Latest Posts
Home > Debt Articles > How to Try to Get a Refund From a Debt Relief Company

How to Try to Get a Refund From a Debt Relief Company


Here is my definitive guide on how to get out of a scam and git it your best shot at getting your money back. Warning, it will take some work, but it can be effective.

“The steps listed in How to Try to Get a Refund From a Debt Relief Company should represent a consumer dropping a “nuclear bomb” on any business.”, says debt settlement company president. – Source

“Thanks to Steve and GetOutofDebt, we were able to recover enough to pay our bankruptcy lawyer, leaving about $3500 in the hands of the company we trusted. As I look back, they caved in pretty easily, not wanting us to persue the letter writing to FTC, two state attorney generals, and others. It’s likely I could have pushed for more.

Steve, I can’t say this enough. The [education] you provide is of the greatest value to people like us. All of us.”

     Gymdez

I’m going to break this process down in stages. It’s important for you to keep tabs on the items in these stages so get a shoebox, folder or just a special drawer to throw all the documentation in as it comes in or you gather it.

I’m starting with the premise that you are in a debt relief program you are not happy with and want out. I’m assuming you have received little to no benefit from the program.

  1. Start with the company you are having an issue with. Send them a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested.

    The postcard you get back will show the name of the company you sent it to, a signature of who signed for it and when they got it.

    How to Try to Get a Refund From a Debt Relief Company

    When you write the letter there is no reason to me mean and nasty. Be sure you present your side of the issue with a level head reasonable tone. Explain in your letter that you are unhappy with their services, tell them why, and say you want out of their program and expect a refund paid by X date. Give them at least two weeks from the day you send your letter.

    In the letter let them know that if you can not come to a mutually agreeable solution you plan to send a copy of your complaint with the following people:

    • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can file complaint here.
    • Your State Attorney General’s office. For a listing, click here.
    • The Attorney General’s office for the state where the company is located.
    • Your local Better Business Bureau. You can file a complaint online here.
    • Any local consumer affairs office your local county government might have.
    • The Federal Trade Commission. You can file a complaint online here.
    • Any trade association the company may belong to.
    • You local television station which does consumer investigations.
    • If the company is a law firm or run by a lawyer, you can file a complaint with the Bar Association in your state and their state. For a listing of state bar association links, click here.

      “As officers of the court, all attorneys are obligated to maintain the highest ethical standards. In furtherance of this obligation, attorneys are guided by a code of conduct, the Code of Professional Responsibility, as adopted by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court. Attorneys who violate the law or fail to abide by this code of conduct are subject to discipline, which may include admonishment, reprimand, censure, suspension or loss of his or her license to practice law.” – Source

    • If your money is being deposited in a third-party escrow account with separate escrow provider, send a copy of your complaint to them.
    • If this matter involves your financial affairs, credit, or debt, then file a complaint also with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can do that online here.
    • If your relationship with the company used the United States Postal Service, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. (Added 12-12-2011)
    • If you feel like you are the victim of an internet crime, you can report it to the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center using this online form. (Added 12-12-2011.)
    • You can file a complaint with the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
    • If your issue was with a mortgage modification company you can file a complaint online with SIGTARP. (Added 7-23-2012.)
    • And most importantly, be sure to file an online scam report with GetOutOfDebt.org.
  2. Any communications you receive from this point forward, put in a special safe place. If you get emails, print them out. If they call you, keep a written log when they called, who you spoke with, and what the conversation was about.
  3. Put a copy of your letter and the certified mail receipt from the post office in that special safe place as well.
  4. Once the company receives your letter and signs for it you will get the return receipt card back in the mail. Put that card in your special safe place.
  5. Contact your bank and find out what you need to do to stop any additional debits by the company from your account. The bank may tell you you will have to change your checking account number. Yes, that’s a pain in the ass but it will absolutely prevent future debits.
  6. If your money is being deposited into a third-party escrow account, contact the escrow company, tell them you want a full refund of the money in your account and you want to close your account.
  7. If the company does not contact or respond to you by the date you specified in the letter, do what you said you would do and file the complaints.
  8. If the company does respond and makes you a partial refund offer that is acceptable to you, accept the offer but make sure the offer does not come with a requirement for you to waive any of your rights.

    Some companies want people to sign statements they will not speak out against the company or waive any further claim against the company. If the company has harmed you that seems like an unreasonable thing for you to waive. However only you can decide what is best for you to do when presented with an offer. If you unsure what rights you may waive then find a local attorney licensed in your state for help.

  9. If the offer is not acceptable or the company does not respond then file a complaint with the people I mentioned above. If you are sending your complaint by mail to those other resources, include copies of your original letter and the return receipt card showing the company received it. Send these complaints by mail using certified mail, return receipt requested as well. The goal here is to document everything.
  10. Put a copy of all your complaints and proof you mailed them in your special place.
  11. Send the company copies of the complaints you send to others as you send them. Send them to the debt settlement company by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  12. Put all return receipt cards you get back in your special place.
  13. If you file your complaint online and get an email or some other proof that you submitted a complaint, print that out and put it in your special place.
  14. Once you file complaints with the folks I listed above, you may notice the company is much more willing to refund your money and put this matter behind them. They want to avoid irritating state regulators, damaging their BBB reputation, and becoming the subject of a FTC, or CFPB investigation.
  15. If you file a complaint with the people above, it may or may not result in a refund to you but it will put the company on their radar for future enforcement activity against them.
  16. If you still have not received a fair and reasonable refund then contact your local court and find out how to sue the company in small claims court for your refund. Typically the amounts claimed are eligible to be pursued by individuals this way. And if you go this route all those documents you’ve place in your special place will come in very handy, Take them all with you when you go for your court date.
  17. If you are not confident to file your small claims suit then find a local consumer advocate attorney here.

If you have paid thousands of dollars to a debt relief company you are claiming has not helped you, while the process above is a bit time consuming and involves some cost, it will be a worthwhile attempt to get a refund.

Most people that follow this process should expect to get a reasonable refund or an entire refund of the fees paid if you file your request before the company files for bankruptcy. In my experience, debt relief companies that start not communicating well and are not reasonable are headed to an unfortunate end. Some file for bankruptcy protection and some just vanish.

If you are still unhappy with the company, feel free to file a scam report here.

How to Try to Get a Refund From a Debt Relief Company

How to Try to Get a Refund From a Debt Relief Company
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

How to Try to Get a Refund From a Debt Relief Company 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.
  • Bob from Wisc

    I’m ready to start with your sugestions for filing. But first can you tell me anything positive or negative about ‘Legal Helpers Debt Resolution’ out of Illinois and/or Global Client Solutions’ out of Tulsa, OK?

    • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

      Global Client Solutions, sets up third party escrow accounts. They are not the debt settlement company. I would recommend you do not enroll with Legal Helpers. Their contracts are not very consumer friendly in my opinion. Look at other options and compare them carefully before making any decisions.

      Most debt resolution programs are total rip offs that should always be avoided.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

      Are they still in business?

  • Lynece Moore

    I did all the above and the company I got scammed by could care less.

  • http://twitter.com/USTaxReview US Tax Review

    Great article!  What a thorough list with super easy links!  

  • Richard

    I was currently using a debt settlement company that is not doing the job.  I cant get them on the phone and their webpage is down.  I am going to follow your steps to try and get my money back.  I discovered they were not responding to me when I tried to call after receiving a summons to court by one of my creditors.  Do you have any advise for me in this situation?  Should I try and get another company at this point, do I contact the law firm suing me or try to make a deal with the creditor myself.

    • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

      Unfortunately, if their website is already down, that typically means they are gone or just about gone. I would still encourage you to try and get a refund, but at this point, the chances are not good that you will ever see any of the money back. Were you sending your payments to a third party like global client solutions? If so, that would be my first contact to see if there is any money left in the possession of GCS. If so, I would ask for an immediate refund of anything in that account.

      Whether or not you should hire another company or work directly with your creditors, really depends on your current financial situation. Since you are currently involved in a lawsuit, unless you have the funds to settle the debt at this point, you may need to look at other options.

  • Cse727

    Steve,
         Thanks for a very fast response, I will start writing my letter now.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Good. Let me know how it goes. Remember, you are not writing a letter to bully them, just lay out your case about what you think you should get as a refund and why.

      • Juicy11

        So these steps still work as mentioned above when askiong for a refund? 

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Yes.

  • Cse727

    This is a great article, but I think I read it too late. I have already contacted my debt relief company and withdrew from their program after being sued three times and negotiating with my creditors my self. They sent me a check for two hundred dollars after I gave them eight hundred dollars a month for fifteen months. Is it too late to put your plan into action?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I can’t see any harm is asking? And that’s all your trying to do with the article is ask for what you feel is a fair outcome and if you can’t reach a meeting of the minds, asking for outside help by reporting.

    • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

      What is the name of the company that ripped you off for 12,000 dollars and then only refunded 200 after getting you sued 3 times?

  • MommaZX

     Just for S & G’s, I decided to go the Upper Law Society of Canada website and do a little search on this Sheila Cockburn.  I did call and she is, in fact, associated with the Ontario Bar.  However, the person I spoke with did not specify in what areas.  I will continue to do my research as I find the time throughout the day.

    If anyone has any other suggestions on how to deal with these matters, I’d love to hear them!

  • MommaZX

    Hi Steve,
    How would you handle this situation in Canada?  I’ve just stopped payments with Silverthorne after 4 months of being with them.  They have, of course, done NOTHING that would require service fees up to this point except send me some emails and call me once a month asking for more money.  I wouldn’t think that that is over $1000.00 worth of services and would like to request all, or even a portion, of my money back.  I feel scammed – and shame on me for not investigating my options first but…. 
    I see that you have provided a list of U.S. agencies to contact regarding this but other than the BBB here in Canada (Ontario), I wouldn’t know who else to contact regarding Silverthorne’s practices.  Even the advisor I spoke with from reputable firm was shocked and baffled when I had her read their contract.  She said, “NO professional business would have such little regard for the clients they are suppose to be assisting.”  and advised me to stop payments immediately – so I did – and contacted Silverthorne and told them I had stopped payments and am withdrawing from the program.  I still have to write the cancellation letter but am uncertain of what to say exactly. 

    Any further assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Checking.

      • zxmomma

        I have written my letter of cancellation KINDLY asking for a full refund of over $1000.00.  I’m not holding my breath but at the very least give me back my $151 that wasn’t part of the service fee.  I was very kind in my letter because I feel that you can sometime catch more flies with honey.  I guess we’ll just see what kind of parasites these people really are.
        I very kindly told them that I felt scammed and that they’ve basically taken over $1000.00 away from the care and provisions of my two children.  I said that it couldn’t possibly cost over $1000 to send a few emails and make a few phone calls asking me for more money.  I said that I am looking forward to a reponse by, basically, the end of September (was I being too lenient?).

        Do you think that might work?  I was very professional and courteous.  I guess we’ll see what happens.  I’m going to send the letter registered tomorrow (if I can make it to the post office before they close). Maybe I’ll ask if I can send it Purolator or FedEx through work and pay them when the invoice comes in.

        This is crazy.  I feel so stupid and so duped.

    • Chinook

       Is Silverthorne based in the U.S. or in Canada?  I tried to find them, but a quick search on the net came up empty.  One thing that you can do is check with the Consumer Protection Department of your Provincial Government.  Here in SK our Consumer Protection Department is part of the Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission.  They will be able to tell you if Silverthorne is allowed to do business in your province.  If they are not, that gives you a lot of weight in dealing with them.  How can you pay someone for a service that they are not allowed to perform in your province? 

      We had been involved with Vortex Debt Group (a U.S. based company with an office in Ontario), but found out that they were PROHIBITED from doing business in Saskatchewan as a collection agency or a debt negotiation business.  Once we were armed with this information, we used this in addition to Steve’s suggestions to write a letter (which we both emailed and sent by express post) and threatened to report them to:
      1.  Their State Attorney General’s office.
      2.  Our local Better Business Bureau.
      3.  Their local Better Business Bureau.
      4.  The Consumer Affairs Office our our Province.
      5.  The Consumer Affairs Office of Canada.
      6.  The Federal Trad Commission.
      7.  Any trade association that Vortex Debt Group belongs to.
      8.  All local TV and Radio Stations that do Consumer Investigations.
      9.  Bank of Montreal; the escrow account provider/holder.
      10.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
      11.  File an ‘online scam report’ with GetOutofDebt.org.

      This brought about a quick resolution for us.  I sent the email on February 7, 2012 and by February 9, 2012 they had put a cheque in the mail refunding us the total of our funds on deposit with them.  All the while though, they continued to insist that they are able to carry on business in our province.  However, I had a letter sent to me from the Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission, Consumer Protection Department stating clearly that they were prohibited from doing business in Saskatchewan.  In the end that is what sealed the deal.  How could they continue to argue with what our Provincial Government says in black and white?

      I hope this may assist you in your dealings with these Scam Artists. 

      • MommaZX

         This is VERY helpful information.  Last week, I received the following email:

        “The
        Law Office of Cockburn & Associate, LLP is pleased to announce the
        acquisition of Silverthorn & Lupolover Lawyers, LLP. This comes as
        Mark Silverthorn explores alternate avenues within the practice of law.Shelia
        A. Cockburn, a protégé of Mark Silverthorn, has over 8 years of legal
        experience in the areas of debt collections, business transactions and
        intellectual property. Ms. Cockburn transitioned to law from an
        engineering background with over 7 years of management and mechanical
        engineering experience in quality compliance, training and customer
        assurance. She holds a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Concordia
        University, a J.D. from Fordham Law School and an L.L.M from FordhamLaw
        School. Ms. Cockburn is a Certified Debt Specialist registered with the
        IAPDA and is registered with the U.S. Patent Office. Originally from
        Montreal, Ms. Cockburn is licensed to practice law in the US. and
        Canada.
        The Law Office of Cockburn & Associate, LLP is located at 7111
        Syntex Drive, 3rd Floor, Mississauga, ON L5N 8C3 and the phone number is
        416-477-2420. The website is http://www.clegal.ca All
        clients previously enrolled with Silverthorn & Lupolover Laywers,
        LLP will be serviced by The Law Office of Cockburn & Associate and
        the terms and conditions of their agreements upheld. An updated Welcome
        Package will be sent to all clients including a revised Authorization
        Form that requires attestation and important information regarding the
        debt settlement process.
        Payments processed from September 4, 2012 through September 30, 2012
        will list either “Silverthorn & Lupolover” or “Cockburn &
        Associate” on the PAD. Please be advised that if your PAD is returned a
        client service specialist will contact you to reschedule.
        In order to provide a seamless transition, the client services
        department will continue to service you as members of The Law Office of
        Cockburn & Associate, LLP. The department personnel, phone numbers
        and extensions, email addresses and fax numbers remain unchanged.
        We appreciate your cooperation as we work through this transition.”I expect to never see a cent of that money again.  HOWEVER, I will investigate further as you suggested with CPD and see what becomes of it.Thank you (and thank you Steve).

  • Fthkings77

    I’ve been scammed and want to follow the step-by-step guide to getting my money back.
    The problem is I don’t have a physical address and links to the website no longer work.
    What should I do?

  • Bobbylee51

    Hello to all, Iam with the World Law group & Iam going to go the steps that Steve remmocends, but my Problem is I cant find no address to send the letter to, any help on this matter would be greatly be Appreciated.

    By the way, I been had for over $1800.00  & no results or hardly no contract with them…

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      If you are depositing funds with Global Client Solutions or Meracord (NoteWorld) then call them and ask for an address on record.

      • Bobbylee51

         Thanks Steve, your right. Iam going thru Global Client Solutions, will contack them tomorrow,

        Many Thanks, Bobby lee

  • Haleytraylor

    Steve,
    Will this also work for getting a refund from a law firm I hired to get a loan modification? They got me a Trial period but not the permanent modification because they moved their office and the final paperwork was sent to their old office so I could not sign it. I have now been denied the modification and the law firm says they can no longer help me. The contract I signed with them states they shall represent me until a loan workout is approved. Is a trial period considered a loan workout?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Yes, Follow all the steps of the process for maximum results. Note the section about lawyers in the process.

  • RSDSC

    From the depths of a high end, high volume debt settlement company I will write out exactly how to handle receiving a consumer complaint like this and how to offensively get the client back on track.

    First off any complaint like this should be followed up not with written communication but a phone call.  The sale of services most likely took place this way and the consumer should welcome your call.  If the consumer refuses to speak with you over the phone leave them a message stating that you will be shredding their complaint as you cannot confirm its accuracy.  Also state in your message if they will not call back, the date of their next payment,  settlements in progress that could be nullified or voided for missing a payment and the status of their account.  Also advise them that not calling back is a violation of the customer contract and that their account can be  terminated for lack of communication.

    If the customer does not call you back.  Write them a letter dating specifically when you called and why.  Explain to the customer that the phone call regarding their complaint is to remedy the complaint and to examine what went wrong.  Also explain to them that you welcome any inquiries from state agencies and other media types.  If you are a debt settlement company doing the job right your higher ups don’t care about complaints as you have attorneys and other people on staff to work with complaints like these. 

    If the customer does call you back ask them point blank what’s wrong.   Ask them for a deep explanation of what the problem is and how things got off track.  Offer to replay the sales person’s phone call, the verification call and review the contract and other customer service notes with them.  Sometimes they will see that alot is going on and they just didn’t know.  Other times they won’t care and just want their money back.

    If they want money back give it to them.  If they owe you money for performance settlements advise the client that prior to their complaint the FTC put a regulation in place to make sure debt settlement companies got paid for services after they did the work.  Do not give any client any money back without them agreeing verbally or in writing to end communication with your employees and other staff as well as a promise from them not to file any complaints.  For certain situations also explain to them that negative postings online can be viewed as slander and they can be liable for any false or misleading statements. 

    If your company receives outside inquiries about the client complaint respond boldly and advise these 3rd parties of the work you did.  Be proud of your employees efforts.  Send copies of phone call and other contracts and customer service notes.  Any half-brained BBB or other Gov worker will be able to see through the customer emotion to what actually happened.

    Lastly don’t ever give in to the client 100%.  Most of us didn’t cold call these clients and we didn’t help them borrow money.  They came looking for a solutions and when they got waist deep decided the water was too cold for them.  Tough cookies your already half wet.  Getting out now will only leave you wet and cold. 

  • K4

    I was so thankful to find your website! When I request my refund should it just be for the money in my account or the unlawful fees I paid for 18 months also?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I’d suggest you ask for everything and then negotiate to reach a settlement they are willing to give you and you are willing to accept.

  • Stmorneau

    It has been 2 years since I was last enrolled with the two debt settlement companies that I was enrolled in.  Would I still follow the same steps as mentioned above in order to get a refund from both companies?
     

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      It’s worth a shot.

  • Bdlion

    Steve thanks for this great advice. A lawyer based debt settlement company charged me upfront fees, and when I cancelled my agreement with them after six months, they refused to refund the upfront fees, about $1,500. I contacted the California Attorney General’s office, who sent a letter to the settlement company. Three months passed and the settlement company offered to give me back $750 of the $1,500. I figuered this was better than nothing, and I agreed. Although I did send letters of complaint to other entities, the complaint to the Attorney General did the trick.

    The company I used in place of the settlement company is called Pro Debt Solutions.This company negotiates settlements with the creditors (in my case 50%), and pays them off entirely. The client then pays back Pro Debt Solutions. In essence, it is a hard money loan used specifically to pay off debt. Andrew Bloom, who runs the company, negotiates the settlements with the creditors. The loan is interest free, and Andrew charges 10% of the total debt that is settled, which becomes part of the loan. This program may not be for everyone, but so far it has worked for me and it paid off my creditors, one of which was preparing to sue me. The company’s website is Pro-debtsolutions.com. This is an interesting, hybrid approach to debt settlement which does not require a person to build up a trust fund balance over time as is the model for most debt settlement companies.Instead, a person’s  credit card debt is paid in full, and the client only has to pay back Pro Debt Solutions, like a bank loan. 

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Out of curiosity, what state are you located in?

  • http://www.facebook.com/wiserus Vince Thorne

    messers become messes

  • Mare08

    OMG!!! I signed up with First Choice Solutions in June of 2011.  I am facing 2 small claims court cases as of this time.  They advised me to just go to court on the hearing date and ask for the least monthly arrangement until they (debt resolution company) are able to do a settlement for me.  None of the accounts have been settled up to this time.  I am so scared and worried.  Reading all the posts makes me realize that I’ve made a mistake in signing up for a debt resolution.  I intend to follow the steps you outlined, Steve.  However, I still do want to get out of debt after I go through all this process.  Will getting the services of a consumer lawyer help me out as well?  What is the best thing to do?  Thanks!

  • Chinook

    Steve, thank you so much for the information in this article.  By using your suggestions and threatening to lodge complaints with all the Businesses and Contacts you listed, we were able to recover most of our money from Premier Debt a.k.a. Vortex Debt Group.  It also helped that we had a letter from our Provincial Government (Consumer Protection Division) stating that Vortex was prohibited from doing business in our province as a collection agency or a debt negotiation business.  They tried to tell us that wasn’t correct, but we had the letter as proof.  They did not give in easily, but the threat of being reported to the long list of agencies seemed to tip the scales in our favor.  So thank you again for the information and assistance.  And to all others who find themselves fighting with one of the awful companies – don’t give up!  You can get some or most of your money back with persistence and following the steps that Steve outlines.  It will take time, but it is worth it.  Don’t give up!!

  • Freedman801
  • Margaret

    I requested a refund from Express Debt Settlement in Nov 2011 using the letter you recommended Steve, due to bad service and I stated I had completed most of the work for them.  I received a very unprofessional (not on letterhead or singed) analysis of my account, which did not state much of anything and it was the first piece of paper I ever received regarding my account.  I responded to each bullet of information with the facts, since I have no idea where they got their information.  I requested a full refund and all correspondences to be in writing.  Refused to refund my money, so I followed through with contacting everyone mentioned in the letter.  Second request for refund stated I would take this issue to my attorney.  Nothing! They did not pickup the letter from USPS, however, I emailed them a copy of the letter.  Still no response or refund.

    To top it off, they stole money from me when I closed my account with NoteWorld, then decided it would be best to return what little money they took from my NoteWorld account.

    DO NOT do business with Express Debt Settlement or what other names they are using.  Settle your debt with your creditor, will cost you less in the long run.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I think they have since gone out of business.

  • Bebe

    Yesterday I sent a letter to LHDR to cancel services, as outlined above. Obviously, the letter hasnt gotten there yet. Today, I get an email telling me that one of my accounts has settled at half of what I owed. Any thoughts or advice on what to do from there?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      If you are going for a refund I’m assuming you have not been pleased with their service. If you feel they are now delivering the service you expected, maybe you want to stay with the,.

      Bottom line, why were you going for a refund to begin with and has the recent settlement changed your mind?

  • Bebe

    Yesterday I sent a letter to LHDR to cancel services, as outlined above. Obviously, the letter hasnt gotten there yet. Today, I get an email telling me that one of my accounts has settled at half of what I owed. Any thoughts or advice on what to do from there?

  • Whitneyla2

    I was enrolled with a shoddy debt settlement company.  And as of recent, I followed Steve’s advice.  I sent them a letter stating that I wanted a refund and out of my contract with them or I would report to the agencies that Steve states.  Within a week I had a partial refund – that I was not satisfied with.  I then sent them another notice via email stating that I was not satisfied with that and that if they did not give me a greater refund, by the initial deadline that  I had set in my first letter, that I would continue to pursue reporting them to those agencies. I then received almost a refund of my money within a few days.  The only money I was not refunded were some “bank fees” and my initial “enrollment fee”.  Which I was then satisfied with.  These steps provided positive outcomes for me and I hope they do the same for anyone who tries this method!!!

  • Antonio

    Type your comment here.Hi Steve as today 12/01/11 im sendig the certified letter to P.L.C, I REALLY APRECIATE YOUR INFORMATION AND I WILL BE WAITING FOR THEIR ANSWER, THANK YOU AND I WILL POST ANY FUTURE INFORMATION ON THE STATUS OF THIS CASE

  • DEborah Saunders

    I SIGNED UP W/ REORGANIZATION MANAGEMENT GROUP OVER 2 YRS AGO TO GET MY CREDIT CARDS DEBT REDUCED AND GET BACK TO MY GOOD CREDIT. I REALIZED THEY WERE NOT W/ THE BBB AND WERE NOT HELPING ME MUCH. AT THE TIME, I WAS EMPLOYED , MAKING GOOD $ .I GAVE THEM MY CHECKING ACCT. # & ROUTING #. I WAS MISDIAGNOSED  W/ A SEVERE ILLNESS THAT CAN BE LIFE THREATING BACTERIA.ON APR. 22, 2010, I CONTACTED REORG.MAN AND SENT AN E-MAIL TELLING THEM TO CANCEL MY SERVICE-I STILL HAVE THE E-MAIL AND WENT WITH ANOTHER DEBT PROGRAM THAT IS VERY LEGIT. I LOST MY JOB IN 3-2011 BECAUSE OF MY ILLNESS AND HAVE BEEN IN THE X-RAY FIELD FOR 38YRS. I WENT TO MY CREDIT UNION& STOPPED PAYMENT TO REORG @ 4-22-10. I RECEIVED A CALL 2 DAYS AGO, AND WAS TOLD BY A EMP. WORKING FOR REORGMGT THAT THEY WERE DRAWING $275 EVERY MTH. I TOLD HIM I CANCELLED THEIR CO.AND HE SAID HE WAS FROM OK.-NOT TRUE 908#. HE STATED I COULD”T BE W/2 DIFFERENT DEBT CO’S. AND I TOLD HIM I WASN’T, BUT HE VERIFIED THEY WERE TAKING $ 275 EVERY MTH. SINCE AT LEAST SINCE LAST MAY.I CALLED MY CRED. UNION AND THEY SAID TO COME IN IMMEDIATELY AND START A NEW BANK ACCT. & I DID THAT DAY.REORG WAS USING FALSE CHECK #’S W/ 6 DIGITS! THE EMP. TOLD ME I HAD @2,600 IN THEIR ACCT. AND I COULD GET IT BACK AND HE WOULD CALL ME THE NEXT DAY HE DIDN’T.HE KNEW HE MESSED UP.I HAD NO IDEA I WAS GIVING$ TO 2 DIFFERENT DEBT RELIEF CO’S! I CALLED THE LEGIT ONE AND THEY TOLD ME I SHOULD GET ALL OF MY $ REFUNDED FROM REORG. BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SO ILL FOR @ 2 YRS, HAVE NO HEALTH INS. FOR THE FIRST TIME AND AM STILL + FOR THE 3RD TIME W/ BACTERIA, HAVE NO JOB, HAVE MED. BILLS AND LIVING ON UNEMPLOYMENT. THE LEGIT DEBT CO. TOLD ME I COULD GET ALL MY I PAID TO THEM OR EVEN TAKE SOME OF THE $ OUT BECAUSE I’M IN TERRIBLE SHAPE HEALTHWISE & FINACIAL. I WAS ALWAYS SUCCESSFULL UNTIL I GOT THIS ILLNESS. I TRIED TO CALL REORG MGT. TODAY, BUT IT MAY STILL BE A HOLIDAY. WILL I GET MY TOTAL REFUND?-THE LAST EMP SAID I COULD, BUT I THINK HE’S NERVOUS ABOUT THE INFO. HE SHARED W/ ME.MY CREDIT UNION IS LOOKING WHEN I SIGNED THE FORM TO HAVE REORG. TO STOP PAYMENT.

  • DEborah Saunders

    I SIGNED UP W/ REORGANIZATION MANAGEMENT GROUP OVER 2 YRS AGO TO GET MY CREDIT CARDS DEBT REDUCED AND GET BACK TO MY GOOD CREDIT. I REALIZED THEY WERE NOT W/ THE BBB AND WERE NOT HELPING ME MUCH. AT THE TIME, I WAS EMPLOYED , MAKING GOOD $ .I GAVE THEM MY CHECKING ACCT. # & ROUTING #. I WAS MISDIAGNOSED  W/ A SEVERE ILLNESS THAT CAN BE LIFE THREATING BACTERIA.ON APR. 22, 2010, I CONTACTED REORG.MAN AND SENT AN E-MAIL TELLING THEM TO CANCEL MY SERVICE-I STILL HAVE THE E-MAIL AND WENT WITH ANOTHER DEBT PROGRAM THAT IS VERY LEGIT. I LOST MY JOB IN 3-2011 BECAUSE OF MY ILLNESS AND HAVE BEEN IN THE X-RAY FIELD FOR 38YRS. I WENT TO MY CREDIT UNION& STOPPED PAYMENT TO REORG @ 4-22-10. I RECEIVED A CALL 2 DAYS AGO, AND WAS TOLD BY A EMP. WORKING FOR REORGMGT THAT THEY WERE DRAWING $275 EVERY MTH. I TOLD HIM I CANCELLED THEIR CO.AND HE SAID HE WAS FROM OK.-NOT TRUE 908#. HE STATED I COULD”T BE W/2 DIFFERENT DEBT CO’S. AND I TOLD HIM I WASN’T, BUT HE VERIFIED THEY WERE TAKING $ 275 EVERY MTH. SINCE AT LEAST SINCE LAST MAY.I CALLED MY CRED. UNION AND THEY SAID TO COME IN IMMEDIATELY AND START A NEW BANK ACCT. & I DID THAT DAY.REORG WAS USING FALSE CHECK #’S W/ 6 DIGITS! THE EMP. TOLD ME I HAD @2,600 IN THEIR ACCT. AND I COULD GET IT BACK AND HE WOULD CALL ME THE NEXT DAY HE DIDN’T.HE KNEW HE MESSED UP.I HAD NO IDEA I WAS GIVING$ TO 2 DIFFERENT DEBT RELIEF CO’S! I CALLED THE LEGIT ONE AND THEY TOLD ME I SHOULD GET ALL OF MY $ REFUNDED FROM REORG. BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SO ILL FOR @ 2 YRS, HAVE NO HEALTH INS. FOR THE FIRST TIME AND AM STILL + FOR THE 3RD TIME W/ BACTERIA, HAVE NO JOB, HAVE MED. BILLS AND LIVING ON UNEMPLOYMENT. THE LEGIT DEBT CO. TOLD ME I COULD GET ALL MY I PAID TO THEM OR EVEN TAKE SOME OF THE $ OUT BECAUSE I’M IN TERRIBLE SHAPE HEALTHWISE & FINACIAL. I WAS ALWAYS SUCCESSFULL UNTIL I GOT THIS ILLNESS. I TRIED TO CALL REORG MGT. TODAY, BUT IT MAY STILL BE A HOLIDAY. WILL I GET MY TOTAL REFUND?-THE LAST EMP SAID I COULD, BUT I THINK HE’S NERVOUS ABOUT THE INFO. HE SHARED W/ ME.MY CREDIT UNION IS LOOKING WHEN I SIGNED THE FORM TO HAVE REORG. TO STOP PAYMENT.

  • Liz

    Bruce Atherton WAS involved, and his name was on the company title when I started doing business with them in Feburary 2009.  After paying $ 6,000. my paychecks were garnished. I tried to get my money back from DROA for at least six months.  In Sept 2010, I filed a claim with consumer protection, the Kentucy Generals Office.  In Sept 2011, I got a letter that my claim was legit, and to send some papers they sent to me to the Ketucky Bar assoc.  I did. There is a protection fund that the Bar Assoc pays claims to people that have been scammed by a Kentucky Atty. I have not heard back anything.  But my guess is that all the money in that fund has been paid out long ago, and there is none left for me or anyoneels who files a claim. The new company is run by the same people. You get the same answers and lies.  Sorry. This is a hard lesson to learn.  But keep your business with your Local hometown Consumer Credit Couseling Organizations or a local hometown attorney. 

  • whitneyla2

    I am wanting to get away from the debt settlement company I am using.  Very unhappy and dissatisfied.  I am going to use your method.  But I was wondering, the initial program I entered into was “Curadebt”.  But they delegate to other companies.  For instance, a law firm handles my case, and my money goes into a third party account.  Who should I send the initial letter too?  The law firm?  That’s who my biggest issue is with – but they are associated with the curadebt program?  Let me know

    thanks

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      The company that holds your money should release funds on deposit upon your request to them. The real issue is money that was taken by the service providing companies as fees for services you feel you did not receive. Send your request to the company you contracted with for debt relief services.

  • Rlynnk

    Could you please help me and answer this question.Thanks!
    I signed up with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution in November of last year. Three accounts have been settled, but I am not happy with them at all. They never call me back or answer my emails, just all of a sudden told me I haven’t been charged a $49.00 a month maintenance fee and are going to start charging me for it now…which was their mistake! I had not heard about the lawsuit until now.  Is that a good enough reason to give about wanting out.  That I feel they misrepresented themselves? Thank you for your help! Rachel

  • Rachel

    I signed up with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution in November of last year. Three accounts have been settled, but I am not happy with them at all. They never call me back or answer my emails, just all of a sudden told me I haven’t been charged 49.00 a month fee and are going to start charging me for it now…which was their mistake! I had not heard about the lawsuit until now.  Is that a good enough reason to give about wanting out.  That I feel they misrepresented themselves? Thank you for your help! Rachel

  • Shahriar raihan

    steve
    i am a victim of lottery scam from scotland and living in bangladesh. i sent money to their bank a/c through 3rd party because i dont have opportunities to send money directly from my country due to central bank rules & regulations. but finally i lost all the money. i informed actionaid but didnt get any response yet. i am from a middle class family and lost really a lot of money $10000. how can i get back?
    raihan

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I’m sorry but they money is gone. These scams are hit and run. They strike and then move on changing their names and approach. Oddly this is the second such reader comment about being targeted from the UK. The last person was in Pakistan.

      • Christoph1781

        Steve is it possible to get a sample letter from you to send to my debt settlement company? If so I can give you my email. I am bad with writing professional letters.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Just write a personal letter and explain why you are dissatisfied with the services and what you are looking for from them to resolve the matter. It does not have to be anything fancy or in a special format.

  • Lorenzo

    Hi Steve
    My parents signed on to get help Kramer & Kraslow back in June and I just stumbled upon this blog a few hours ago and saw your article about their files having been seized. Their website has also been shut down and the rep that came to our house isn’t answering our phone calls, nor has he ever done so. Do you think there’s any hope for my parents getting back their $5,000?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      It would depend on assets recovered and eventually disbursed to eligible parties. If funds do become available, these things take time and most often people never recover all of their money once the company has ceased.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I just posted a new article you should read about your specific situation. Read Mass Joinder Update – Office Furniture to be Sold.

  • Silver_lining

    My accounts were managed well by Johnson Law Group FL for the last two years, they helped me to settle 2 of 3 accounts. But the largest creditor remained, and now JLG FL is gone. How do I ‘leave’ a debt settlement company which is no longer a company? Should I follow the steps above as if the company is still there? I am planning to contact the FL Atty Gen today. I’ve been emailed by two different companies – one is ESS! – who say they are now the ‘authorized’ manager of my escrow account.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I think you’ll want to read this article from yesterday where JLG says they want to report ESS for contacting clients.

      JLG says:

      Furthermore, it has been brought to our attention that ESS who has been the processing company has been soliciting the Johnson Law Group clients. PLEASE BE AWARE: ESS IS NOT A LAW FIRM AND CANNOT REPRESENT YOU! Such actions of them presenting themselves as such could be considered illegal. Please contact our office immediately!!!!!

      So did you contact the company JLG says they made an orderly transition to?

      • Silver_lining

        I haven’t made calls to ESS or the other company. I had read that article, but wasn’t sure what action to take, it’s hard to belive that the non-ESS company is legit either (is it?) - I saw in the comments of that article that you said I should be able to get my escrow money back no matter what (especially since JLG FL now does have permission to disburse funds from their escorw accounts). I will contact the “orderly transition” company, and let you know what happens. And then I’ll read the rest of your site to see what my best options are for settling this last, largest debt.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Escrow money, well, yes. The court did appoint a receiver to take over the trust accounts of Johnson. It may just take some time.

        Contact them and let’s deal with the facts before we jump to any conclusions. Once you hear from them then come back and post an update.

      • Silver_lining

        Thanks Steve. It is so comforting just to have a resource like this, you and your organization are a blessing.

        I spoke with a representative today, from the JLG contact info found on the certified letter I received (more below), and was told that I would receive all of my money held in trust if that is what I want. I was told that the info I provided (name, phone number, JLG client number) would be sent to the ‘cancellation group’ and that I would receive a call back. I am going to follow up with a letter to JLG repeating the request to refund all of my undisbursed funds (inlcuding the recommended text from your “get our of debt settlement” page!). Once I have that $, then I’ll work to find the best route to pay this debt with a reasonable settlement.

        The certified letter from JLG: I received it 9/3/11, “re: transfer of your debt settlement to a licensed attorney in your state.”  The appointed firm in CA is The Clifton Law Firm, but I have not contacted them, as I wish for JLG to cancel my account and refund the funds held. The letter FAQs specifically reference ESS with similar language as above: “We have been notifed that ESS is soliciting law firm clients and cannot represent you where you live. Such actions could be considered illegal.”

        Also included was a copy of the court documents re: order to suspend the license to practice law by Clint L. Johnson in FL. (from 4/11/11 court date).

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Keep at it and I think things will work out just fine to get your escrowed funds back. Just be sure to keep updating me along the way. 

  • Camglee

    We signed up with Legal Helpers in April. I had not heard about the lawsuit until now.  Is that a good enough reason to give about wanting out.  That I feel they misrepresented themselves?  Aside from not keeping me updated aside from some assistance in May. Also, my husband is deployed, is a General POA enough to cancel in both of our names?

  • Camglee

    We signed up with Legal Helpers in April. I had not heard about the lawsuit until now.  Is that a good enough reason to give about wanting out.  That I feel they misrepresented themselves?  Aside from not keeping me updated aside from some assistance in May. Also, my husband is deployed, is a General POA enough to cancel in both of our names?

  • Steve Rhode

    Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment. You rock.

  • A Big Fan

    Steve,

    Your articles and advice are brilliant, and this article is spot-on. I’m in the middle of trying to get my money refunded after falling prey to Preferred Financial Services, and I’m following your list of suggestions to the letter. Just wanted to give you a well-deserved “Thank you!” for continuing to offer this valuable education and priceless advice to the masses. Knowledge is power!

  • A Big Fan

    Steve,

    Your articles and advice are brilliant, and this article is spot-on. I’m in the middle of trying to get my money refunded after falling prey to Preferred Financial Services, and I’m following your list of suggestions to the letter. Just wanted to give you a well-deserved “Thank you!” for continuing to offer this valuable education and priceless advice to the masses. Knowledge is power!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment. You rock.

  • Steve Rhode

    I’m so glad I could help you and a big hug goes back to you for posting this update. It made my day.

  • angie

    I just wanted to send a BIG thank you.. I was tangled up in a sea of debt due to cancer and a dead beat Ex husband not doing what was wrote in the divorce papers. I was with Freedom Debt relief for over a yr. them taking  over $9000 from a single mom of 3 that dont have ANY help from anyone for care of my babys . when i checked my GCS acct they had only paid one bill off of $1987. and only started making payments on another of 425 a month for 3 months, long story short they took my money and did little. being face with lawsuit after lawsuit I finally talked to a atty about bankruptcy and it looks to be my best option. I stopped the program and 2 days later they took the money out of my bank acct. thank my lucky stars my dear friend works for the bank i use and called me right away. stopping the withdraw…. i read alot of blogs and ran across your about how to get some of the money back. I followed what you posted to a T and 20 days later i had a check in my mail box for 780.00 ( small amount for what they took but better then nothing) then this pass month i looked at my bank acct and was much to my surprise they a direct deposit another 450+ in my bank acct.. THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!   I dont even want to know what would of happened if i didnt find you in this sea of confussion

  • angie

    I just wanted to send a BIG thank you.. I was tangled up in a sea of debt due to cancer and a dead beat Ex husband not doing what was wrote in the divorce papers. I was with Freedom Debt relief for over a yr. them taking  over $9000 from a single mom of 3 that dont have ANY help from anyone for care of my babys . when i checked my GCS acct they had only paid one bill off of $1987. and only started making payments on another of 425 a month for 3 months, long story short they took my money and did little. being face with lawsuit after lawsuit I finally talked to a atty about bankruptcy and it looks to be my best option. I stopped the program and 2 days later they took the money out of my bank acct. thank my lucky stars my dear friend works for the bank i use and called me right away. stopping the withdraw…. i read alot of blogs and ran across your about how to get some of the money back. I followed what you posted to a T and 20 days later i had a check in my mail box for 780.00 ( small amount for what they took but better then nothing) then this pass month i looked at my bank acct and was much to my surprise they a direct deposit another 450+ in my bank acct.. THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!   I dont even want to know what would of happened if i didnt find you in this sea of confussion

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I’m so glad I could help you and a big hug goes back to you for posting this update. It made my day.

  • Frustrated

    I have tried to get ANY refund from my HORRIFIC debt settlement company. I just called ONCE AGAIN and she basically hung up on me. I am so frustrated I don’t know what to do. I did the letter and got the green signature card back. She said that I violated the 5 year contract; I told her they had crap customer service and they violated the contract by not HELPING me for CRAP. I have the list of people to “report” to, what should I do? I wound up having to file bankruptcy because of their incompetency. :(

  • Frustrated

    I have tried to get ANY refund from my HORRIFIC debt settlement company. I just called ONCE AGAIN and she basically hung up on me. I am so frustrated I don’t know what to do. I did the letter and got the green signature card back. She said that I violated the 5 year contract; I told her they had crap customer service and they violated the contract by not HELPING me for CRAP. I have the list of people to “report” to, what should I do? I wound up having to file bankruptcy because of their incompetency. :(

  • oakley polarized sunglasses

    The web is oakley sunglasses outlet,it has lots of oakley sunglasses discount,such as prescription oakley sunglasses,oakley polarized sunglasses and so on.Your Best Wholesale Price Selection Save 70% Off & Free Shipping!

  • Steve Rhode

    Good advice. How do you suggest people can easily locate a consumer protection attorney? NACA.net?

  • Michael

    I agree with most of the above, but I would recommend contacting a consumer protection lawyer. In many states, such as NC, these operations are usually illegal and subject to the unfair and deceptive business practices statutes. In NC, we can get our clients whatever they paid into the program back times 3 and collect our attorneys fees from the debt settlement company. They always pay up quickly.

    Michael Dye

  • Michael

    I agree with most of the above, but I would recommend contacting a consumer protection lawyer. In many states, such as NC, these operations are usually illegal and subject to the unfair and deceptive business practices statutes. In NC, we can get our clients whatever they paid into the program back times 3 and collect our attorneys fees from the debt settlement company. They always pay up quickly.

    Michael Dye

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Good advice. How do you suggest people can easily locate a consumer protection attorney? NACA.net?

  • Steve Rhode

    Vince,

    No legitimate company should force you into doing something you don’t want to do. If you no longer want to participate then notify them by certified mail so you have a record of it. I’d start with that first. Let me know how that goes.

  • Steve Rhode

    Keep us posted on how it goes. Be sure to follow the entire process.

  • Terri

    Hi Steve-
    I was getting worried because some of my accounts have been sent to collections & then to lawyers. My NoteWorld deposits all appear to have gone to maintenance & other assorted fees. Out of the approx. $1300 I’ve deposited, only $112 is in my trust account. I am going to follow your steps for getting out from under this mess and getting a full refund.

  • Terri

    Hi Steve-
    I was getting worried because some of my accounts have been sent to collections & then to lawyers. My NoteWorld deposits all appear to have gone to maintenance & other assorted fees. Out of the approx. $1300 I’ve deposited, only $112 is in my trust account. I am going to follow your steps for getting out from under this mess and getting a full refund.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Keep us posted on how it goes. Be sure to follow the entire process.

  • Vince Bath

    Steve –

    My name is Vince, I signed up with Morgan Drexen! Dumb thing to do i know I aouthorized the initial payment of which I thought would go into an account to begin building up and be available pay off debt. When I got a statement they had put both payments in dec 2010 toward a 1,000 dollar ” Engagement fee” So i called the bank and stopped the payment! now they are hounding me asking me to pay the service fee and the payment. the service fee was supposed to be 77 dollars and the and the other 107 was supposed to go into account to pay off debt. Niether me or my wife signed the welcome packet and authorized anything else. it has been 1 month and we wish to cancel now! they can’t take payments because we have blocked it , what can they do ? and what do you think they will attempt? is this serious ? should I request a copy of everything i have sif=gned electronically ? I didnt sign the welcome packet and I think that will be a proctection because we released no authority! My wife is the account holder on the credit cards we have debt on, they didn’t even get her approval to resolve these debts ,so they can’t do anything right

    Please respond or email me back at [email protected]

  • Vince Bath

    Steve –

    My name is Vince, I signed up with Morgan Drexen! Dumb thing to do i know I aouthorized the initial payment of which I thought would go into an account to begin building up and be available pay off debt. When I got a statement they had put both payments in dec 2010 toward a 1,000 dollar ” Engagement fee” So i called the bank and stopped the payment! now they are hounding me asking me to pay the service fee and the payment. the service fee was supposed to be 77 dollars and the and the other 107 was supposed to go into account to pay off debt. Niether me or my wife signed the welcome packet and authorized anything else. it has been 1 month and we wish to cancel now! they can’t take payments because we have blocked it , what can they do ? and what do you think they will attempt? is this serious ? should I request a copy of everything i have sif=gned electronically ? I didnt sign the welcome packet and I think that will be a proctection because we released no authority! My wife is the account holder on the credit cards we have debt on, they didn’t even get her approval to resolve these debts ,so they can’t do anything right

    Please respond or email me back at [email protected]

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Vince,

      No legitimate company should force you into doing something you don’t want to do. If you no longer want to participate then notify them by certified mail so you have a record of it. I’d start with that first. Let me know how that goes.

  • Steve Rhode

    Happy to answer but I’m not sure I understand the question. Can you rephrase it for me please?

  • Torresgilbert88

    What does Steve Rhode say about this? I never hear about what the Credit card companies or lending institutions handle all these debt resolutions or even bankruptcy. Yeah hey Steve what about that?

  • Torresgilbert88

    Whats going on, People have to understand that Credit Card companies, and lending institutions, (signature) loans, are in cahoots with the Goverment. Remember the bail-out, or stimulus program. Well it’s like this, Bankruptcy, Debt Settlement-etc, the credit card co’s./lending institutions will always get there’s, it as simple as this, write off, these co’s write off millions of dollars every year for Bankruptcy, Debt-Settement, and what ever else they don’t get back from the consumer. IT’s a always win situation for them, thats why they are BILLION dollar Businesses, they never lose. We as Consumer’s have to, some time come up with are own stimulis, and that’s why there are so many companies out there on the internet solicting Debt-relief, or Lawyers advertising Bankruptcy- chapter 7 / chapter 13, or what-ever! The trick is to find a legit, reputable company to assist you in getting your (ACT) finances together, especially if you getting close to your retirment age, for instance, 55,to 60. Who want’s to retire with $30.000 or maybe $50.000 of dept. We as Consumer’s don’t want to spend our Golden years living payday to payday, I surely don’t, and won’t. You have to spend alot of time on your computor, and reseach, reseach, and then some more reseach, to make sure you find the right company, and most important the best Solution for you and yours. Fortunately we live in the Greatest Country on this planet, and the internet is a wonderful tool to do just about anything you want, if you have the willingness, and make a dilligent effort you can achieve great things, so go for it, is what I say.

    Gilly

  • Torresgilbert88

    Whats going on, People have to understand that Credit Card companies, and lending institutions, (signature) loans, are in cahoots with the Goverment. Remember the bail-out, or stimulus program. Well it’s like this, Bankruptcy, Debt Settlement-etc, the credit card co’s./lending institutions will always get there’s, it as simple as this, write off, these co’s write off millions of dollars every year for Bankruptcy, Debt-Settement, and what ever else they don’t get back from the consumer. IT’s a always win situation for them, thats why they are BILLION dollar Businesses, they never lose. We as Consumer’s have to, some time come up with are own stimulis, and that’s why there are so many companies out there on the internet solicting Debt-relief, or Lawyers advertising Bankruptcy- chapter 7 / chapter 13, or what-ever! The trick is to find a legit, reputable company to assist you in getting your (ACT) finances together, especially if you getting close to your retirment age, for instance, 55,to 60. Who want’s to retire with $30.000 or maybe $50.000 of dept. We as Consumer’s don’t want to spend our Golden years living payday to payday, I surely don’t, and won’t. You have to spend alot of time on your computor, and reseach, reseach, and then some more reseach, to make sure you find the right company, and most important the best Solution for you and yours. Fortunately we live in the Greatest Country on this planet, and the internet is a wonderful tool to do just about anything you want, if you have the willingness, and make a dilligent effort you can achieve great things, so go for it, is what I say.

    Gilly

    • Torresgilbert88

      What does Steve Rhode say about this? I never hear about what the Credit card companies or lending institutions handle all these debt resolutions or even bankruptcy. Yeah hey Steve what about that?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Happy to answer but I’m not sure I understand the question. Can you rephrase it for me please?

  • Anon

    I Got My Money Back from J Hass Group Thanks to You!

    J Hass Group closed out my account because I stopped making payments. I read your article on how to get your money back and followed it exactly. I heard from them in 10 days. They said I would get my money back within 2 or 3 business days and if I did not, to let them know. I received the money this morning in my bank account. Since I live in Maine I added the following because J. Hass Group is not licensed in Maine:

    Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has filed lawsuits against debt settlement companies which were not licensed in Maine, and won. In November 17, 2009 she said: “Maine consumers face difficult financial challenges in these hard economic times. In looking for solutions to large debt, they should not be deceived and exploited by companies who prey on their misfortunes and provide no real assistance.”
    Debt management services must also register with the Superintendent of the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection and procure a $50,000 surety bond for the protection of consumers under Maine’s Debt Management Services Act, which was recently passed.
    Additionally, debt management service providers are prohibited by Maine law from charging more than a $75 set-up fee and more than 15 percent of the amount by which the consumer’s debt is reduced as part of each settlement.
    I signed up with the J. Hass Group in March 2010.
    If you do not issue me a full refund by January 11, 2011, I will file a complaint with the following:
    · Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.
    · Maine United State Senators: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Maine has only 1.3 million people, which gives our two senators plenty of time to help Maine people.
    · Superintendent Will Lund of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection
    · The Arizona Attorney General’s office.
    · The State Bar of Arizona
    · The Federal Trade Commission.
    · U.S.O.B.A. ASSOCIATION
    · NoteWorld, they asked me to let them know if they can help me and gave me contact info.
    · Post my negative experience with J.Hass Group on Facebook and etc.
    · My local Better Business Bureau.
    · My local television station which does consumer investigations.

    Maine is a small state but we are fortunate to have two well know United State Senators.

    Thanks again Steve
    Sue

  • Anon

    I Got My Money Back from J Hass Group Thanks to You!

    J Hass Group closed out my account because I stopped making payments. I read your article on how to get your money back and followed it exactly. I heard from them in 10 days. They said I would get my money back within 2 or 3 business days and if I did not, to let them know. I received the money this morning in my bank account. Since I live in Maine I added the following because J. Hass Group is not licensed in Maine:

    Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has filed lawsuits against debt settlement companies which were not licensed in Maine, and won. In November 17, 2009 she said: “Maine consumers face difficult financial challenges in these hard economic times. In looking for solutions to large debt, they should not be deceived and exploited by companies who prey on their misfortunes and provide no real assistance.”
    Debt management services must also register with the Superintendent of the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection and procure a $50,000 surety bond for the protection of consumers under Maine’s Debt Management Services Act, which was recently passed.
    Additionally, debt management service providers are prohibited by Maine law from charging more than a $75 set-up fee and more than 15 percent of the amount by which the consumer’s debt is reduced as part of each settlement.
    I signed up with the J. Hass Group in March 2010.
    If you do not issue me a full refund by January 11, 2011, I will file a complaint with the following:
    · Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.
    · Maine United State Senators: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Maine has only 1.3 million people, which gives our two senators plenty of time to help Maine people.
    · Superintendent Will Lund of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection
    · The Arizona Attorney General’s office.
    · The State Bar of Arizona
    · The Federal Trade Commission.
    · U.S.O.B.A. ASSOCIATION
    · NoteWorld, they asked me to let them know if they can help me and gave me contact info.
    · Post my negative experience with J.Hass Group on Facebook and etc.
    · My local Better Business Bureau.
    · My local television station which does consumer investigations.

    Maine is a small state but we are fortunate to have two well know United State Senators.

    Thanks again Steve
    Sue

  • Alva Whitley

    Hey guys Ive read almost all these blogs and I’m no different from the rest of you. I’ve been in the program for about a 14 months and now I have an actual court date from one of the companies that’s in my doubt settlement program. I’m nervous as hell and I’m with Lifeguard Financial and I was just told I most be in a settlement program for $50,000 or more to be qualified for attorney assistance. My total debt was $29,678.00 and I wasn’t behind and my credit rating was not bad for that much debt. Now I’m just about ready to give up. I cant even get a descent job. Most aviation jobs do back ground and credit checks so far there’s no companies I’ve applied for want to hired someone who’s credit is in ruins. Not sure what to do at this point…..

  • Alva Whitley

    Hey guys Ive read almost all these blogs and I’m no different from the rest of you. I’ve been in the program for about a 14 months and now I have an actual court date from one of the companies that’s in my doubt settlement program. I’m nervous as hell and I’m with Lifeguard Financial and I was just told I most be in a settlement program for $50,000 or more to be qualified for attorney assistance. My total debt was $29,678.00 and I wasn’t behind and my credit rating was not bad for that much debt. Now I’m just about ready to give up. I cant even get a descent job. Most aviation jobs do back ground and credit checks so far there’s no companies I’ve applied for want to hired someone who’s credit is in ruins. Not sure what to do at this point…..

  • Gaillery

    I followed your advise concerning contacting my Debt Settlement company, Complete Debt Services, out of Lighthouse Point, FL. Within a week of sending the letter to them, EXACTLY, as you instructed, I was called on my cell phone by the Director of Operations (or at least that’s what he told me that was his title). He stated as you have, that the rules have changed and they have restructed. They were supposed to issue a check for $1980.00 last Friday. I requested a confirmation email, which he sent. We are anticipating seeing a check this week.

  • Gaillery

    I followed your advise concerning contacting my Debt Settlement company, Complete Debt Services, out of Lighthouse Point, FL. Within a week of sending the letter to them, EXACTLY, as you instructed, I was called on my cell phone by the Director of Operations (or at least that’s what he told me that was his title). He stated as you have, that the rules have changed and they have restructed. They were supposed to issue a check for $1980.00 last Friday. I requested a confirmation email, which he sent. We are anticipating seeing a check this week.

  • nellen

    Steve,
    Everyone needs to know about MMI, the non-profit debt solution service. They are very upfront about everything. I have started working with them and I am very pleased. They begin immediate negotiations and payments to your creditors and you know exactly how much of your debt they are negotiating, how much is being paid to each creditor and how long it will take. Each of my creditors has accepted the proposal offered by MMI and I am on my way to being debt free! Thank you! Thank You!

  • nellen

    Steve,
    Everyone needs to know about MMI, the non-profit debt solution service. They are very upfront about everything. I have started working with them and I am very pleased. They begin immediate negotiations and payments to your creditors and you know exactly how much of your debt they are negotiating, how much is being paid to each creditor and how long it will take. Each of my creditors has accepted the proposal offered by MMI and I am on my way to being debt free! Thank you! Thank You!

  • Steve Rhode

    Thanks for the update. Great to hear a positive outcome.

  • nellen

    Finally! Thanks to all who supported and responded to my situation with Lloyd Ward and Associates. I had my total refund credited back to my account today. I was both called and emailed from Lloyd Ward to let me know that they would refund within a certain period and they did. I followed the steps as outlined by Steve, but got the call prior to my completing the last step. Thanks Steve, Joe debt jr. and Anton.

  • nellen

    Finally! Thanks to all who supported and responded to my situation with Lloyd Ward and Associates. I had my total refund credited back to my account today. I was both called and emailed from Lloyd Ward to let me know that they would refund within a certain period and they did. I followed the steps as outlined by Steve, but got the call prior to my completing the last step. Thanks Steve, Joe debt jr. and Anton.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Thanks for the update. Great to hear a positive outcome.

  • Steve Rhode

    The trustee can go after them for it if they want to.

  • Dianem17sb

    I was told by the bankrupcy trustee that Freedom Debt Relief I was in for about 2 months and quit since lost my job and could no longer make the $740 monthly payments that I should get my money back since I filed bankrupcy. Freedom debt relief refuses refund me says it is not required in the state of Nebrasks

  • Dianem17sb

    I was told by the bankrupcy trustee that Freedom Debt Relief I was in for about 2 months and quit since lost my job and could no longer make the $740 monthly payments that I should get my money back since I filed bankrupcy. Freedom debt relief refuses refund me says it is not required in the state of Nebrasks

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      The trustee can go after them for it if they want to.

  • nellen

    I believe in the flat out lying. Just for the record, in another email, just after signing on to the program, Robert Watkins also said:
    “Don’t forget about sending a referral or two, and I’ll send you the Gift Card for each one when they sign up. It was a pleasure helping you take the step towards a debt free future”.
    Now, I can see where his pleasure comes from! Another rep of LLoyd Ward to whom I was eventually signed, said that my account has to “age appropriately” so I should expect the incessant calls from the creditors. He went on to say that the creditors have been notified and all calls should stop at the end of 90 days. When I informed my creditors that I was in a debt settlement with Lloyd Ward and Associates they each told me that they DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE COMPANIES because that are fraudelent. They each referred me to the non-profit debt management company MMI. They seem very legit and very upfront about their fees. They begin paying your creditors right after your first payment, and they show you the breakdown of payments for each creditor. They DO NOT PAY THEMSELVES FIRST like Robert Watkins and the Lloyd Ward Group! I have so many emails but I will save them for my court date. I have already sent them all to the BBB, The Attorney General’s office and I am, as we speak, preparing to contact the bar association.

  • Anton

    They have a right to be fuming. Is this someone you would want to have working with you, who treats the customer like this? Not only does Robert Watkins need to be fired, he owes that person an apology and Lloyd Ward need to hurry up and refund the $1442. Robert, you know that you explained and sugar-coated the entire process so the customer could buy into it. We all know that. Then you really got the nerve to tell her about her “pitiful financial state” You are so heartless it is not funny. If I were your boss you would be IMMEDIATELY FIRED!

    And Nellen, I do hope that you follow the process and file complaints with EVERYONE mentioned. Hopefully you will get your refund soon. I feel your pain.

  • Steve Rhode

    Anton,

    Selling products is how debt relief companies make a profit and generate income. One can do it ethically or by hiding the truth, misleading consumers, or just flat out lying.

    For many, commissions come before ethics.

  • Anton

    If this is so risky and bad, then why are they selling this to the consumer already in debt? Seems to be that this company should be banned from doing business. They are not only engaging in risky business but fraudulence. How can Robert Watkins call himself a “Sr. Debt Advisor and advise a customer to purchase something as risky? He needs to be fired!

  • Steve Rhode

    I just spoke to some guys with close ties to Ward on this issue and they are fuming at the email Watkins sent out.

  • Joe_debt_jr

    That representative for Lloyd Law Firm that sent you that email is a pure cold hearted scum who only cared about his 1% commission off of that total debt you had enrolled with him. How he has the nerve to say he explained everything and also stated “amazing how people like you remember things wrong and complain”. That guy needs to be fired quick by that Lloyd Ward Lawfirm so treating their clients like that. Listen Robert Watkins if you ever read this blog, if you recall the first reason these clients came to you the first time is because they are already lost and confused on how to put this debt behind them. When you pitch them a nice spiel on how great your program works, thats what they are excited so they agree to work with you. But when you start leaving out risk or not explain the risk the right way and beat around the bush and make your debt settlement sound like its the best thing for their interest to enroll. Of course they are going to buy into that. So what if your client misunderstood? As a true counselor you supposed to be sensitive to their needs and listen to them and find a way to ease them thru the financial hardship they are facing. Its like telling your patient who has pain in thier stomach, and you are about to give them some painful medication that might fix it, but the way you made it sound all they heard was, “take it the pain will soon be gone”, but its still there. So what do you do when their pain is still there? Keep telling they are making one bad mistake to another by enrolling with you? Lloyd Ward Law Firm, if your firm holds the highest dignity and respect for this client, I fire this Robert Watkins and do everything in your power to refund this client money back since she is not a satisfied customer.

  • nellen

    I filed complains according to your list against LLoyd Ward and Associates and NoteWorld. They have pocketed $1442 of mine and to date I have heard nothing except from the representative who helped me to sign up in the first place. I guess they must have been contacted. I received this email from him and I thought I should share it with you. He has the nerve to be pointing fingers at me! Here is the email from Robert Watkins:

    “For the record, I DID thoroughly explain all charges when we went through the contract BEFORE you signed. It’s in the contract and I always explain all in detail so you understand the fee breakdown. You were well aware! I still find it amazing how people like you remember things wrong and complain. I explained the risks and all the bad side! I always do.
    Don’t blame me for your bad financial decisions. Your pitiful financial state was not my or Lloyd Wards fault!!
    Good day and good luck

    Always remember, “The Borrower is Servant to the Lender”

    You DO NOT have to live this way any longer!

    Best Regards,
    Robert Watkins

    Sr. Debt Advisor

    Lloyd Ward Law Firm

    12655 N. Central Expy

    Dallas , TX 75243

    Toll Free: 877-236-0985

    Direct: 214-485-8186

    Fax: 877-256-2449

    Email: [email protected]

    Please Visit Our Website: http://www.debtrelief4me.com

  • nellen

    I filed complains according to your list against LLoyd Ward and Associates and NoteWorld. They have pocketed $1442 of mine and to date I have heard nothing except from the representative who helped me to sign up in the first place. I guess they must have been contacted. I received this email from him and I thought I should share it with you. He has the nerve to be pointing fingers at me! Here is the email from Robert Watkins:

    “For the record, I DID thoroughly explain all charges when we went through the contract BEFORE you signed. It’s in the contract and I always explain all in detail so you understand the fee breakdown. You were well aware! I still find it amazing how people like you remember things wrong and complain. I explained the risks and all the bad side! I always do.
    Don’t blame me for your bad financial decisions. Your pitiful financial state was not my or Lloyd Wards fault!!
    Good day and good luck

    Always remember, “The Borrower is Servant to the Lender”

    You DO NOT have to live this way any longer!

    Best Regards,
    Robert Watkins

    Sr. Debt Advisor

    Lloyd Ward Law Firm

    12655 N. Central Expy

    Dallas , TX 75243

    Toll Free: 877-236-0985

    Direct: 214-485-8186

    Fax: 877-256-2449

    Email: [email protected]

    Please Visit Our Website: http://www.debtrelief4me.com

    • Anonymous

      That representative for Lloyd Law Firm that sent you that email is a pure cold hearted scum who only cared about his 1% commission off of that total debt you had enrolled with him. How he has the nerve to say he explained everything and also stated “amazing how people like you remember things wrong and complain”. That guy needs to be fired quick by that Lloyd Ward Lawfirm so treating their clients like that. Listen Robert Watkins if you ever read this blog, if you recall the first reason these clients came to you the first time is because they are already lost and confused on how to put this debt behind them. When you pitch them a nice spiel on how great your program works, thats what they are excited so they agree to work with you. But when you start leaving out risk or not explain the risk the right way and beat around the bush and make your debt settlement sound like its the best thing for their interest to enroll. Of course they are going to buy into that. So what if your client misunderstood? As a true counselor you supposed to be sensitive to their needs and listen to them and find a way to ease them thru the financial hardship they are facing. Its like telling your patient who has pain in thier stomach, and you are about to give them some painful medication that might fix it, but the way you made it sound all they heard was, “take it the pain will soon be gone”, but its still there. So what do you do when their pain is still there? Keep telling they are making one bad mistake to another by enrolling with you? Lloyd Ward Law Firm, if your firm holds the highest dignity and respect for this client, I fire this Robert Watkins and do everything in your power to refund this client money back since she is not a satisfied customer.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I just spoke to some guys with close ties to Ward on this issue and they are fuming at the email Watkins sent out.

      • Anton

        They have a right to be fuming. Is this someone you would want to have working with you, who treats the customer like this? Not only does Robert Watkins need to be fired, he owes that person an apology and Lloyd Ward need to hurry up and refund the $1442. Robert, you know that you explained and sugar-coated the entire process so the customer could buy into it. We all know that. Then you really got the nerve to tell her about her “pitiful financial state” You are so heartless it is not funny. If I were your boss you would be IMMEDIATELY FIRED!

        And Nellen, I do hope that you follow the process and file complaints with EVERYONE mentioned. Hopefully you will get your refund soon. I feel your pain.

    • Anton

      If this is so risky and bad, then why are they selling this to the consumer already in debt? Seems to be that this company should be banned from doing business. They are not only engaging in risky business but fraudulence. How can Robert Watkins call himself a “Sr. Debt Advisor and advise a customer to purchase something as risky? He needs to be fired!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Anton,

        Selling products is how debt relief companies make a profit and generate income. One can do it ethically or by hiding the truth, misleading consumers, or just flat out lying.

        For many, commissions come before ethics.

      • nellen

        I believe in the flat out lying. Just for the record, in another email, just after signing on to the program, Robert Watkins also said:
        “Don’t forget about sending a referral or two, and I’ll send you the Gift Card for each one when they sign up. It was a pleasure helping you take the step towards a debt free future”.
        Now, I can see where his pleasure comes from! Another rep of LLoyd Ward to whom I was eventually signed, said that my account has to “age appropriately” so I should expect the incessant calls from the creditors. He went on to say that the creditors have been notified and all calls should stop at the end of 90 days. When I informed my creditors that I was in a debt settlement with Lloyd Ward and Associates they each told me that they DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE COMPANIES because that are fraudelent. They each referred me to the non-profit debt management company MMI. They seem very legit and very upfront about their fees. They begin paying your creditors right after your first payment, and they show you the breakdown of payments for each creditor. They DO NOT PAY THEMSELVES FIRST like Robert Watkins and the Lloyd Ward Group! I have so many emails but I will save them for my court date. I have already sent them all to the BBB, The Attorney General’s office and I am, as we speak, preparing to contact the bar association.

  • tony

    thanks steve. i didnt even have to send letter. after one payment realized it was a mistake to do it. read your article and called to cancel and get refund. said was not happy with service(tried to call several times with no response)and wanted refund. we werent greedy told them 75 percent was fine. we would take the loss of 25 percent as a stupidity fee. was real nice and said i didnt want to contact the attorney general consumer affairs and noteworld but i would if i didnt get refund. they quickly accepted our offer. we recieved money back today. thank you very much for your help.

  • Noelle

    SUCCESSFUL! I had to contact P&E Solutions and enquire about the short refund. I was told “we will get back to you”. No response. I did email the original contact who responded to my BBB complaint. Within 48 hours I had THE FULL AMOUNT wired to my personal checking account.

    IT WORKS.. IT TAKES DUE DILIGENCE.

  • noelle

    Hello there.. Update information. I got a refund for $467. It looks like they owe me about $1000 still. so I off to small claims. I have the letter from the BBB that they stated they’d reimburse me the full amount.. this isn’t close.

  • NOelle

    I just can’t encourage people enough regarding this. I got an immediate reaction, but what I did was contact the BBB first… and then send a registered letter. It was the BBB that caught the response of the full refund. :) By the way, my debt settlement company was rated an F at the BBB!

  • michael@CRN

    In Noelle’s post above you find the statement:

    “As part of her subscription to the software ESP provides court appointed legal defense should the subscriber be summoned to court.”

    This is an impossibility for many reasons. If this statement is anywhere in the software providers documentation, they have problems.

    Also contained in her post:

    “This software follows advanced algorithms based on the subscriber’s debt and program term and automatically sends proposals to creditors on behalf of the subscriber.”

    Methods similar to what is stated here can often be found to be the cause of more aggressive collection efforts, such as filing of a lawsuit in order to collect, much sooner than may have otherwise been SOP for Sears/Citi (and other creditors).

    Further:
    Please refresh my memory; Is the ESP program one of those that has a database for creditors/collectors/debt buyers to log into and mine for any of their accounts?

    In theory, programs of this nature are supposed to be a portal for those collecting a debt to be able to identify consumers who are motivated to pay something, rather than nothing. They can locate their accounts in the portal and generate their own offer and the system notifies the software subscriber (consumer) there is a deal on the table to accept/counter/decline.

    In practice however, I suspect this type of delinquent account warehouse portal to be a fabulous place for creditors/collectors/debt buyers to:

    -mine for and identify accounts they hold
    -quickly skip trace the individual account holder
    -immediately assign accounts fitting their internal criteria to collection law firm’s they have established relations with, and authorize legal action in pursuit of collecting the full balance.

    Why am I so suspicious? We are talking about a multi billion dollar industry here, with very predictable motives to get as much of “their money” first.

    There is little regard for the debtor, or their circumstance, or that they are trying to settle to avoid bankruptcy, or that there are limited funds available and the consumers success in avoiding BK often depends on their multiple creditors taking a haircut at some point in the process. They just want THEIRS (most of um).

    One need no further evidence of the debt collector mentality than the recent Star Tribune exposure of collectors with seemingly no problem having debtors arrested in front of their children for unpaid debt (obviously there is more to this type of problem, but you get the point).

    Collectors want their money. They do not care about a consumers plans.
    I am quite sure they look at delinquent account warehouse databases that they can simply log into and mine as a gift.

    Anyway, Congrats Noelle!

  • Noelle

    Hi Steve… just mailed my certified letter to P&E Solutions.. It was received. I looked online and my account has been shut down. It doesn’t show any accounts open or activity. I am in the waiting mode. My letter was professional, polite but firm. I plan on following up on this with your recommendations. I already contacted the BBB in Florida, and I just wanted to show you this..http://www.bbb.org/south-east-florida/business-reviews/debt-consolidation-services/expert-settlement-professional-in-fort-lauderdale-fl-92020874. I should of checked this before I decided to sign up on anything… :(

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Noelle,

      It’s a great learning lesson. Next time you reach out for professional help you’ll use some of the skills you’ve learned along the way. Keep me posted on what happens next.

      Steve

      • Noelle

        Check this out! Steve your points on how to obtain your fees back seem to have worked. I literally took the list of agencies that you suggested contacting and informed P&E Solutions that I’d follow through including a small claims case if I did not receive my refund IN FULL. According this, I am getting a refund.. Lets see when it happens now.

        Contact Name and Title: Melissa Rowan Acct Mngr
        Contact Phone: 954-375-8713
        Contact Email: [email protected]
        We have reviewed [the] file and complaint to the BBB. Just for clarification purposes Noelle did not sign up with a “debt settlement” company she subscribed to an Automated Debt Settlement Software called ESP. This software follows advanced algorithms based on the subscriber’s debt and program term and automatically sends proposals to creditors on behalf of the subscriber. It is unfortunate that during Noelle’s time as a subscriber to ESP she was presented with a suit from Sears, however included in her subscription Agreement to ESP it does state that subscribing to this software does not stop creditors from filing lawsuits on unpaid debt, that something of this nature is a possibility. As part of her subscription to the software ESP provides court appointed legal defense should the subscriber be summoned to court. Included in the subscriber’s monthly installments there is a percentage that covers the cost of the actual subscription, this was also disclosed in the agreement Noelle signed. At anytime Noelle also had the option of logging into her online account in which she can view the proposals that were sent to her creditors, including Sears, therefore which provides her with tangible proof that contact was made with her creditors in attempt to negotiate her debt.
        Given the circumstances and the fact that it appears Noelle was misunderstood on how the software works, we have decided to issue her a full refund. She can expect this credit to her account with in 7 to 10 business days.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Awesome. You Win!!

      • sandy

        Steve when they called me we did the app on the phone my husband is the main card holder however they told me it would be fine to do.He was to busy to talk to them.He knew what I was doing however we were both mislead any suggestions?

  • deb

    I have followed your steps so far the debt place just got back to me and has only offered me $290 of the $4000. I have paid in, I’m not sure what to do. There it no way that the amount is acceptable, do I tell them that its not acceptable and then tell them the actions I will be taking again then do it? I just find it hard to believe they offered me so little!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      How much of the process did you do? What step are you down to?

      Steve

      • deb

        I sent them the letter gave them a date for the full refund, and then they offered me this crap money. I haven’t sent the letters the the BBB or Attoney Generals, etc yet. Should I tell the debt program place that the amount is unacceptable, then send out all the letters?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Follow the whole process.

  • http://neweradebt.com Alex Viecco

    Hi Steve,
    I like your list! ….
    Or they can simply hire a reputable company that charges their fees based on performance and give a TRIPLE GUARANTEE.
    What a concept, a company that will stand behind their product. I know it seems like a no brainer.
    But imagine the thousands of people that just enroll without getting any guarantee of results.
    Keep up the great info.
    Thanks
    Alex

  • Matt – Do not use Debt Settlement America they are BS

    I’m trying to get out of my debt settlement program. In your opinion what are the chances of getting fees back that the company calls non-refundable? Can they really keep almost 3k when they have done nothing for me? Or do you think if i stand my ground they will return some of that money if not all of it?

    Matt

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      The damage to them is potentially more with regulators if they don’t return it. However, not every company is smart enough to figure it out that’s why in my process I laid it out for you to follow and let them know what your intentions were if they did not refund your money.

      Steve

      • Matt

        When they call and offer me little money i just decline, and let them know I will be filing a complaint with all the places listed in my letter, unless i receive the full refund? You think this will scare the money out of them?

        Matt

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Nope.

        If you follow my process and show you are methodical that has the chance of being more effective. A threat over the phone does not show action.

        Steve

      • Matt

        What do you advise I say, when they call me back and if the amount they offer is low? They have called me once and sent an email to me, both just asking me to return the call to process my cancellation and refund request. I have called back and left a message and still have no gotten a return call.

        Matt

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I advise you take this discussion off the phone and document it all by mail as I laid out. The chances are really good the person on the phone will claim latter they did not have the authority to make such an offer. Get it all in writing and being able to show they received your request and did not respond is powerful when you escalate your case and make file a complaint with the state.

      • Matt

        They are calling me now because they have received my request. Do I just not call back when they call? Or should I response to the email, and request everything in writing? I don’t mean to seem dumb just not really sure how to move forward at this point. I sent them the letter I gave them until the 26th to return my full refund, and they are now calling me.

        Matt

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Call them back. If they offer you a full refund over the phone get a date by which they will pay you back. If they don’t pay by that date then follow my plan. BUT, only you can decide if the refund they offer you is sufficient if it is less than a full refund. There is a cost in time and money to pursuing it further.

        Let me know what they say and by the way, who is the company?

        Steve

      • Matt

        DSA – Debt Settlement America

  • Not a fan of Freedom Financial/Freedom Debt Relief

    Hello Steve, I really appreciate this article you have written. I have posted 1 or 2 items on your site, but look at it often to make sure I am doing things correctly. I terminated with Freedom in March and have been scammed out of $9,255.68 in a 10 month period. Besides all the wrong doing they have done and I have copies of everything, my credit being ruined, we are currently filing a chapter 13. I still have a hard time believing that we went with a debt settlement company, as my we pride ourselves on making pretty good decisions. We have created a mess, but are cleaning it up slowly! Some of the things I did not do that you recommended I am now going to move forward with. On a personal note we are starting to heal and forgive ourselves for making this very poor decision on signing with a debt settlement company. I hope if anyone reads your
    website please do not sign with a debt settlement company. If you think you have problems now wait until you follow there plan, you will be in worst shape than when you started. There are other alternatives and help out there I promise. Steve, keep giving out this very valuable information that you share with everyone. It is my personal belief that as the economy and people recover we are going to find so many more people that are in my place. I consider the wrong doings of the debt settlement industry an epidemic that is getting ready to come to light. Keep sharing your info and I will keep reading!

  • JennyM

    I just found this article, and I’m in the process of trying to get out of a debt settlement program. And as of yesterday I closed the saving account I had with the 3rd party bank. And now I am getting more calls for then debt settlement place then I ever have in the last 11 months. So here is my question should I talk to them or wait until they receive my letter?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Jenny,

      Do both.

      Steve

      • JennyM

        Ok, I have to admit I’m a little scared. I actually wrote down what I plan to say, not only for record reason but also because I know no one will pick up the phone when I call back. Either it will be after hours or they just don’t bother to answer. That’s what I usually run in to. I just feel like they are there to help themselves and not me. The truth is if they give me a full refund I can take care of 3 out of my 5 credit card debt on my own, within a few weeks. I just hope they give it all back and I don’t have to fight them to hard. (Although if I have to I will)! :) Thanks!

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Jenny,

        There is no need to get sucked into a confrontation. There is also no need to call if you follow my step-by-step plan if you don’t want to. Calling just gives you the peace of mind that you spoke to someone and on the off chance they offered you a full and immediate refund, it would all be taken care of. I’m not betting on that thought.

        Steve

  • Brad

    How does someone get out a Debt settlement company? I have been with a company for about two years and only have about a year left with them and have been sued 4 times and only one of them have they had enough to actually had enough in my account to fully pay off the the plaintif.

    How do you break out of one of these firms?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Brad,

      Let me know the results by following the process to get out from under your debt settlement company.

      Steve

    • http://www.ridleylawoffices.com/ Eric Ridley

      I’m a consumer attorney. Frequently my clients will ask us to get them out from these predators. In general, once they receive a demand letter from our office (or the office of any consumer attorney), they will accede right away to a full return of all funds paid into them. Most attorneys should be able to negotiate with the debt companies for under $1,000.

      Eric Ridley, Esq.

    • http://www.ridleylawoffices.com/ Eric Ridley

      I’m a consumer attorney. Frequently my clients will ask us to get them out from these predators. In general, once they receive a demand letter from our office (or the office of any consumer attorney), they will accede right away to a full return of all funds paid into them. Most attorneys should be able to negotiate with the debt companies for under $1,000.

      Eric Ridley, Esq.

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.