I just received the following scripts and information that an Americorp employee sent to me to expose the operation of a number of Americorp related or serviced debt settlement or debt relief companies. If you have inside information you want to share send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The scripts and statements below are those of the AmeriCorp employee that sent them in.
Scripts and Inside Information
I just got laid off from Americorp. I will not give my name because I don’t want it coming up anywhere. The way AmeriCorp and Allegro Law operated was that the retainer was anywhere between 16-18% of the debt load, payable in the first 18 months of the program. So, if a client had a debt load of $18,000, the retainer was $7,200 (at 18%) payable in amount of $416.67/month for the first 18 months. If the client opted for a 48 month program, they would pay as follows for the first 18 months:
416.67 – Retainer/Settlement Fee
400.00 – 50% of the debt divided by 48 months
59.00 – Monthly Fee
After the retainer/settlement fee is paid off, the monthly payments remain at $875, but the monies going into the trust/escrow account increases to 816.67. This might work to settle smaller accounts. When negotiating settlement we were scripted to say that we typically negotiate settlements at 45-50% of the debt load. The client usually assumes that it is 45-50% of the debt load at the time they sign up because that’s what the sales people tell them in order to sign up the client.
Aside from Allegro Law, AmeriCorp was also the processing center for debt settlement companies like Capital Debt Relief (http://www.capitaldebtrelief.net/) and Vortex Debt Group (http://vortexdebtgroup.com/) . On the debt management side of the business, we operated the processing center for ElimiDebt, Hess-Kennedy, The Achievable, and IntelliDebt among others.
Here’s the “Educating a New Client” script that we followed for debt settlement (we were expected to adhere to this script 100% and all calls WERE recorded and graded):
• Introduction Letter (Welcome Package)
o Review it thoroughly as it contains important information about your account
o Please send copies of your most recent statements to ensure that we have the correct account numbers and creditor information.
• We are working for you
o If a non-attorney private label model: advise that a Power of Attorney (POA) is needed – 1 -
o If Attorney/Law Firm Model: advise that a Letter of Representation (LOR) is needed.
§ If generated: advise that they have been sent to each creditor letting them know you are now being represented by us.
§ If not generated, advise that they will be sent upon their first payment posting to their account
• For both models advise:
o A negotiator will monitor your account and as your escrow/trust builds they will be in contact with your creditors – 2 -
o We will be calling you once a month for the first six months to see if you have any questions. – 3 -
• Settlement is an accrual process
o Time is needed to accrue sufficient funds in order to negotiate settlement and will vary depending on your monthly payment and account balances (we usually start with the smaller accounts and work our way up to show progress in the settlements)
o We cannot finalize settlement without sufficient funds in your account.
o We will notify you each time we negotiate an acceptable and affordable settlement offer. – 4 -
o Please keep in mind that we DO NOT send any monthly payments to your creditors.
o Are any of the accounts enrolled in the program in a Judgment status or have you received a summons to appear in court?
o It is possible that a creditor may take legal action against you. You could be notified by the receipt of a 30-day notice/validation letter from a law firm, or you may receive a summons, or arbitration paperwork.
o It is crucial that you contact us if you become aware of any legal action pending against you. There are time limits placed on your responses to these claims.
• If Non-Attorney Private Label Model advise the following:
o As part of your program we will refer you to Legal Club of America for assistance. – 5 -
• If Attorney/Law Firm Model advise the following:
o Although the law firm was not hired for litigation purposes the firm will be able to provide you with advice should one of these situations arise.
• Collection Letters and Calls
o Advise your creditors to contact us directly to confirm that you are on the program, phone _____________ – 6 -
o Do NOT share any information with your creditors or collectors
o It is imperative to send us any collection letters or legal paperwork that you receive.
• Offer monthly electronic withdrawals (if applicable)
o A convenient service at no charge
1. Many times, the Power of Attorney letters were only sent to creditors if a client called requesting it or if a customer service agent became aware of it while speaking to the client and set up a request for the correspondence department to send them out. It was not unusual for a client to call up after 12-18 months saying that they are canceling from the program because none of their creditors had been advised that they were being represented by us.
2. It was seldom that a negotiator monitored anyone’s account. There were only three negotiators, the negotiations team manager and an assistant to handle the thousands of accounts.
3. AmeriCorp finally started contacting clients in the first three months of the program beginning in January 2010 with their own private label, Vortex Debt Group. That did not happen with Allegro Law or Capital Debt Relief.
4. Client might have been notified by mail AFTER the settlement completed. They were not notified ahead of time and there were occasions when a client wanted an account settled, but there was no money available in the trust account because the negotiations team had negotiated on another account without advising the client.
5. Regarding Legal Club of America: They would not have anything to do with Allegro or Capital Debt Relief clients. We were told to advise the clients to seek the assistance of their family attorney or find out for the court if there was a court-appointed attorney to assist them.
6. When creditors called to settle on accounts we would ONLY transfer to the negotiations team if the offer was at 50% or less AND there was enough money in the trust account. Otherwise, we would tell them “I’m sorry we are not able to accept your offer today. Please call back in 30-90 days.”