if the issue is that you can afford to make your payments but due to the interest rates, can’t make any progress. Debt Management Plans are able to offer clients reduced interest and often reduced payments so they can get out of debt faster. Look for a non-profit agency accredited by the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The NFCC.org website will tell you which agency is closest to you. Best of luck!

      • DW22

        I can tell you Consumer Credit Counseling will assist you but if you are able to stay afloat or have residual income e.g you bring in 6K but still have 1.5k left over at the end of the month they are going to tell you to to apply your residual income to your debt. They will still work out a plan for you but don’t think your going to get a lot of empathy from them…… My wife and I tried although we have 40k in debt the CCCS ran the numbers and actually advised us not to start a program with them due to the income that we make ,kinda sucks paying out 1.5k a month in debt (credit cards and consolidation loan) but it boils down debt to income ratio. We did sign up with a company to auto draft our payments every week exceeding the minimum payment (although most finical advisers don’t advise it) but in our case we don’t have the discipline to actually make the payments to start the “snow ball” so I have no problem paying the 2 dollar transaction fee for them to do it for us, to each his own I say. I agree with you (confused in FL) there is all kinds of help for those already under but if you are suffering but can make it most of what you see on the net and junk mail are scams. Something else that I have realized in all of this not knowing your situation so may apply to you I got myself in this mess and will have live with the struggles of paying it off there is not a easy road to take but light is at the end of the tunnel…… Hope you work it out I know it is tough but hang in there.

    • MAHENDRA BRAHMBHATT

      I joined LHDR in 2009. I like their programme. I was paying a minimum about $1300.00 a month of all my Credit Cards. LHDR  Sr. Financial Consultant Ms.
      Agatha Zeer explain me the programme. If you find her any way try to contact her. She is very helpful, smart, intelligent where you can trust. In the beginning of the
      programme some portion of the money goest towards their fees. and other money
      goes to your Bank A/c for your settlement fund. Once you have enough available
      fund they will start negotiating with creditors. But you have to follow their all the
      instrustions. They settled my 4 Cr. Cards. I have 3 more  left. You have to trust them and co-operate them then you will see the results. Their name and Phone Nos.
      are Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC  Phone No.800-957-6332
      web. add.www.Legalhelpers.com    I hope this information will help you and solve
      your problem.

      Mac from N.J.

    • MAHENDRA BRAHMBHATT

      I joined LHDR in 2009. I like their programme. I was paying a minimum about $1300.00 a month of all my Credit Cards. LHDR  Sr. Financial Consultant Ms.
      Agatha Zeer explain me the programme. If you find her any way try to contact her. She is very helpful, smart, intelligent where you can trust. In the beginning of the
      programme some portion of the money goest towards their fees. and other money
      goes to your Bank A/c for your settlement fund. Once you have enough available
      fund they will start negotiating with creditors. But you have to follow their all the
      instrustions. They settled my 4 Cr. Cards. I have 3 more  left. You have to trust them and co-operate them then you will see the results. Their name and Phone Nos.
      are Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC  Phone No.800-957-6332
      web. add.www.Legalhelpers.com    I hope this information will help you and solve
      your problem.

      Mac from N.J.

  • http://damonday.com Damon Day

    Hello John,

    When I refer to a front loaded fee model, I am referring to a debt settlement program that charges all of their fees before most or all of the settlements are done. For instance, say they want to enroll you on a 48 month plan (which is an entirely different problem as well) but they want to collect a majority or all of their fees over only 18 or 24 months. That is a front loaded fee model because the fees are loaded into the front half of the program.

    There are many problems for consumers with this. The first and most obvious is that if you pay all of your fees upfront, you have much less money available to settle your debts with the creditors. The longer you wait to settle your debts, the more likely you are to be sued.

    The second problem is what protection do you have if this settlement company goes out of business in 12 months, or is not providing you the service that the sales guy was promising to you? You have no recourse, if they already have all of their money, you are simply stuck in a no win situation. If they go out of business, then you are really in trouble.

    The bottom line is to tell the sales guy to put his money where his mouth is. If they are so confident in this great outcome they are going to provide, then why do they insist on getting paid first, before you can witness the reality of what is going to happen 3 and 4 years down the road?

    It is simple, if they front load their fees, hang up the phone. That is all you need to know.

    • Question

      Do you work for free? When you hire a contractor do you not pay them anything until all the work is done? Most i talk to want 1/3 down. Have you gone to Target taken a coffee maker home to see how it works prior to paying for it? That is called theft where i live. Think about this, some people not all but some who are in debt have not made payments, if a company did the work and lowered the debt what says the people who didn’t pay in the first place will pay them?

      • Anonymous

        what’s the difference between a tangible product vs a promised service?

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Typical sales person argument. I am sorry you are afraid of losing your cash cow, but it is inevitable at this point. Yes in a perfect world I agree that a legitimate settlement company should be able to charge a reasonable retainer and then get paid as they perform the work.

        However because of greedy rip off programs like Legal Helpers and the hundreds like them who enrolled anyone with a payment and a pulse and were systematically destroying consumers lives, the FTC finally stepped in and just put a blanket ban on upfront fees. You want to blame someone, then blame the board of TASC and USOBA. They screwed you, I am just educating you as to why you got screwed.

        Lets use your example against you. A contractor may want a percentage down, but he doesn’t get the rest of the money until certain points in the job and the customer approves the work. He doesn’t get paid all of it until he is completely done and the customer then again approves the overall job. How many consumers hired a scam contractor, paid the money upfront and then the contractor never showed or performed sub par work and then bailed after getting all their money? Get my point?

        How is that not the same as a settlement company who puts a client on a 4 year plan and then collects all of the money in less than 2 years? Not very many settlements are going to happen those first two years, so the client is just taking it on faith that the sales guy was forthright. Anyone want to place that bet in Vegas?

        Please come back in and share if you can actually think of a valid benefit for a consumer to pay all the fees upfront and just sit and wait to get sued. I would be happy to help.

      • Taken for a ride by LHDR

        This is a funny point, obviously made from someone at Legal Helpers. I just did $2,000 worth of website work for them and they’ve now decided to pay me LESS THAN HALF than what is owed for the work that was done. You’re right, Legal Helpers Debt Resolution – that IS theft.

        Quote”Do you work for free? When you hire a contractor do you not pay them anything until all the work is done? Most i talk to want 1/3 down. Have you gone to Target taken a coffee maker home to see how it works prior to paying for it? That is called theft where i live. Think about this, some people not all but some who are in debt have not made payments, if a company did the work and lowered the debt what says the people who didn’t pay in the first place will pay them?”

        Well, LHDR, I DID work for free, apparently. See their website? That’s all my work. Oh, by the way, they’re also over at USADebtprofessionals.com. Buyer beware.

        I’ll be contacting my attorney tomorrow.

    • Karen Peters

      This is very true I have researched this myself, I spoke to a steve at Blue-Pencil debt solutions and asked him if they are so good why not take their fees after they settle. He actually told me that they have the ability to do that, its called there traditional model where I am not charged a cent until the debt is settled. He also told me that with my high amount of debt (which was 40k btw) that I might be prone to legal action and he recommended that I go with the legal model that does take their fees during the first half of the program but if I should be sued I will be represented by an attorney and the legal model has a guarantee. After much debating I decided to go with the legal model , and I could not be HAPPIER I was actually Sued and the lawyers took care of me without a hitch (that account is actually settled at 35% might I add) and I only have one more debt left. I highly recommend talking to Steve at blue-pencil debt solutions

      • Cmchel3

        Hi Karen, They are taking me for a ride too! Iam in debt 40.000 and sounds like Iam in the same boat as you. I dont know what to do. After reading what you wrote Iam gonna call Steve at blue-pencil debt solutions. Maybe they’ll help me out.  Thanks again…

  • John

    Damon Day what does front loaded fee model mean?
    And way is it not good for consumers.

    Thanks, John

  • http://damonday.com Damon Day

    Legal Helpers is a typical front loaded fee model debt settlement company and that is not good for consumers under any circumstances. I wouldn’t recommend them.

    • Michael Sorenson

      Should I contact you to help me instead with my 35k problem? The reason I ask is because I noticed you’re a sponsor on Steve’s website. Seems like you guys have this circle going round and round to benefit you both. Not sure why I should trust you.

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Hey Michael,

        The short answer is yes. If you are in debt and want honest and straight forward information, you should contact me. If you don’t trust me you could of course contact a commissioned based debt relief sales person instead for free. I am not a sponsor of this site and I don’t pay Steve anything for the referrals. So you might ask yourself what would compel Steve to refer consumers to me if he doesn’t get compensated for it?

        Frankly, the best and least expensive thing a consumer in debt can do is schedule a consult with me. (Biased advice I know, but true all the same)

        http://getoutofdebt.org/Damon-Day

  • CMS

    Legal Helpers Debt Resolution is not registered with the State of Utah Department of Commerce. It is not legal for them to work with citizens of the State of Utah.

    • PRINCE

      THAT IS NOT TRUE, LEGAL HELPERS DEBT RESOLUTION AS OF THIS DATE IS LICENSED IN ALL 50 STATES TO DO BUSINESS. THEY ARE ALSO IN EVERY STATES BAR ASSOCIATION TO DO BUSINESS.

      • CMS

        I can only recommend that anyone in Utah who is thinking of doing business with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution call the Department of Commerce to check for themselves. When I called I was told they were not registered with the State of Utah. It appears that the attorney who is listed on the letterhead is a bankruptcy attorney.

      • Blahblahblah

        They are a bankruptcy attorney that has a sector for debt resolution. They are actually trying to help clients avoid bankruptcy, even though that is what their firm does. Seems pretty legitimate to me.

      • Asenath

        Firms that are trying to help people do not have “F” ratings with the BB, nor do they make most of their money through the sale of “leads” (client information, including annual income, and in some cases social security numbers) to “affiliates” (every guy who wants to purchase the leads for whatever reason).

      • CAD

        Boy do you not have your facts straight. The people you deal with are NOT attorneys or not even para legals. They are first to tell you. When I asked to speak with an attorney they said they had attorney’s but they are not for the debt resolution area. Further more they can’t give legal advice because they are not attorneys. They are only workers. They leave you to deal with courts (and you DO get sued) and when you ask why they are not working for you they tell you that your account doesn’t have enough money and could you send them money to negotiate with this creditor. Then you say what is happening to the money I am paying you and they tell you that out of the 483.00 only 151.00 is going to your account and the difference is their accounting fees. At this rate, I will NEVER have enough money in my account to even pay one creditor unless I give them addtional thousands of dollars they keep asking me for. I keep telling them that if I had the thousands of dollars I would not have needed them. They come back and say they can’t negotiate for me then. What they say verablly and what you sign is totally different. I was called a liar because they went through it with me. If they’d been totally up front with me WHY would I be giving them 300.00 plus dollars a month full well knowing they would not collect enough money to pay any of my debt. I have made this mistake and 20 20 hind sight can’t help me, but maybe I can stop someone else from making this mistake. They are all them same. Legal Helpers may have an attorney, but it will be a cold day, when they help you. No attorney talked to me even when I wanted to talk bankruptcy. They get around the legal laws each state by having a list of bankruptcy attorneys in each state. As far as helping a person from filing bankruptcy it is a farce. They may be in a grey area to be legitimate, but far from honest legitimate. They take advantage of people only to help their own bottom line. The credit cards companies do not even get their money so why not file a BK and be done with it. I’m there so I am talking from experience. I should have filed and saved myself money even if I orginally wanted to pay something to my creditors. CAD

      • Morales_gabriela18

        A very similar case happened to me and my family …. they did not explained the fees up fron tand at the end ended up getting sued by the banks… when we asked legal helpers tohelp us they said they couldn’t represent us becausbe they were not real lawyers … to show up in court and give them a call back let them now what the judge had decidedand see what they can do about it?… me and my family are thinking of going to Lisa medigans office for help since she actually sued LHDR on March the 2nd…. what would u recommend us to do?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Find an attorney licensed in your state and seek their legal advice on how to deal with the creditors at this point.

      • Janermom

        CAD

        You are correct and I agree with your assessment of Legal Helpers. It is a total scam and a major money maker for someone other than the creditors. I also asked to speak to a lawyer when received court legal action. They stalled and finally became belligerent on the phone. This confirmed my suspicion they were a scam, so I filed bankruptcy and lost over $7000.00 to these people.

      • Debhibbert

        I agree! The same exact things happened to us! We are in a bancruptcy right now and are no longer dealing with them!

      • guest

         Are you sure?  Please check with your own State Attorney General first.
        Sounds like Prince is from Legal Helpless :(

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