Latest Posts
Home > Rate and Review > Debt Settlement Companies > FBL Associates – Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise?

FBL Associates – Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise?

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

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

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

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

FBL Associates   Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise?
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

Would you recommend FBL Associates to others?

View Results

FBL Associates   Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise? Loading ...
FBL Associates - Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise? by

Share This and Spread the Word

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.
  • Gdacres2003

    flb has done nothing for us i just found the info that they are filing chapter11. they toke our case from lifeguard and did nothing.all the fees were collected. lifeguard settled claims and then when flb got our account they did not communicate. i will file with the state of florida

  • attyatlaw

    As an attorney who has GOTTEN OUT THE CONTRACT AND READ IT, it clearly states “FLB Associates, PC has over 100 non attorney employees who are available to assist the client with the successful completion of the program”.  The program is a debt settlement program.  Maybe you should get out the contract and read it, and then have one of the lawyers at the “firm” write the contract so it doesn’t lead to the lawsuits about to be filed.

  • DebJ

    This is a lie. I signed up on a 24 mont agreement with Lifeguard Financial/FBL Associates. I was led to believe they worked similar to a Credit Counselor and that in 24 months my accounts would be paid in full. I just fullfilled my 24 month agreement and not one of my accounts have been paid at all. I have requested all money that I have paid to be sent back to me since in my opinion FBL breached their contract with me by not settling my accounts. The accounts I had were with banks FBL claims to have the best success with, (Bank of America, Chase, etc.) All I have received was 2 garnishments being served on me and FBL now telling me they are not obligated to offer legal assistance to me. This was also part of the agreement I signed. So far I haven’t had a response on how much of my money I will receive back from FBL. This is what I have experience since I signed with them. They are not good at responding to phone calls, emails or faxes. I have tried all three. And no! No one ever took the time to cover everything in the contract with me. All he wanted was for me to sign the agreement and get his feels.

    I feel I have been taken advantage of. I don’t care what you want to call it and I will tell anyone who will listen to my story if it saves them from making the same mistake I made. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life but this is definitely the worst.

    PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP WITH FBL ASSOCIATES! YOUR CREDIT WILL BE RUINED AND YOU WILL REGRET IT.

  • Find A Theraphist

    I cant believe that any company change them behavior after or before join that particular company or become a client of that company.Because In Counseling service I am not face that think so I don’t think that happen in debt relief company also.Thanks for sharing this type of feedback.

  • https://www.thecounselorconnection.com/ Find A Theraphist

    I cant believe that any company change them behavior after or before join that particular company or become a client of that company.Because In Counseling service I am not face that think so I don’t think that happen in debt relief company also.Thanks for sharing this type of feedback.

  • Thecounselorconnection

    I cant believe that any company change them behavior after or before join that particular company or become a client of that company.Because In Counseling service I am not face that think so I don’t think that happen in debt relief company also.Thanks for sharing this type of feedback.

  • Thecounselorconnection

    I cant believe that any company change them behavior after or before join that particular company or become a client of that company.Because In Counseling service I am not face that think so I don’t think that happen in debt relief company also.Thanks for sharing this type of feedback.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Kent- Were willing, if it makes sense at this point, to place you in our program. Because of your situation (bilked by FBL) we can reduce our fee by 66% to 10% of savings AT settlement. Its the ONLY fee we charge. Contact me if you like.

    Sean
    Active-Debt.com

  • Steve Rhode

    I suggest you immediately start following my process on How to Get Out of a Debt Relief Program and Get a Big Refund.

  • Kent

    I just got ROBBED ! after paying 17 payments and only 2 remaining, the CC companies froze all my accounts telling me that they were NEVER contacted by FBL and when I called them, they tell me to “go ahead and cancel us” and they were not giving any of my money back!!!!! SCAM SCAM SCAM I hope you all go to hell, how can you do this to people in “need of help”.

  • Kent

    I just got ROBBED ! after paying 17 payments and only 2 remaining, the CC companies froze all my accounts telling me that they were NEVER contacted by FBL and when I called them, they tell me to “go ahead and cancel us” and they were not giving any of my money back!!!!! SCAM SCAM SCAM I hope you all go to hell, how can you do this to people in “need of help”.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I suggest you immediately start following my process on How to Get Out of a Debt Relief Program and Get a Big Refund.

    • Anonymous

      Kent- Were willing, if it makes sense at this point, to place you in our program. Because of your situation (bilked by FBL) we can reduce our fee by 66% to 10% of savings AT settlement. Its the ONLY fee we charge. Contact me if you like.

      Sean
      Active-Debt.com

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    FL Bar- 866-352-0707

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Call the PA or FL Bar & complain. Call the processing company that ACH’s your monthly $. Good Luck.

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    Why does PatriiaCleary keep saying “FBL IS A LAW FIRM, NOT A DEBT SETTLEMENT CO” then you explain that FBL is who settles the debts? That IS confusing!

  • SeanDSLegalPlan

    If you get 2.5%, the affiliate got 12%… That left .5% for the actual settlement company?????????? Well, no wonder they quit.

  • Abner Ruiz

    This company is completely unprofessional. Their customer service is extremely poor and a total rip off. Because of the lack of customer service and multiple errors I have asked that my account be closed. They are in the process of closing out my account;according to them it should be closed by february 1st. This process was ok, but I have made 5 payments to this account and they are saying that they gave me $124 back which was in my trust account. I specifically told the person I spoke to by the name of Fritz, that no the money that I received was a payment in december that I requested them not to take out, which was part of the services with this company. Well…to my dismay they took out the money…and when they refunded the money back they took 80 dollars in fees. This was not my fault. But this company is very quick to say that I can be sued. This came directly from this idiot named FRITZ. Do not do business with this company. Their employees lack tact and customer service. They are very condescending. I want all my money back!!!!!!!. That means that the 5 payments that I have made went directly to fees to this “company”? I find this appauling and I am filing a claim with the Attorney’s Generals office and the Better Business Bureau.

  • Abner Ruiz

    This company is completely unprofessional. Their customer service is extremely poor and a total rip off. Because of the lack of customer service and multiple errors I have asked that my account be closed. They are in the process of closing out my account;according to them it should be closed by february 1st. This process was ok, but I have made 5 payments to this account and they are saying that they gave me $124 back which was in my trust account. I specifically told the person I spoke to by the name of Fritz, that no the money that I received was a payment in december that I requested them not to take out, which was part of the services with this company. Well…to my dismay they took out the money…and when they refunded the money back they took 80 dollars in fees. This was not my fault. But this company is very quick to say that I can be sued. This came directly from this idiot named FRITZ. Do not do business with this company. Their employees lack tact and customer service. They are very condescending. I want all my money back!!!!!!!. That means that the 5 payments that I have made went directly to fees to this “company”? I find this appauling and I am filing a claim with the Attorney’s Generals office and the Better Business Bureau.

  • Lmbnprov

    Interesting enough that is not the way it was presented to me. When I signed up they told me it was with fbl ASSOCIATES. I asked to speak to a supervisor when deciding whether or not to choose this company and the gentleman got on the phone and Identified himself as …. and said he was a lawyer with FBL! Clearly I was scammed!

  • Lmbnprov

    Your company is the biggest joke in the world! I have been screwed by them and I am going to sue them. I was given erronous information when I began your program and have spent a year dodging my creditors and now you have almost 10,000 dollars of my money and I am about to loose every thing that i have worked 40 years for. I could have put my money away in my own savings accounts and done a better job than your company has done! I am paying 850 a month towards the program and after 1 year have a mere 2,600 in reserves. Really!! Have done nothing for me at all and I will prevail!

  • Lmbnprov

    This company is the biggest joke in the world. I have been paying 850 a month for a year and they disclosed to me the other day that I only have 2,600 in my reserves. out of the 850 only 260 is going to my reserves the rest is going to my “fees”. I was told the fees would only be $49 per month. I am in the process of hiring a lawyer to do some investigation into this companies practices and possibly suing them to get my money back!~ STAY AWAY its a SCAM!

  • Lmbnprov

    This company is the biggest joke in the world. I have been paying 850 a month for a year and they disclosed to me the other day that I only have 2,600 in my reserves. out of the 850 only 260 is going to my reserves the rest is going to my “fees”. I was told the fees would only be $49 per month. I am in the process of hiring a lawyer to do some investigation into this companies practices and possibly suing them to get my money back!~ STAY AWAY its a SCAM!

    • Anonymous

      FL Bar- 866-352-0707

  • Jaime

    Hey John

    My case is very similar to your mother’s. I stop teh program since got sued by Chase, and they are suggesting me to go Bankrupt.

    I paid almos $2500 and FBL only recognize $450 dollar towards my bankruptcy process. Where the rest of the money went??Ii have no clue.

    At this point i think is the only exit, my credit is damaged, nothing to do.

    If you find a way to recovre the money please let me know!!

    [email protected]

  • Johnc

    Hello,
    My mother signed up with this co about a year ago and up until recently she stopped the company from withdrawig funds from her acct monthly. They were deducting $250.00 per month from her bank acct and claimed $50 of that were processing fees and the rest went into a secure acct so once this co setlled the debt amount these funds would be used. Now she was told out of the $2500 deducted in the last year $400 is in her acct.

    Is this a scam? all phone numbers lead nowhere. How do we get her money back?

  • Johnc

    Hello,
    My mother signed up with this co about a year ago and up until recently she stopped the company from withdrawig funds from her acct monthly. They were deducting $250.00 per month from her bank acct and claimed $50 of that were processing fees and the rest went into a secure acct so once this co setlled the debt amount these funds would be used. Now she was told out of the $2500 deducted in the last year $400 is in her acct.

    Is this a scam? all phone numbers lead nowhere. How do we get her money back?

  • Thatguy

    No one settles the debt. They sent out an email marketing campagin saying they’ve settled over 31 million in debt. Funny thing is that they take in double of that every month and have been doing this for how many years? Lets have them show true numbers for debt taken in vs. what has been settled.

  • Steve Rhode

    Sorry to disappoint. I think if you go back and look at what I have said you will find that my position is that it is easy for consumers to believe that FBL is their debt settlement company. In another comment I published this document from FBL which certainly makes FBL look like typical settlement provider.

    Ultimately it is the confusion of the consumers that really matter and the predominance of comments from individual consumers and clients seems to indicate they believe FBL Associates is their settlement company and not just a piecemeal provider of a larger multi-party solution.

    So if ESP is not a debt settlement company as Patricia states and FBL Associates is not a debt settlement company, who is the debt settlement company?

    Steve

  • SUZANNEM

    steve, I know that you have had several conversations and information sent to you from fbl on how the firm operates. You should at this point have a understanding after everything that has been given to you that fbl is NOT IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM a debt settlement company. FBL works on the software and with attorneys across the country to settle ligation accounts and with the software on non ligation accounts ( people being sued go to an attorney in their state to handle the client and the suit). Im dissappointed that you are not going off of all the information sent to you and i feel are being very bias depending on who you are addressing. You have everything on how fbl is set up and it was explained to you in detail. VERY DISSAPPOINTED.

  • SUZANNEM

    steve, I know that you have had several conversations and information sent to you from fbl on how the firm operates. You should at this point have a understanding after everything that has been given to you that fbl is NOT IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM a debt settlement company. FBL works on the software and with attorneys across the country to settle ligation accounts and with the software on non ligation accounts ( people being sued go to an attorney in their state to handle the client and the suit). Im dissappointed that you are not going off of all the information sent to you and i feel are being very bias depending on who you are addressing. You have everything on how fbl is set up and it was explained to you in detail. VERY DISSAPPOINTED.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Sorry to disappoint. I think if you go back and look at what I have said you will find that my position is that it is easy for consumers to believe that FBL is their debt settlement company. In another comment I published this document from FBL which certainly makes FBL look like typical settlement provider.

      Ultimately it is the confusion of the consumers that really matter and the predominance of comments from individual consumers and clients seems to indicate they believe FBL Associates is their settlement company and not just a piecemeal provider of a larger multi-party solution.

      So if ESP is not a debt settlement company as Patricia states and FBL Associates is not a debt settlement company, who is the debt settlement company?

      Steve

      • Thatguy

        No one settles the debt. They sent out an email marketing campagin saying they’ve settled over 31 million in debt. Funny thing is that they take in double of that every month and have been doing this for how many years? Lets have them show true numbers for debt taken in vs. what has been settled.

    • Anonymous

      Why does PatriiaCleary keep saying “FBL IS A LAW FIRM, NOT A DEBT SETTLEMENT CO” then you explain that FBL is who settles the debts? That IS confusing!

  • Steve Rhode

    I agree. I read that document, now preserved here and it certainly appears as if FBL Associates was running a debt settlement program rather than just acting as a small wheel in the process.

    The document referenced says, “WHILE YOU ARE USING THE PROGRAM or services, late fees, penalties and interest will continue to accrue on your debt until the creditors accept a settlement offer and settlement is paid, however, it is our goal to settle your debt off the original amount at the time of entry into the program.

    WHILE YOU ARE USING THE PROGRAM OR SERVICES, the creditors may raise the interest rates on your debt. It is our goal and expectation to reduce or eliminate these interest rate increases during the settlement process.

    FBL ASSOCIATES, PC DOES NOT make monthly payments to your creditors on a monthly basis. A payment is only made to the creditor in a lump sum at the time that the negotiated settlement is reached.”

    The last statement is interesting because FBL Associates doesn’t say they are not a debt settlement company, they say they pay the creditor when a settlement is reached.

    The way the FBL disclosure statement reads, certainly appears to be from the point of view of a settlement company and not an ancillary provider.

    Steve

  • Lifeguard/FBL

    Steve-Look at Joe Debt Jr’s .pdf file a few posts up. That clearly states that FBL has the clients and is doing the settlements, written from them…come on.

  • Lifeguard/FBL

    I was a branch with Lifeguard and I can confrim via e-mail that FBL supposedly bought out Lifeguard Financial. Frank Lindner has bragged many times that he had a milllion invested. I am sure it is not true. They are all one in the same group with different names on corporations to try to protect themselves.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    just for giggles Mrs. Cleary, do you instruct your clients to call ESP Software for legal advice regarding their harrassing phone calls made by their creditors? Who takes those calls?

  • Joe_debt_jr

    Mr. Cleary, thats exactly what I pointed out early, that these clients that initially signs up with the ESP Software is stuck with 6 different contract from 6 different entities and the only 2 entities that has access to client information regarding their debt settlement plan would be the marketing company and FBL. ESP is a software, and FBL is there to be customer support to the software aswell am I right or am I wrong? Clients cannot call Noteworld to discuss issues with their creditors. Clients cannot call Global Logistic(DAAN Module) for advice, Clients cannot contact National Asset Exchange(debt buyers) about their cases too aswell unless they are willing to invest in their hedge funds. You are now confusing me too, so now I can see why the consumers that signed up with your affiliated companies are super confused aswell.

  • Steve Rhode

    Patricia, now I’m confused. You previously said “In addition to this confusion, clients were told by the affiliate company that sold them the program and signed the contract with them that FBL does the debt settlements. They also told the clients that FBL took all their money every month and did nothing. They also told the client that FBL was paid the fees so FBL have to refund your money. All these statements were false. The affiliate company that signed the clients up and signed the contract took 12% of the 15% fees that the client was charged. Allot of the affiliate companies closed when the debt settlement laws changed. Each time the law changes, more settlement companies close and abandon clients. FBL is stuck holding the bad, stuck with the bad reputation, stuck with clients”

    But now it seems you are saying the affiliates that sold the consumer are still in business. Can you please clarify?

  • Patriciacleary

    The Marketing Company closed. The affiliate they signed with still open, the software (ESP) they purchased use of still exists, the law firm for legal issues still exists, and the escrow account the escrow company still exists.

  • Patriciacleary

    I affiliate that sold them the program is still in business. They entered into a Lifeguard contract with another company. That company they signed the contract with still exists.

  • Steve Rhode

    Agreed.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    Steve, back in April 20th this year you already mentioned how confusing their enrollment was. The consumer had to sign 6 different contract. 1. with marketing company(now out of business) 2. Noteworld Servicing 3. Global Logistic (phone diverter) 4. FBL Associates 5. ESP Software 6) National Asset Exchange(debt buyers) . So if the client reads their contract like Ms. Cleary keeps instructing to do again, there is only 2 entities that has access to the clients account and knows the details of it is the main company they signed up or FBL Associates. So if the main company is now out of business than its only FBL left to answer the complaints. So that is not fair to consumer to point blame at them as if they do not understand a contract. What a nightmare this ESP and FBL is causing.

  • Steve Rhode

    Patricia,

    I’ve been watching the comments and conversation here and it is clear you are passionate about what you do. Nobody could doubt that from reading your comments.

    And I get the technical points you are making but the problem here is that the sales agents that misled clients are gone and consumers have nobody to vent to other than the person currently holding their account. The servicer will get an earful and with the agent gone, consumer complaints are going to go against anyone still taking money from the consumer and continuing the situation.

    That does not make it an attack against you, it’s just the way these things work out.

    One interesting point is if the agent has gone out of business then the contract with the consumer would be effectively void if the agreement was with the agent. That is unless the contract the agent sold is for an entity still in business. In that case the bad acts of the agents are the liability of the company still benefiting from or party to the contract. The agent represents and is an extension of the company.

    Steve

  • Joe_debt_jr

    Ms. Cleary, you mentioned you are not a debt settlement company, I get it. But what is confusing now is your companies disclosures FBL wrote on the first line: YOU MUST UNDERSTAND
    WHILE YOU ARE USING THE PROGRAM or services, late fees, penalties and interest will continue to accrue on your debt until the creditors accept a settlement offer and settlement is paid, however, it is “our goal to settle your debt off the original amount” at the time of entry into the program. Source: http://www.fblassociates.com/d… Wonder if that was an old version not updated yet? Just thought i bring.

  • Patriciacleary

    Joe, We took over handling the legal issues only, not the debt settlement. If a client is sued by a creditor then it goes to our office to handle. If the creditor does not sue then the only involvement we have is to get the creditor to sign into the software that your settlement offer is generated from to accept the settlement, reject the settlement offer put in a counter-offer. We help the client with the software or help the creditor with the software but we absolutely can not for any reason be a mediator between creditor and debtor. We can not do the negotiating of the settlement that is done through the software. If there is a lawsuit filed by the creditor our attorneys negotiate a settlement with the creditor’s attorney. Yes, you would need a contract that states that FBL is settling the debts for you and made that promise to you. There would never be such a contract since the law firm is not permitted to act in that capacity. All we took over was the legal representation issues. We have legal assistance available to every client, as I stated before, whether your contract allows for representation or not, we will get you to an attorney for advice on you situation. these attorneys are retained by our firm to be available to the client for such issues. That fee paid the retainers for the attorneys to be there when the client needs to consult with them. If a client called in to our firm with a question as to what to do, such as yours above, I would refer him/her to the attorney in their state to answer that question. The answer to that question constitutes legal advice which I am not authorized to give out since I am a paralegal, not a licensed attorney in their state. However, I could ask the attorney the question and relay the answer from the attorney to the client word for word. If the client receives a collection letter or demand letter as you have above, they would need to send it into our office so we could get the cr4diotr to sign into the software and offer a settlement or accept the one generated by the software for the client. If they have a question as to an offer of settlement (i.e., Should I accept it? Is that a good settlement for this debt/creditor?), then I would refer them to the attorney in their state to get legal advice from. If the client is served, then that summons and complaint needs to be faxed to FBL so that we can assign an attorney to that case who would be able to advise the client, represent the client and negotiate settlement of the lawsuit. The number they call gives the option of choosing who you need to speak with depending on your situation. Client choose option 3 (Legal) because, they do not want to sit on hold or can not get someone on the phone or always gets voice-mail. Our law firm answers the calls when they come in on that line so clients are getting a real person trying to help them. As soon as a client get someone on the phone in our office, regardless of the fact that they are calling the wrong department for their issues, they know if they call the legal department someone will answer the phone. When the legal department can not help the client with their issue or even attempt to help with an issue and it does not get resolved by the proper department, client’s only remember that they spoke with FBL, they assumed FBL was working on their problem even when told that FBL does not handle that problem and will forward it to the correct department to take care of. Client’s praise you for being the only one to answer the phone and assist them, even when it is not an issue that FBL handles. They then turn around and bash you for not fixing the problem. The next thing you know, they forgot all about the company they signed up with and start making statements about FBL that are simply not true (i.e., FBL stole my money and did not settle my debts, FBL did not resolve my payment issue, FBL would not help me with my settlements). The client has now decided that FBL is the settlement company because we attempted to get the clients problem resolved by forwarding the problem to the correct department to handle.
    I am compassionate with the clients and their situation. I am more than aware of how scared clients are when they get threatened with a lawsuit or are actually sued since most of the clients I have dealt with have never been sued and know nothing about what is involved. I am compassionate with all the clients I speak with everyday. I agree it is not their fault that they trusted someone to help them and feel that they were not helped. But at the same time, they are very confused as to what their contract states and what they actually enrolled in. I also understand this as well because they were called by a telemarketer who told them they could settle all their debts for less than they owe, the telemarketer explained the program to the client in general. Clients trusted these people to help them because they wanted someone to help them out of their situation. The problem is that, if they were misinformed anything by the telemarketer, the correct information is in the contract they signed. Clients did not read the contract that was sent to them, they just signed it. They assumed that they were being told everything and they put their trust in someone who called them and spoke with them once on the telephone. They signed a contract with total stranger over the internet and did not read it and then blame/slander FBL because they did not read what they were signing with the debt settlement program. That scares me. I do my very best to help clients anyway I can. My biggest problem is that when I do get to help a client and help them correctly, they do not understand that I get 100 calls from clients a day. They want me to fix it when they want it done. If I do not get to call back a client for a day or two, they act as if I am deliberately not responding to them. They forget that they are not the only ones in the debt settlement program ad that I am only one person. I have clients who will only speak with me because I help them in any way I can. I work after hours to speak with clients from my home EVERY night, I give my clients my cell number so that if they need to reach me after hours on on weekends about a problem, they can. I review the clients accounts daily and contact them to let them know exactly what needs to be done. I tell the clients the truth and the facts. It may not be what they want to hear and I have to listen to them scream at me for their accounts not being settled. I do it because I genuinely want to help them. If it makes them feel better to scream at me and get it off their chest then I let them. Afterward I discuss ways that we can get the issues resolved and the accounts settled, I also inform clients of all their options with these creditors. Can you imagine what my work day entails? I have the pleasure of fixing the “nightmare” as you put it.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    I completely understand Ms.Cleary on your role and FBL roles. I also understand your point when you had stated that you guys were hired to take over accounts from the failing pre-paid ordeal. However, since you had mentioned that LifeGuard has closed down, it forced your firm to hired them as customer service support. What I don’t understand is that you are stating that the customers aren’t comprehending or admitting as to who is responsible for their case since they had never originally signed a contract with you, but let’s get real here? Do they really need a contract from you since you already agreed to take on these contracts that was transferred by Pre-Paid legal? You also admitted you guys are collecting 2.5% of the clients 15% that was paid so technically aren’t they entitled to the same support that they originally signed with the marketing company? If you are not taking responsibility for this than why are you getting paid 2.5%? What are you being paid for? It’s like me having a firm and I go out and tell another entity that I am willing to service all the clients that they currently have and help resolve any issues they have, but once all those clients are transferred over to my firm and there are issues with a client, I’ll just tell the client, look you did not sign a contract with us, but if you do need legal representation we will provide one for you. In your statement “FBL only received 2.5% of the fees that are charged to clients. This 2.5% is for constant legal advice and/or representation by an attorney to all the clients enrolled in the program.” So let’s recap, you made it clear that you are not a debt settlement company and you do not settle clients debt, that is understood. EsP software does that for the client. Now suppose a client calls in and ask you a question like, would you recommend me to offer a creditor this much amount? How would you answer that? Or, if a creditor sends a notice that they are taking legal actions if the client does not resolve the debt within the next 20 days, what advice will you tell the client? A.)Don’t do anything, wait until you get sued first than we will step in and represent you. B.)Give client a recommended offering back to the letter if client has sufficient funds available to settle? C.) Tell the client to call the company that shutdown for help. Bottom line is this the consumer is scared, worried and being harassed and when they call a number that they were given, it is directed straight to your office, so instead of telling them that they need to read their contract, why not be compassionate with them since it’s not their fault that the company they put trust in for help which is the same company you guys partnered up with and receiving 2.5% fees for it and find a resolution to put resolve the matter and calm them down. Can you agree you guys taken on nightmare case with ESP?

  • Bulb

    Ms. Cleary,

    I have no horse in this race. I am not questioning the veracity of your statements on this site.

    My only comment for now is:

    You made your bed.

  • Patriciacleary

    Joe, here is the problem. There are three separate issues that clients refuse to comprehend or admit no matter how many times they are told and I will explain why. There were 3 companies: ESP (The Debt Settlement Software Creators), Lifeguard (A Marketing Company for the Debt Settlement Software) and Pre-Paid Legal to assist clients with legal issues with the creditors they enrolled in the ESP software settlement program. Pre-Paid Legal did not work out so another pre-paid law firm was brought in to assist clients with legal issues. That company also did not work out and were replaced in 11/2009 with FBL Associates who by the way did not officially take over until the middle of February 2010. FBL took on the role to help clients with legal issues and to get them an attorney for representation if their contract allowed for such representation. Lifeguard had affiliates all over the country who employed telemarketers to call consumers and get them to enroll in the debt settlement software program. These affiliates are the actual companies that signed the contracts with the consumer and received the fees that the consumer pays per their contract. FBL only received 2.5% of the fees that are charged to clients. This 2.5% is for constant legal advice and/or representation by an attorney to all the clients enrolled in the program. FBL created their own pre-paid legal network across the country and clients have the legal resources available to them at all times even if their contract does not allow for legal representation by an attorney. Client’s with a contract that does not provide them legal representation have access to state attorneys for legal advice and can hire the attorney themselves at a significantly reduced fee. The confusion comes in when Lifeguard shut down. They closed their doors and left the clients with no one to turn to except the affiliate they signed up with and FBL Associates. In order to assist the clients, FBL was forced to hire the employees from Lifeguard as a customer service team to assist clients when they called with questions about the software and settlement offers. FBL did not become a marketing company. They are a law firm. Therefore when Lifeguard closed its doors, it no longer existed. Lifeguard did not change it’s name to FBL and could not just become a law firm since they were never a law firm before. FBL was left holding the bag and did the right thing by attempting to help these clients instead of leaving them abandoned. Lifeguard was located in Florida, when they went out of business, FBL opened an office in Florida to make it easier for the clients. When it did not work out and FBL began getting the slack as the settlement company (which they were not), FBL moved it’s firm to Pennsylvania and continues to act only in the capacity of legal assistance to the clients of the software program ESP. Clients, for whatever reason, got this idea that FBL was Lifeguard and a debt settlement company. FBL IS NOT. I truly believe that the only reason that clients think this is because when you dialed the main number, it gave you choices, press 1 for customer services, press 2 for settlements, press 3 for legal (which dialed directly to the law firm FBL), clients could never get through to client services or any other option or they waited on hold for longer then they wanted to so they pressed option 3 and when the law firm answered right away and tried to help the client with their problem, the client assumed they called the settlement company because FBL answered the number they dialed. They kept calling the legal option because FBL was the only ones who answered their phones every time the client called. In addition to this confusion, clients were told by the affiliate company that sold them the program and signed the contract with them that FBL does the debt settlements. They also told the clients that FBL took all their money every month and did nothing. They also told the client that FBL was paid the fees so FBL have to refund your money. All these statements were false. The affiliate company that signed the clients up and signed the contract took 12% of the 15% fees that the client was charged. Allot of the affiliate companies closed when the debt settlement laws changed. Each time the law changes, more settlement companies close and abandon clients. FBL is stuck holding the bad, stuck with the bad reputation, stuck with clients (most of who by the way never even read their contracts before or after signing) bad mouthing and blaming FBL when in fact FBL is the only one who tried to help the clients. Once the clients started bad mouthing FBL, it became easier and easier for the company the client signed with to let the blame fall on FBL. The ones who signed these clients and then abandoned them, changed their numbers, refuse to answer calls, giver false information to clients are also angry at FBL every time FBL sets the record straight or explains the program to the client properly because they then look like the bad guys and the crooks who mislead or lied or omitted information in order to close a sale and make money. Not all of these companies work this way in fact I have come across several who are very honorable and do assist their clients. So to recap, ESP is debt settlement software for the client to use to offer settlements to creditors, Lifeguard (and Safetrust) are marketing companies, Lifeguard no longer exists, and FBL is a law firm in Pennsylvania who provides legal assistance &/or representation to ESP Software clients. We have changed our number and can no longer be reached by dialing the Lifeguard number. You must call FBL directly now.

  • fedup

    I have read my contract. So who do I contact if FBL and Associates is only a law firm and not a debt settlement company? I signed up with Lifeguard and I cannot get ahold of anyone on their 888-333-3860 number. The only people I can talk to is FBL and the poor man on the phone told me just one hour ago that he has no clue what is going on with the above mentioned number(quote). The reason every one is calling FBL is because there is no one else to call. We have all read our contracts believe me and are sick and tired of the run around. Maybe you can talk to Lifeguard for me and figure this out because I haven’t heard from them in months.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    well FBL u guys partnered up with some software that is pissing alot of people off so what do you do? Continue your partnership with ESP/P&E Solutions or cut them lose to preserve your name FBL?

  • GUEST

    FBL Associates is a law firm, not a debt settlement company. You did not sign a contract with FBL. READ YOUR CONTRACT!!!!!

  • Patriciacleary

    ESP is not a debt settlement company, it is debt settlement software. Please read the contract you signed. If you need further explanation, call our office.

  • Jbsmparalegalservice

    You are wrong!!!

  • Patriciacleary

    Do you think you could post your real name, I did? Call me at the office, I will more than happy to set the facts straight with you about your account.

  • PatriciaCleary

    When you do this, keep in mind that FBL Associates, P.C. is a law firm, not a debt settlement company and not the company you signed the contract with. GET OUT THE CONTRACT AND READ IT!!!!! You were sold Debt Settlement software from affiliates of a marketing company.

  • PatriciaCleary

    When you do this, keep in mind that FBL Associates, P.C. is a law firm, not a debt settlement company and not the company you signed the contract with. GET OUT THE CONTRACT AND READ IT!!!!! You were sold Debt Settlement software from affiliates of a marketing company.

    • fedup

      I have read my contract. So who do I contact if FBL and Associates is only a law firm and not a debt settlement company? I signed up with Lifeguard and I cannot get ahold of anyone on their 888-333-3860 number. The only people I can talk to is FBL and the poor man on the phone told me just one hour ago that he has no clue what is going on with the above mentioned number(quote). The reason every one is calling FBL is because there is no one else to call. We have all read our contracts believe me and are sick and tired of the run around. Maybe you can talk to Lifeguard for me and figure this out because I haven’t heard from them in months.

    • attyatlaw

       As an attorney who has GOTTEN OUT THE CONTRACT AND READ IT, it clearly states “FLB Associates, PC has over 100 non attorney employees who are available to assist the client with the successful completion of the program”.  The program is a debt settlement program.  Maybe you should get out the contract and read it, and then have one of the lawyers at the “firm” write the contract so it doesn’t lead to the lawsuits about to be filed. 

  • PATRICIACLEARY

    PRISCILLA,

    YOU ARE A LIAR, i NEVER CALLED YOU AND YELLED AT YOU. IN FACT YOU CONTACTED ME 30 TIMES A DAY VIA EMAIL AND PHONE. I ATTEMPTED TO HELP YOU WITH WHAT I COULD. YOU COULDN’T THANK ME ENOUGH. I HAVE NEVER HUNG UP ON YOU. YOU CALLED IN AND TOLD ME THAT YOU CALLED FLORIDA TO GET BRITTANY’S PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL. I TOLD YOU THAT SHE WORKS IN ACCOUNTING AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SETTLEMENTS AS WELL. GET YOUR STORY STRAIGHT.

  • PATRICIACLEARY

    PRISCILLA,

    YOU ARE A LIAR, i NEVER CALLED YOU AND YELLED AT YOU. IN FACT YOU CONTACTED ME 30 TIMES A DAY VIA EMAIL AND PHONE. I ATTEMPTED TO HELP YOU WITH WHAT I COULD. YOU COULDN’T THANK ME ENOUGH. I HAVE NEVER HUNG UP ON YOU. YOU CALLED IN AND TOLD ME THAT YOU CALLED FLORIDA TO GET BRITTANY’S PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL. I TOLD YOU THAT SHE WORKS IN ACCOUNTING AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SETTLEMENTS AS WELL. GET YOUR STORY STRAIGHT.

  • PC

    THAT IS A LIE! FBL DID NOT TAKE ANY CONTRACTS FOR DEBT SETTLEMENT. FBL HANDLES THE CLIENT’S LEGAL ISSUES ONLY.

  • PATRICIACLEARY

    FYI for ALL THOSE THAT DO NOT READ CONTRACTS THEY SIGN—-FBL ASSOCIATES, P.C. IS NOT THE COMPANY YOU SIGNED WITH. WE ARE A LAW FIRM NOT THE DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANY.

  • PATRICIACLEARY

    FYI for ALL THOSE THAT DO NOT READ CONTRACTS THEY SIGN—-FBL ASSOCIATES, P.C. IS NOT THE COMPANY YOU SIGNED WITH. WE ARE A LAW FIRM NOT THE DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANY.

    • Anonymous

      If you get 2.5%, the affiliate got 12%… That left .5% for the actual settlement company?????????? Well, no wonder they quit.

  • Patriciacleary

    You did not join FBL Associates!!! They are a law firm not a debt settlement company. You joined the debt settlement program with an affiliate who sold you software to settle debts on,line with the creditors. READ YOUR CONTRACT!!!!!

  • Patriciacleary

    Really, I call all my clients back. Your are a client if you are sued by a creditor. You signed on with an affiliate for debt settlement. FBL is a law firm, WE DO NOT SETTLE DEBTS. Read your contract!!!!

  • Mmichel

    I just tried to get onto the fbl associates site to see if I can find an address to send our certified letter to, but the site is “under maintenance”.

  • Mmichel

    I just tried to get onto the fbl associates site to see if I can find an address to send our certified letter to, but the site is “under maintenance”.

    • GUEST

      FBL Associates is a law firm, not a debt settlement company. You did not sign a contract with FBL. READ YOUR CONTRACT!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        well FBL u guys partnered up with some software that is pissing alot of people off so what do you do? Continue your partnership with ESP/P&E Solutions or cut them lose to preserve your name FBL?

      • Patriciacleary

        Joe, here is the problem. There are three separate issues that clients refuse to comprehend or admit no matter how many times they are told and I will explain why. There were 3 companies: ESP (The Debt Settlement Software Creators), Lifeguard (A Marketing Company for the Debt Settlement Software) and Pre-Paid Legal to assist clients with legal issues with the creditors they enrolled in the ESP software settlement program. Pre-Paid Legal did not work out so another pre-paid law firm was brought in to assist clients with legal issues. That company also did not work out and were replaced in 11/2009 with FBL Associates who by the way did not officially take over until the middle of February 2010. FBL took on the role to help clients with legal issues and to get them an attorney for representation if their contract allowed for such representation. Lifeguard had affiliates all over the country who employed telemarketers to call consumers and get them to enroll in the debt settlement software program. These affiliates are the actual companies that signed the contracts with the consumer and received the fees that the consumer pays per their contract. FBL only received 2.5% of the fees that are charged to clients. This 2.5% is for constant legal advice and/or representation by an attorney to all the clients enrolled in the program. FBL created their own pre-paid legal network across the country and clients have the legal resources available to them at all times even if their contract does not allow for legal representation by an attorney. Client’s with a contract that does not provide them legal representation have access to state attorneys for legal advice and can hire the attorney themselves at a significantly reduced fee. The confusion comes in when Lifeguard shut down. They closed their doors and left the clients with no one to turn to except the affiliate they signed up with and FBL Associates. In order to assist the clients, FBL was forced to hire the employees from Lifeguard as a customer service team to assist clients when they called with questions about the software and settlement offers. FBL did not become a marketing company. They are a law firm. Therefore when Lifeguard closed its doors, it no longer existed. Lifeguard did not change it’s name to FBL and could not just become a law firm since they were never a law firm before. FBL was left holding the bag and did the right thing by attempting to help these clients instead of leaving them abandoned. Lifeguard was located in Florida, when they went out of business, FBL opened an office in Florida to make it easier for the clients. When it did not work out and FBL began getting the slack as the settlement company (which they were not), FBL moved it’s firm to Pennsylvania and continues to act only in the capacity of legal assistance to the clients of the software program ESP. Clients, for whatever reason, got this idea that FBL was Lifeguard and a debt settlement company. FBL IS NOT. I truly believe that the only reason that clients think this is because when you dialed the main number, it gave you choices, press 1 for customer services, press 2 for settlements, press 3 for legal (which dialed directly to the law firm FBL), clients could never get through to client services or any other option or they waited on hold for longer then they wanted to so they pressed option 3 and when the law firm answered right away and tried to help the client with their problem, the client assumed they called the settlement company because FBL answered the number they dialed. They kept calling the legal option because FBL was the only ones who answered their phones every time the client called. In addition to this confusion, clients were told by the affiliate company that sold them the program and signed the contract with them that FBL does the debt settlements. They also told the clients that FBL took all their money every month and did nothing. They also told the client that FBL was paid the fees so FBL have to refund your money. All these statements were false. The affiliate company that signed the clients up and signed the contract took 12% of the 15% fees that the client was charged. Allot of the affiliate companies closed when the debt settlement laws changed. Each time the law changes, more settlement companies close and abandon clients. FBL is stuck holding the bad, stuck with the bad reputation, stuck with clients (most of who by the way never even read their contracts before or after signing) bad mouthing and blaming FBL when in fact FBL is the only one who tried to help the clients. Once the clients started bad mouthing FBL, it became easier and easier for the company the client signed with to let the blame fall on FBL. The ones who signed these clients and then abandoned them, changed their numbers, refuse to answer calls, giver false information to clients are also angry at FBL every time FBL sets the record straight or explains the program to the client properly because they then look like the bad guys and the crooks who mislead or lied or omitted information in order to close a sale and make money. Not all of these companies work this way in fact I have come across several who are very honorable and do assist their clients. So to recap, ESP is debt settlement software for the client to use to offer settlements to creditors, Lifeguard (and Safetrust) are marketing companies, Lifeguard no longer exists, and FBL is a law firm in Pennsylvania who provides legal assistance &/or representation to ESP Software clients. We have changed our number and can no longer be reached by dialing the Lifeguard number. You must call FBL directly now.

      • Bulb

        Ms. Cleary,

        I have no horse in this race. I am not questioning the veracity of your statements on this site.

        My only comment for now is:

        You made your bed.

      • Anonymous

        I completely understand Ms.Cleary on your role and FBL roles. I also understand your point when you had stated that you guys were hired to take over accounts from the failing pre-paid ordeal. However, since you had mentioned that LifeGuard has closed down, it forced your firm to hired them as customer service support. What I don’t understand is that you are stating that the customers aren’t comprehending or admitting as to who is responsible for their case since they had never originally signed a contract with you, but let’s get real here? Do they really need a contract from you since you already agreed to take on these contracts that was transferred by Pre-Paid legal? You also admitted you guys are collecting 2.5% of the clients 15% that was paid so technically aren’t they entitled to the same support that they originally signed with the marketing company? If you are not taking responsibility for this than why are you getting paid 2.5%? What are you being paid for? It’s like me having a firm and I go out and tell another entity that I am willing to service all the clients that they currently have and help resolve any issues they have, but once all those clients are transferred over to my firm and there are issues with a client, I’ll just tell the client, look you did not sign a contract with us, but if you do need legal representation we will provide one for you. In your statement “FBL only received 2.5% of the fees that are charged to clients. This 2.5% is for constant legal advice and/or representation by an attorney to all the clients enrolled in the program.” So let’s recap, you made it clear that you are not a debt settlement company and you do not settle clients debt, that is understood. EsP software does that for the client. Now suppose a client calls in and ask you a question like, would you recommend me to offer a creditor this much amount? How would you answer that? Or, if a creditor sends a notice that they are taking legal actions if the client does not resolve the debt within the next 20 days, what advice will you tell the client? A.)Don’t do anything, wait until you get sued first than we will step in and represent you. B.)Give client a recommended offering back to the letter if client has sufficient funds available to settle? C.) Tell the client to call the company that shutdown for help. Bottom line is this the consumer is scared, worried and being harassed and when they call a number that they were given, it is directed straight to your office, so instead of telling them that they need to read their contract, why not be compassionate with them since it’s not their fault that the company they put trust in for help which is the same company you guys partnered up with and receiving 2.5% fees for it and find a resolution to put resolve the matter and calm them down. Can you agree you guys taken on nightmare case with ESP?

      • Patriciacleary

        Joe, We took over handling the legal issues only, not the debt settlement. If a client is sued by a creditor then it goes to our office to handle. If the creditor does not sue then the only involvement we have is to get the creditor to sign into the software that your settlement offer is generated from to accept the settlement, reject the settlement offer put in a counter-offer. We help the client with the software or help the creditor with the software but we absolutely can not for any reason be a mediator between creditor and debtor. We can not do the negotiating of the settlement that is done through the software. If there is a lawsuit filed by the creditor our attorneys negotiate a settlement with the creditor’s attorney. Yes, you would need a contract that states that FBL is settling the debts for you and made that promise to you. There would never be such a contract since the law firm is not permitted to act in that capacity. All we took over was the legal representation issues. We have legal assistance available to every client, as I stated before, whether your contract allows for representation or not, we will get you to an attorney for advice on you situation. these attorneys are retained by our firm to be available to the client for such issues. That fee paid the retainers for the attorneys to be there when the client needs to consult with them. If a client called in to our firm with a question as to what to do, such as yours above, I would refer him/her to the attorney in their state to answer that question. The answer to that question constitutes legal advice which I am not authorized to give out since I am a paralegal, not a licensed attorney in their state. However, I could ask the attorney the question and relay the answer from the attorney to the client word for word. If the client receives a collection letter or demand letter as you have above, they would need to send it into our office so we could get the cr4diotr to sign into the software and offer a settlement or accept the one generated by the software for the client. If they have a question as to an offer of settlement (i.e., Should I accept it? Is that a good settlement for this debt/creditor?), then I would refer them to the attorney in their state to get legal advice from. If the client is served, then that summons and complaint needs to be faxed to FBL so that we can assign an attorney to that case who would be able to advise the client, represent the client and negotiate settlement of the lawsuit. The number they call gives the option of choosing who you need to speak with depending on your situation. Client choose option 3 (Legal) because, they do not want to sit on hold or can not get someone on the phone or always gets voice-mail. Our law firm answers the calls when they come in on that line so clients are getting a real person trying to help them. As soon as a client get someone on the phone in our office, regardless of the fact that they are calling the wrong department for their issues, they know if they call the legal department someone will answer the phone. When the legal department can not help the client with their issue or even attempt to help with an issue and it does not get resolved by the proper department, client’s only remember that they spoke with FBL, they assumed FBL was working on their problem even when told that FBL does not handle that problem and will forward it to the correct department to take care of. Client’s praise you for being the only one to answer the phone and assist them, even when it is not an issue that FBL handles. They then turn around and bash you for not fixing the problem. The next thing you know, they forgot all about the company they signed up with and start making statements about FBL that are simply not true (i.e., FBL stole my money and did not settle my debts, FBL did not resolve my payment issue, FBL would not help me with my settlements). The client has now decided that FBL is the settlement company because we attempted to get the clients problem resolved by forwarding the problem to the correct department to handle.
        I am compassionate with the clients and their situation. I am more than aware of how scared clients are when they get threatened with a lawsuit or are actually sued since most of the clients I have dealt with have never been sued and know nothing about what is involved. I am compassionate with all the clients I speak with everyday. I agree it is not their fault that they trusted someone to help them and feel that they were not helped. But at the same time, they are very confused as to what their contract states and what they actually enrolled in. I also understand this as well because they were called by a telemarketer who told them they could settle all their debts for less than they owe, the telemarketer explained the program to the client in general. Clients trusted these people to help them because they wanted someone to help them out of their situation. The problem is that, if they were misinformed anything by the telemarketer, the correct information is in the contract they signed. Clients did not read the contract that was sent to them, they just signed it. They assumed that they were being told everything and they put their trust in someone who called them and spoke with them once on the telephone. They signed a contract with total stranger over the internet and did not read it and then blame/slander FBL because they did not read what they were signing with the debt settlement program. That scares me. I do my very best to help clients anyway I can. My biggest problem is that when I do get to help a client and help them correctly, they do not understand that I get 100 calls from clients a day. They want me to fix it when they want it done. If I do not get to call back a client for a day or two, they act as if I am deliberately not responding to them. They forget that they are not the only ones in the debt settlement program ad that I am only one person. I have clients who will only speak with me because I help them in any way I can. I work after hours to speak with clients from my home EVERY night, I give my clients my cell number so that if they need to reach me after hours on on weekends about a problem, they can. I review the clients accounts daily and contact them to let them know exactly what needs to be done. I tell the clients the truth and the facts. It may not be what they want to hear and I have to listen to them scream at me for their accounts not being settled. I do it because I genuinely want to help them. If it makes them feel better to scream at me and get it off their chest then I let them. Afterward I discuss ways that we can get the issues resolved and the accounts settled, I also inform clients of all their options with these creditors. Can you imagine what my work day entails? I have the pleasure of fixing the “nightmare” as you put it.

      • Anonymous

        Ms. Cleary, you mentioned you are not a debt settlement company, I get it. But what is confusing now is your companies disclosures FBL wrote on the first line: YOU MUST UNDERSTAND
        WHILE YOU ARE USING THE PROGRAM or services, late fees, penalties and interest will continue to accrue on your debt until the creditors accept a settlement offer and settlement is paid, however, it is “our goal to settle your debt off the original amount” at the time of entry into the program. Source: http://www.fblassociates.com/doc/FBLAssociates-DISCLOSURE-100709.pdf Wonder if that was an old version not updated yet? Just thought i bring.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Patricia,

        I’ve been watching the comments and conversation here and it is clear you are passionate about what you do. Nobody could doubt that from reading your comments.

        And I get the technical points you are making but the problem here is that the sales agents that misled clients are gone and consumers have nobody to vent to other than the person currently holding their account. The servicer will get an earful and with the agent gone, consumer complaints are going to go against anyone still taking money from the consumer and continuing the situation.

        That does not make it an attack against you, it’s just the way these things work out.

        One interesting point is if the agent has gone out of business then the contract with the consumer would be effectively void if the agreement was with the agent. That is unless the contract the agent sold is for an entity still in business. In that case the bad acts of the agents are the liability of the company still benefiting from or party to the contract. The agent represents and is an extension of the company.

        Steve

      • Anonymous

        Steve, back in April 20th this year you already mentioned how confusing their enrollment was. The consumer had to sign 6 different contract. 1. with marketing company(now out of business) 2. Noteworld Servicing 3. Global Logistic (phone diverter) 4. FBL Associates 5. ESP Software 6) National Asset Exchange(debt buyers) . So if the client reads their contract like Ms. Cleary keeps instructing to do again, there is only 2 entities that has access to the clients account and knows the details of it is the main company they signed up or FBL Associates. So if the main company is now out of business than its only FBL left to answer the complaints. So that is not fair to consumer to point blame at them as if they do not understand a contract. What a nightmare this ESP and FBL is causing.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Agreed.

      • Patriciacleary

        I affiliate that sold them the program is still in business. They entered into a Lifeguard contract with another company. That company they signed the contract with still exists.

      • Patriciacleary

        The Marketing Company closed. The affiliate they signed with still open, the software (ESP) they purchased use of still exists, the law firm for legal issues still exists, and the escrow account the escrow company still exists.

      • Anonymous

        Mr. Cleary, thats exactly what I pointed out early, that these clients that initially signs up with the ESP Software is stuck with 6 different contract from 6 different entities and the only 2 entities that has access to client information regarding their debt settlement plan would be the marketing company and FBL. ESP is a software, and FBL is there to be customer support to the software aswell am I right or am I wrong? Clients cannot call Noteworld to discuss issues with their creditors. Clients cannot call Global Logistic(DAAN Module) for advice, Clients cannot contact National Asset Exchange(debt buyers) about their cases too aswell unless they are willing to invest in their hedge funds. You are now confusing me too, so now I can see why the consumers that signed up with your affiliated companies are super confused aswell.

      • Anonymous

        just for giggles Mrs. Cleary, do you instruct your clients to call ESP Software for legal advice regarding their harrassing phone calls made by their creditors? Who takes those calls?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Patricia, now I’m confused. You previously said “In addition to this confusion, clients were told by the affiliate company that sold them the program and signed the contract with them that FBL does the debt settlements. They also told the clients that FBL took all their money every month and did nothing. They also told the client that FBL was paid the fees so FBL have to refund your money. All these statements were false. The affiliate company that signed the clients up and signed the contract took 12% of the 15% fees that the client was charged. Allot of the affiliate companies closed when the debt settlement laws changed. Each time the law changes, more settlement companies close and abandon clients. FBL is stuck holding the bad, stuck with the bad reputation, stuck with clients”

        But now it seems you are saying the affiliates that sold the consumer are still in business. Can you please clarify?

      • Lifeguard/FBL

        I was a branch with Lifeguard and I can confrim via e-mail that FBL supposedly bought out Lifeguard Financial. Frank Lindner has bragged many times that he had a milllion invested. I am sure it is not true. They are all one in the same group with different names on corporations to try to protect themselves.

      • Lifeguard/FBL

        Steve-Look at Joe Debt Jr’s .pdf file a few posts up. That clearly states that FBL has the clients and is doing the settlements, written from them…come on.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I agree. I read that document, now preserved here and it certainly appears as if FBL Associates was running a debt settlement program rather than just acting as a small wheel in the process.

        The document referenced says, “WHILE YOU ARE USING THE PROGRAM or services, late fees, penalties and interest will continue to accrue on your debt until the creditors accept a settlement offer and settlement is paid, however, it is our goal to settle your debt off the original amount at the time of entry into the program.

        WHILE YOU ARE USING THE PROGRAM OR SERVICES, the creditors may raise the interest rates on your debt. It is our goal and expectation to reduce or eliminate these interest rate increases during the settlement process.

        FBL ASSOCIATES, PC DOES NOT make monthly payments to your creditors on a monthly basis. A payment is only made to the creditor in a lump sum at the time that the negotiated settlement is reached.”

        The last statement is interesting because FBL Associates doesn’t say they are not a debt settlement company, they say they pay the creditor when a settlement is reached.

        The way the FBL disclosure statement reads, certainly appears to be from the point of view of a settlement company and not an ancillary provider.

        Steve

  • Steve Rhode

    This recent story sounds like your statement.

    What is ironic is that P&E Solutions just sent out a press release bragging about FBL Associates, click here.

    If you call the person at the end of that press release and learn anything, post a comment here.

    Steve

  • CONTACTLADY

    WELL I AM A CLIENT OF FBL ASSOCIATES AND CANNOT GET ANY HELP I TRULY BELIEVE YOU ARE OUT TO SCAM PEOPLE CANNOT GET MATT PORETTA BRIAN BROOKS TRISHA CLEARY TO HELP , NOR RETURN CALLS IF YOU REAALY DO HELP PEOPLE EMAIL ME BACK !!!!

  • David

    Hi

    Same here. P&E solutions closed my escrow account after 3 payments ??? and impossible to find out what happened. Then I settled on my own at 40% with my biggest creditor and I just received an offer at 30% with the other one.

    No need for these guys.

    David

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      David,

      Did you ever get the fees you paid back since it sounds like you did not receive the service you may have paid for?

      Steve

  • allen christenson

    fbl & associates took my cotract from please reduce my debt and let the intersest pile up for 9 months. i had a judgement against me and i personally found out by contacting my creditors that not one dime has been paid out. i want my $2000 back.

    • Noey

      Hey Allen,
      Same here! I joined them in Nov of last year. Nothing has been done, nothing has been paid out and worst? I am awaiting to be served with documents from my Sears. Note, I called all of my creditors too, not only have they NOT recieved any money, but they haven’t received any communications from this creeps! I also am asking for my $2000 back, or I will be serving them with a small claims lawsuit.

      • Noey

        For the record, I don’t believe a word from ESP or P&E or Safetrust whoever the hell they are. Nothing has been done on my accounts and they claim my creditors are lying. I was able to settle to an amount much like they boast they can do and I did mine free, on afternoon from my own home. Need help? Ask me how I did it.

      • melissa

        what did you end up doing?

      • http://www.facebook.com/fhazlett Fred Hazlett

        Its very easy Melissa. Don’t dodge your creditors and speak with one rep from each company. If you do want to settle your debt make that abundintly clear. If they are abusive or rude in any way then just ask to speak to someone else.   Make a reasonable offer and follow through with what you do.  I feel sorry for all of you that have been swindled by these companies.  FBL is one of the worst.  Their phones do not even work half of the time.  If you have any questions please don’t hesisitate to ask just message me on facebook.

      • Patriciacleary

        You did not join FBL Associates!!! They are a law firm not a debt settlement company. You joined the debt settlement program with an affiliate who sold you software to settle debts on,line with the creditors. READ YOUR CONTRACT!!!!!

      • Lmbnprov

        Interesting enough that is not the way it was presented to me. When I signed up they told me it was with fbl ASSOCIATES. I asked to speak to a supervisor when deciding whether or not to choose this company and the gentleman got on the phone and Identified himself as …. and said he was a lawyer with FBL! Clearly I was scammed!

    • PC

      THAT IS A LIE! FBL DID NOT TAKE ANY CONTRACTS FOR DEBT SETTLEMENT. FBL HANDLES THE CLIENT’S LEGAL ISSUES ONLY.

  • Cogs

    Now I am really confused.

  • Don Johnson

    To the FBL Associates PC team:Are the Expert Settlement Professionals the only debt settlement company that you deal with? Could I deal with an agreement directly with you or any other company? Please respond by email ASAP. Thank you. Don Johnson <[email protected]

    • Patriciacleary

      ESP is not a debt settlement company, it is debt settlement software. Please read the contract you signed. If you need further explanation, call our office.

  • Sixceed

    Oh Stevie, how fiction can be fun. One of the best business men in the world (my father) always says, “The guy who’s constantly defending his job, isn’t doing it right”. I look at it like this, you go off topic and start talking about your daughter and family and blah blah blah to hide the fact that serious allegations were brought upon you and your company. If you are this simple, honest guy who’s just helping the people, why are the people talking about how they currently have lawsuits against you? Hmmmm, sounds to me that you try and trash companies like FBL, that ARE helping people deal with creditors to make you and your scam look like god’s gift. If Myvista was just out to help people why is it not flourishing in the economic state this country is in? Is it because you are too busy helping little old ladies across the street and donating money to orphanages? Look, the fact is, you built a company on lies and false promises, and then when California came after you, you “respectfully” stepped down. HAHAHA!!! I gotta love ya Stevie, I mean putting testimonials on your homepage from people that are apparently “fighting terminal cancer” is just plain genius. I know after reading the extensive list of horrible reviews on you, reading one good review from some guy fighting cancer would change everything I thought about you. I mean look at that little vote poll you have on us, seems to me that the people have spoken. I think you giving your books away for free actually come with a price. The price is wrong Stevie.

  • Sixceed

    Hi Steve,
    My name is Six, I have been reading your articles pertaining to debt settlement companies, especially the ones about FBL Associates. I am a Senior Legal Liaison at the company and I have to take issue with your comments. I’m a bit confused that you are constantly using our companies name and the words: fraud, and lies in the same story. You point out the obvious and try to use it against us. Putting our contract on your site, then telling people it confuses you is not a valid argument. You aren’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. This is a standard contract that all of our customers are walked through and urged NOT to sign until every detail is covered, every question is answered, and every concern is taken care of. Enough about us Mr. Rhode, how about we focus on you and your “debt expertise”. How about we focus on your company Myvesta, or Debt Counselors of America. That’s right Stevie, I know how to Google too, see people, other than the fact that California has a cease and desist order against his former company for not complying with state law, what our Mr. Rhode is failing to mention in the midst of his “expert advice”, is that he himself is the fraud. Turns out Stevie has been peddling debt advice and has been shut down for not following state law. In 2003 Mr. Rhode and his co-founder were forced to resign from running the company. So what did Stevie do? He appoints his wife as the President. So he commits fraud, the state of California Pursues him, and then appoints his wife to run the company, bravo Stevie. I’m a bit confused on how you sold people on the fact your company was “non-profit”, although, there was a $495 enrollment fee, and then a $200 per month “maintenance fee”. So I hope this gets the truth out about our little “debt guru”. You might want to re-consider using the tagline, “Totally free help and honest answers from the Get Out of Debt Guy – Steve Rhode. The only advice I would take of you is how to look like George Costanza.

    Thanks for Reading the Truth,
    Six

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Sixceed,

      LOL.

      If you are the senior legal liaison at FBL, oy vey.

      All that crap you quoted came from this erroneous report about me on the web. You can read it here and while you are there, you might want to read my response to it that was posted months ago.

      Let me give you the short version.

      California: I have publicly spoken about the “interesting” interaction we had with the State of California late in 2002. It’s no secret and in fact I outed myself on this. Anyone can read the whole story and how we resolved the very confusing and bizarre issue with California by reading my article here.

      Shut Down: Nope.

      Forced to Resign: Not true. If anything, my temporary departure as president of Myvesta could be best described as a sabbatical. I did take one year off as president but continued to serve as chairman of the board. I took the year off because I realized that over the years of founding and growing the non-profit group I had spent more time with the organization than with my daughter who was soon to graduate from high school and go off to college. I wanted to spend more time with her. I returned to my position of President of Myvesta a year latter.

      Enrollment Fee: At Myvesta we had a number of programs that were offered. They ranged from simple debt advice to the first ever inpatient treatment center for compulsive spending issues and money disorders. We helped people from finding a job to dealing with tax issues and managing their finances. We had a talented and special staff of experts to assist debtors with professional services. Mediations, Negotiators, Attorneys, Tax Experts, CPAs, Financial Planners, Psychologist, Lending Experts, Human Resources, etc. Some programs had fees for these professional services but no program I remember ever had a $200 a month maintenance fee.

      Steve

    • CONTACTLADY

      WELL I AM A CLIENT OF FBL ASSOCIATES AND CANNOT GET ANY HELP I TRULY BELIEVE YOU ARE OUT TO SCAM PEOPLE CANNOT GET MATT PORETTA BRIAN BROOKS TRISHA CLEARY TO HELP , NOR RETURN CALLS IF YOU REAALY DO HELP PEOPLE EMAIL ME BACK !!!!

    • Lmbnprov

      Your company is the biggest joke in the world! I have been screwed by them and I am going to sue them. I was given erronous information when I began your program and have spent a year dodging my creditors and now you have almost 10,000 dollars of my money and I am about to loose every thing that i have worked 40 years for. I could have put my money away in my own savings accounts and done a better job than your company has done! I am paying 850 a month towards the program and after 1 year have a mere 2,600 in reserves. Really!! Have done nothing for me at all and I will prevail!

    • DebJ

      This is a lie. I signed up on a 24 mont agreement with Lifeguard Financial/FBL Associates. I was led to believe they worked similar to a Credit Counselor and that in 24 months my accounts would be paid in full. I just fullfilled my 24 month agreement and not one of my accounts have been paid at all. I have requested all money that I have paid to be sent back to me since in my opinion FBL breached their contract with me by not settling my accounts. The accounts I had were with banks FBL claims to have the best success with, (Bank of America, Chase, etc.) All I have received was 2 garnishments being served on me and FBL now telling me they are not obligated to offer legal assistance to me. This was also part of the agreement I signed. So far I haven’t had a response on how much of my money I will receive back from FBL. This is what I have experience since I signed with them. They are not good at responding to phone calls, emails or faxes. I have tried all three. And no! No one ever took the time to cover everything in the contract with me. All he wanted was for me to sign the agreement and get his feels.

      I feel I have been taken advantage of. I don’t care what you want to call it and I will tell anyone who will listen to my story if it saves them from making the same mistake I made. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life but this is definitely the worst.

      PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP WITH FBL ASSOCIATES! YOUR CREDIT WILL BE RUINED AND YOU WILL REGRET IT.

Get My FREE Get Out of Debt Guy Newsletter

It is the smart thing to do.

I promise to keep your email safe and secure.

Close

I want to keep you posted each weekday with just one email about the latest get out of debt news, scam alerts and information to beat back debt.

You can unsubscribe at any time with just one click.

After you subscribe, check your email to confirm your subscription. If the confirmation email does not appear in your inbox in a few minutes, check your spam folder for it. Sometimes it likes to annoyingly hide there.


  • It will keep you posted on the latest scams.
  • You will be alerted to the latest articles.
  • You will wind up smarter than everyone else dealing with debt.