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The Association of Attorneys for Debt Resolution Site

A tipster (send in your tips here) just brought to my attention that the Association of Attorneys for Debt Resolution website is now active. See aadrsite.org.

Contact information is:

18300 Montfort Drive
Suite 135
Dallas, TX 75240

Phone: 877-686-2237
Fax: 413-793-1464
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

The Association of Attorneys for Debt Resolution Site

Consumer Disclosure

As part of the AADR membership information there is something called Attachment D – Disclosure Agreement. The disclosure agreement is to be listed on the member site, just like TASC requires. Here is what the disclosure statement says.

BY SIGNING BELOW, YOU ARE STATING YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND ALL THE ISSUES BELOW:

  1. You are enrolling into an attorney-client relationship after seeking the assistance of [Insert Organization]. Lawyer cannot and will not predict or guarantee specific results and individual results will vary. Lawyer is obligated to use his or her good faith efforts to timely negotiate the reduction or restructure of the identified accounts.
  2. You understand that saving sufficient funds to fund settlements is critical to successfully completing the program. It is important to highlight that you and you alone will be in control of all settlement monies and under no circumstances will [insert Organization] have custody or control of the funds you put aside to fund debt resolutions.
  3. You and [Organization] will establish a savings program you will need to maintain in order to settle your outstanding debts. Prior to retention, summaries of total settlement amounts, monthly savings and a timeline will be prepared. This will reflect the minimum amount that has been estimated that you will need to save to be in a position to resolve your debts. The actual settlement amounts, necessary savings and timeline required will vary based upon individual creditor(s) settlements, collection efforts, and other factors that may affect resolution or restructure of accounts.
  4. [Insert Organization] cannot force creditors to negotiate with Lawyers; however, most creditors and collectors will negotiate settlements. Lawyer will not make monthly payments to your creditors. Because monthly payments are not made, your creditor(s) may continue collection efforts on delinquent accounts. Such efforts to collect delinquent accounts may include phone calls, letters, charging off the account, sending accounts to collection agencies, attorneys, lawsuits and even garnishment of your wages if judgment is obtained. We will not be able to stop these collection activities and they may occur during the resolution negotiation process.
  5. The negotiation process will continue for many months. The time frame for resolution negotiation varies from client to client depending on circumstances. Some factors that may delay negotiations might be: (a) your financial hardship, (b) age and balance of accounts, (c) funds available to pay resolution, and (d) willingness of creditor to negotiate. No guarantees can be given; however, the more money you save the sooner you will be in a position to settle accounts. Any settlement must be agreed upon by both you and your creditor.
    The Retainer Agreement defines how [insert Organization] will be compensated for its efforts and how any refunds will be made. Fees paid to the Lawyer for services rendered are not set aside or held in a trust fund. No monies will be paid from Lawyer to creditor(s) on your behalf.

  6. Communications with Creditors are handled on a case-by-case basis. Working with your Creditor(s) will be handled on case-by-case basis in order to best fit your circumstances.
  7. Making minimum payments. You have represented to the Lawyer that because of hardships, you are unable to meet the minimum payments required by your creditor(s). Because minimum payments are not made, you are breaking the terms of your agreement with them and your non-payment could be reported to consumer reporting agencies as late, delinquent, charged-off or past due. The failure to pay the minimum payment may cause the creditor to raise the interest rate on your account and impose other penalties. Your account balance will grow as your creditor adds accrued interest, late fees, over limit fees and penalties. Your balance may continue to grow after the retention of the Lawyer or until a settlement is reached. If negotiations are unsuccessful, you may be forced to pay the entire balance. After settlement with your creditor, a comment may be put on your credit report stating, “settled for less than full amount.” Participating in this program may have an adverse effect on your credit report or score.
  8. Settlement of $600 or more off what you owe may be reported to the IRS as Discharge of Indebtedness income. Please consider consulting your tax advisor to determine whether your circumstances permit you to exclude such Discharge of Indebtedness Income from your reportable income due to insolvency. Information on tax ramifications: a. consult a CPA or Tax Attorney, b. consult IRS website www.irs.gov; and c. review IRS Publication 908-“Bankruptcy Tax Guide” and IRS Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness (available on IRS website).
  9. The nature of the retention is limited. You understand that the Lawyer has been retained for the purpose of settling your unsecured debts and for no other purpose.
  10. It is your responsibility and right to communicate directly to the information provided below:
    Company:
    Address:
    Phone Number:
    Email:
    Upon request, you will receive from the Company our refund procedure and grievance policy. You have the right to report directly to AADR any concerns via email: [email protected]

This debt resolution program can be a very effective way to resolve your debt. This process contains factors beyond the control of your service provider. Your failure to complete this program will have negative consequences on your financial situation.

I have read and understand contents of this Disclosure Agreement.

Memberships Available

According to the membership document there are three categories of members. members may be an attorney, a processing or debt settlement company, or an affiliate marketing company. – Source

The Association of Attorneys for Debt Resolution Site

Interesting Observation

From the way the membership application reads to me, even though members may be debt settlement processing companies and marketers, the fee section says that, “Fees shall be charged in compliance with State Bar rules and will be considered fair and reasonable.” I’m curious if this means that AADR feels that all members are somehow magically exempt from the Federal Trade Commission telemarketing sales rules?

The same application says, “Members, who are not solely marketing or generating leads, will demonstrate their ability to achieve resolution of consumer debt that are mutually agreeable to both the Client and the Creditor.” So I assume this means that marketing or lead generator members will not have a responsibility to confirm the consumer does have an ability to settle their debt. What do you think? Comment below.

And the site does not list its members like the TASC site does. Maybe they don’t have any members yet or they are just following the lead of USOBA and want to keep the membership listing secret.

The Association of Attorneys for Debt Resolution Site
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Matt

    Nevermind it’s up… Weird.

  • Matt

    Nevermind it’s up… Weird.

  • Matt

    The site is not active. Wonder what happened?

  • Matt

    The site is not active. Wonder what happened?

  • Andy Faria

    If forced to pick my poison, TASC has to be the front-runner to survive. They seem to have a better sense of reality than the others.

    With that said, applauding TASC for posting their member list is similar to applauding us for posting our service agreements online, it’s actually kind of sad that expectations for this industry have come to that.

    No doubt, TASC took a step in the right direction on 8/17 by posting a press release announcing support for the TSR, but thats it, and it seems they stopped there. Where is the education, training, enforcement?

    What benefit could TASC, or any of the current “trade associations” for that matter, provide a performance based model company like ours?

    Not much.

  • Steve Rhode

    Ironic that it’s the same thing John Ansbach from USOBA said before Congress when asked why they didn’t publish their member list. He said he was afraid it would become a subpoena list. Yet TASC has no problem with publishing their member list. What’s that tell you?

  • Andy Faria

    I would guess AADR will keep tight lipped on their membership. Publishing their members would practically create a “hit list” for regulators to simply work their way down.

    This “trade association” is weak sauce. An AADR “badge” represents that the company in question believes that regulation doesn’t apply to them, and plays by their own rules. Sounds like more of a “bullseye” to me.

  • Damon Day

    Another expensive fake credibility badge. The more consumers become aware how bad most of these programs really are, the more badges they need on their website to convince consumers that theirrrrrrrr grrrrrrrrrrrreat.

  • Steve Rhode

    Sean,

    It is perplexing, I’ll give you that.

    What I’m waiting for is to see if AADR publishes their membership list and willing to stand out in the light of day or hide in the shadows like USOBA does with their member list. To me I really have to tip my hat to TASC for being the leader in being up-front and proud of their membership. The irony is that TASC never really gets grief about who their members are but USOBA just invites criticism by being secretive.

    As I remember TASC announced not long ago that they now accept legal members so in this moment in time of a reduced need for two trade associations, why do we need more?

    The big question I have that is unanswered is what does AADR offer that TASC and USOBA don’t already offer?

    Steve

  • ComplianceSlave

    Steve- I wonder what their suggestions are to the Lawyers regarding paying sales companies? A lawyer cannot share fees with a nonlawyer- So?……… But they must know how to do it since they have categories for memberships “associate” with # of salespeople dictating cost.
    Also, their site talks alot about posting and sharing “current legislation”… But does NOT refer to new TSR rules anywhere- Wouldn’t this be a primary goal of this association?
    Thoughts?

  • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

    Steve- I wonder what their suggestions are to the Lawyers regarding paying sales companies? A lawyer cannot share fees with a nonlawyer- So?……… But they must know how to do it since they have categories for memberships “associate” with # of salespeople dictating cost.
    Also, their site talks alot about posting and sharing “current legislation”… But does NOT refer to new TSR rules anywhere- Wouldn’t this be a primary goal of this association?
    Thoughts?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Sean,

      It is perplexing, I’ll give you that.

      What I’m waiting for is to see if AADR publishes their membership list and willing to stand out in the light of day or hide in the shadows like USOBA does with their member list. To me I really have to tip my hat to TASC for being the leader in being up-front and proud of their membership. The irony is that TASC never really gets grief about who their members are but USOBA just invites criticism by being secretive.

      As I remember TASC announced not long ago that they now accept legal members so in this moment in time of a reduced need for two trade associations, why do we need more?

      The big question I have that is unanswered is what does AADR offer that TASC and USOBA don’t already offer?

      Steve

      • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

        Another expensive fake credibility badge. The more consumers become aware how bad most of these programs really are, the more badges they need on their website to convince consumers that theirrrrrrrr grrrrrrrrrrrreat.

      • http://northeast-properties.com Andy Faria

        I would guess AADR will keep tight lipped on their membership. Publishing their members would practically create a “hit list” for regulators to simply work their way down.

        This “trade association” is weak sauce. An AADR “badge” represents that the company in question believes that regulation doesn’t apply to them, and plays by their own rules. Sounds like more of a “bullseye” to me.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Ironic that it’s the same thing John Ansbach from USOBA said before Congress when asked why they didn’t publish their member list. He said he was afraid it would become a subpoena list. Yet TASC has no problem with publishing their member list. What’s that tell you?

      • http://northeast-properties.com Andy Faria

        If forced to pick my poison, TASC has to be the front-runner to survive. They seem to have a better sense of reality than the others.

        With that said, applauding TASC for posting their member list is similar to applauding us for posting our service agreements online, it’s actually kind of sad that expectations for this industry have come to that.

        No doubt, TASC took a step in the right direction on 8/17 by posting a press release announcing support for the TSR, but thats it, and it seems they stopped there. Where is the education, training, enforcement?

        What benefit could TASC, or any of the current “trade associations” for that matter, provide a performance based model company like ours?

        Not much.

  • Damon Day

    Well now that most of their high dollar marketing campaigns have been ramped down, they have all kinds of idle time to think of stuff. The ironic part is that here it appears that the scammers have turned on themselves, and now are going after other debt settlement companies because the TSR doesn’t limit the amount of upfront money that an association can charge a company for membership. Oh, the irony is delicious. I have said for awhile now, take it from TASC and USOBA, there is money in them badges :-) They have been cleaning up and making a killing from debt settlement programs that couldn’t see the scam that TASC and USOBA were running on them. In fact many of them still don’t get it and continue to pay membership dues to these organizations.

    Now there are just a bunch of wannabe copy cats. Unfortunately for them, their timing sucks. But it is fun to watch them scramble.

  • http://DamonDay.com Damon Day

    Well now that most of their high dollar marketing campaigns have been ramped down, they have all kinds of idle time to think of stuff. The ironic part is that here it appears that the scammers have turned on themselves, and now are going after other debt settlement companies because the TSR doesn’t limit the amount of upfront money that an association can charge a company for membership. Oh, the irony is delicious. I have said for awhile now, take it from TASC and USOBA, there is money in them badges :-) They have been cleaning up and making a killing from debt settlement programs that couldn’t see the scam that TASC and USOBA were running on them. In fact many of them still don’t get it and continue to pay membership dues to these organizations. Now there are just a bunch of wannabe copy cats. Unfortunately for them, their timing sucks. But it is fun to watch them scramble.

  • ComplianceSlave

    Even better- Send me the 5k- Ill let you make 18 installments, then send you 10% of the TSR & file bankruptcy

  • http://www.ftc.gov ComplianceSlave

    Even better- Send me the 5k- Ill let you make 18 installments, then send you 10% of the TSR & file bankruptcy

  • Joe_debt_jr

    lol, send me that $5000, I’ll take 3 installments and once I get all the payments than I’ll send you the TSR all 229 pages and I’ll even throw in a 30 minutes worth of clipping of Vice-President Biden announcing it too. :)

  • Andy Faria

    I have a better idea, send the 5k to me, and I’ll email you a copy of the full TSR.

    AADR is trying to dupe debt settlement companies into believing they found a loophole that allows them to charge advance fees. For 5k they’ll let you in on the scheme. Please!

  • http://northeast-properties.com Andy Faria

    I have a better idea, send the 5k to me, and I’ll email you a copy of the full TSR.

    AADR is trying to dupe debt settlement companies into believing they found a loophole that allows them to charge advance fees. For 5k they’ll let you in on the scheme. Please!

    • Anonymous

      lol, send me that $5000, I’ll take 3 installments and once I get all the payments than I’ll send you the TSR all 229 pages and I’ll even throw in a 30 minutes worth of clipping of Vice-President Biden announcing it too. :)

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