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Persels and Associates Gets Into It With Kansas. Kansas Says Not Loving Attorney Model Debt Settlement.

The Topeka Capital-Journal is reporting an interesting development in Kansas regarding debt settlement.

I’ve bolded the most interesting parts of the article below. But this case may be of significant interest for those staking a future under an attorney model to conduct debt settlement activities.

Persels and Associates Gets Into It With Kansas. Kansas Says Not Loving Attorney Model Debt Settlement.
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A Maryland-based company conducting debt settlement activities in Kansas has challenged the authority of the State Bank Commissioner’s cease-and-desist order that would close its operations in the state.

The company, Persels and Associates, is one of two companies accused of violating the state’s Credit Services Organization Act by the Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner.

In a suit filed on Sept. 9, Persels sought an injunction in Shawnee County District Court barring the state from restricting the company’s Kansas operations. Persels argued that the Kansas Banking Commissioner was acting outside his authority in attempting to regulate attorneys — an area that is the responsibility of the Kansas Supreme Court, Persels said in its suit.

“It is stunning and, frankly, disappointing that the State Bank Commissioner in Kansas would try to take such a regulatory stretch when clearly the regulation of attorneys lies solely with the Kansas Supreme Court,” said Neil Ruther, founder of Persels and Associates.

“We practice consumer and debtor law in 48 states and have never seen such an action,” Ruther said in a statement. “And what makes it even more troubling is the fact that the Banking Commissioner has not given us the name of a single client who has complained, nor given us the opportunity to resolve any such complaints.”

A ruling on the request for an injunction is still pending from District Court Judge David Bruns.

The Bank Commissioner’s cease-and-desist order alleges that both Persels and Consumer Law Associates, LLC, of Frisco, Texas, engaged in debt settlement activities with Kansas consumers in violation of Kansas laws. Specifically, the agency’s order alleges the companies and owners:

— Delayed payment of consumer’s debt to increase cost, fees, or charges payable by the consumer.

— Misrepresented material facts or made false promises intended to induce consumers to enter into debt services agreements.

— Engaged in fraudulent or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the offer or sale of services of a credit services organization.

— Structured debt management service agreements in a manner resulting in a negative amortization of consumer debts.

The order seeks restitution for consumers and a fine of more than $8 million and seeks to prohibit the companies and their owners from continuing to engage in such business with Kansas consumers.

“We’ve seen this so-called ‘attorney model’ in several of our investigations of illegal debt settlement activity. We believe some companies have attempted to organize themselves in such a fashion to claim an exemption from oversight by our agency, depriving Kansans of the protections in the law”, said Kevin Glendening, Deputy Bank Commissioner.

“Generally in debt settlement schemes, promises are typically made to consumers to help reduce debts, stop collection efforts, improve credit ratings, and so forth. Companies may claim to be exempt from oversight due to the involvement of a local attorney.

“However, our agency believes many of these companies simply ‘rent’ the local attorney’s law license in an attempt to avoid the consumer protections contained in the law, including limits on fees and charges,” Glendening added. “In some instances, consumers never speak to or meet with the attorney. Typically, the attorneys do not appear in court on behalf of the consumer if they are sued by their creditors. It can delay the court process and certainly cause great harm to consumers.”

Ruther said his company sought injunctive relief after attempts to reconcile differences with the Bank Commissioner’s office were unsuccessful.

“Our firm has offered to review individual cases, business practices, any consumer complaints or other specific items of interest to the regulatory body. None of those overtures were accepted,” Ruther said. “Instead, we asked the court for intervention and now the state regulators have responded with this action that puts our clients at risk. It is a very disappointing turn of events.”

Consumers with complaints or concerns about debt settlement companies are encouraged to contact the Office of the State Bank Commissioner at 1-877-387-8523 or at 700 S.W. Jackson, Suite 300, Topeka, Ks. 66603.

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Persels and Associates Gets Into It With Kansas. Kansas Says Not Loving Attorney Model Debt Settlement. by

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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.
  • gerkey

    You want a specific client who was recently enrolled into a state that a non-compliant company is working in.  Refer to Vanisha’s post.  Her home state is in Louisiana.  She recently signed up with Persels and Associates/Care One.

    Louisiana state law/code RS 14:331  http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=78439

    Prohibition of debt adjusting when conducted for profit.  Section shall not apply to (1) situations involving debt adjusting incurred “INCIDENTALLY”  in the lawful practice of law in this state.  I emphasize “Incidentally”  because this means “not intentionally”.  It looks to me that Persels/ Care One intentionally does business in La.

    What is also interesting, that in the letter proposed to the FTC, Care One states; “provides credit counseling and debt management services in 37 states. http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/tsrdebtrelief/543670-00191.pdf

    Then you see AACC Care One member say they provide DMP and DS plans across all 50 states. 
    http://newaacc.org/member/care-one

    and of course they came back saying they stopped doing ds in 3 states, likely, IL, KS and now WA.  but even though they advocate transparency they never put their state list in writing.  Why not?  Just saying that when you piece this all together, it just looks shady.  Don’t you think?  Also, why would they not tell the FTC that they offer Debt Settlement plans across all 50 states? And say that they are licensed in 37 states.

    If they are using their state license as Care One to offer DS services in the “states that do not require legal services to settle debts” in, do they really negotiate with the same creditors that extend them interest rate benefits for the credit counseling clients?  Are creditors now willing to extend interest rate reduction benefits to credit counseling companies that also settle under the same name?  I would never think that a creditor would do that…

    Also, I was unaware that states clearly say that they “require an attorney to manage the settlement process”

    http://www.careonecredit.com/guides/dmp-dsp-switch.aspx

    Let’s play, “do they comply”!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      I’ll gladly ask CareOne for a comment. Just to clarify, the last statement I posted from CareOne said they service DS clients in all but three states. I’m waiting for the state update to update that page you referenced.

      What date did the Vanisha you refer to enroll? Help me to understand how she is a recent client as you state.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Tom,

      I was going to email this to you but I’ll just post it here.

      I’ll gladly confront CareOne with a specific current client they’ve enrolled. I have no problems doing that but for goodness sake, you’ve got to give me some specific facts about the client (date enrolled, etc.) or feel free to email Mike Croxson directly. You know where his email address is.

      Trying to pick a point back in time and nailing down what the facts were back then is damn near impossible.

      Welcome to what I have to deal with everyday.

      I need a specific example and all the facts to confront CareOne with.

      Get me that, please.

    • Errick

      I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head there. The major banks and asset acceptance firms would never tolerate having to settle for less than full balance from the one hand, while they are getting payment in full from the other.  Unless… they know something we don’t, such as the settlements don’t often hold up in court anyway.  Or debtors almost never finish paying on them.  Or both.  Or something we haven’t figured out yet.

      But I don’t think “incidental” means “unintentional” I think it means “ancillary” like when you compromise the medical expenses for your client in a personal injury case.  But you’re right, debt settlement is the PRIMARY purpose of the contract.

      It is shady, and I doubt Steve will go to his grave thanking God he has a relationship of whatever kind with Mike Croxson.  But that’s his business.  He lets us air our views on his website and I got nothing to say after thanks.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      So I talked with Mike Croxson at CareOne about the comments here. Here is what he said.

      “It is CareOne’s position that all the partners we work with to best assist consumers meet all regulatory and compliance standards.

      If there are ANY concerns that arise over these maters we appreciate people bringing them to your attention so they can be addressed.”

      I also got a contact email at P&A to continue exploring this. I’ll email this post and thread to them and ask them to comment. Mike Croxson is also watching their response here.

      A specific example backed with pertinent facts though would be awesome though to use to look at.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Tom,

      As I said I would do, here is the response to your statement from Persels & Associates.

      Persels & Associates LLC is an independent law firm. It and its affiliate firms have been providing low cost unbundled legal services to people who cannot afford traditional legal representation for over 14 years. The firm has 170 lawyers in 49 states.  It is not lending its law licenses to anyone and it does not participate in what “Gerkey” calls a “lawyer model” of debt settlement for non-lawyer firms. We establish an attorney client relationship with all of our clients which trigger all of the responsibilities and safeguards which arise as a result of the strict regulation of members of the Bar.

      Our attorneys provide legal guidance to clients concerning their debts. We advise them of all of their alternatives, including bankruptcy.  If our clients are sued we guide them through the process of defending their interests including the preparation of legal pleadings, discovery documents, exemptions from execution and motions practice.  Our lawyers often negotiate directly with creditor’s attorneys for settlements of claims and they issue instructions to a staff of well-trained negotiators at our administrative service company. We have a division of lawyers who investigate and prosecute claims of violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Fair Debt Reporting Act on behalf of our clients. We also offer consultations on bankruptcy and if that becomes the preferred option the firm will prepare and file bankruptcy cases in most parts of the country.

      Persels & Associates employs CareOne on a fee per client basis to provide certain non-legal administrative services to our clients.  We do so because of the very high quality of their work and because it significantly reduces the cost of providing legal services to our clients. CareOne does not give legal advice. It does not provide legal services to our clients except at our direction and subject to our supervision. Many traditional law firms have seen fit in recent years to contract out many services, some to providers in foreign countries. At last report it was a $4.5 Billion per year industry. The profession has ruled these outsourcing arrangements to be within the rules of ethical behavior and generally in the interests of clients because they offer lowest possible costs for services. (See, Timmons, Heather, Where Lawyers Find Work, New York Times, June 3, 2011)  

      Our firm has been a leader in providing unbundled low cost legal services to people who are economically foreclosed from the legal system for years. We are proud of that record and of our association with CareOne whose technology and expertise make the delivery of these services possible.”

      Neil J Ruther, Managing Member, Persels & Associates LLC

      • gerkey

        It would be great to understand exactly how clients get entered into Persels and Associates Debt Settlement Program?  Steve, can you get Persels to explain how this process works or do you know how this is done? Who is the client speaking to first? 

        Who does the advertising to have the potential client enrolled into Persels Debt Settlement Program?

      • gerkey

        Also, everyone may want to read the source Neil references about legal outsourcing.  Here is the article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/business/03reverse.html?pagewanted=all

        “In the United States, outsourcing companies are hiring lawyers from
        temporary legal services firms or recruiting them directly out of law
        school. The pay is often comparable to lawyers’ salaries in smaller
        cities. And the jobs can come with other benefits, like equity stakes in
        the company and management opportunities that might not be widely
        available at conventional law firms. ”

        So in this type of “debt settlement attorney model” that Persels has structured (please let’s call it like it is), who is doing the outsourcing?  Is it Care One/Ascend One that outsources their legal work to a law firm, or is it Persel and Associates who outsources their non-legal work to Care One.

        The article-Where Lawyers Find Work is intended to give light on huge firms that hire newly graduated lawyers from law school to handle document preparation and review.  No where does it mention non-lawyer firms handling the outsourcing of legal work for major attorneys.

        Also, last time I checked Care One specialized in credit counseling, not legal outsourcing.

      • Guest

        What is the name of the “administrative service company” referenced in Neil’s comment?

  • Vanisha

    Someone needs to really stop Persels & Associates.  I filed a complaint against Persels & Associates with the Attorney General’s Office in Maryland and in my home state of Louisiana.  They never responded to the Attorney General in Louisiana but they lied to the Attorney General’s Office in Maryland saying that I gave them the wrong information and I was an unsatified customer.  Yeah I’m unsatisfied when you tell me that you couldn’t get in contact with one particular creditor but that same creditor files a lawsuit against me and had my wages garnished for over a year.  I told Persels & Associates about the lawsuit and the Louisiana Attorney assiged to my case, Provanda Kennedy, told me that I had this company listed on my debt consolidation and they needed to contact Persels & Associates.  Not only did Persels & Associates never contacted the creditor, the judge didn’t want to hear nothing but “do you owe this debt” and shoved me to the side and sided with the creditor.  Now, another creditor they told me was paid has now threatened a lawsuit against me.  PERSELS & ASSOCIATES NEEDS TO BE STOPPED NOW!!!!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      If you feel the Maryland attorney lied to you you should submit a formal complaint to the Maryland Bar against the lawyer.

      The judge has a point, no intervention except bankruptcy is going to change the contractual relationship between you and the lender unless their is a mutual agreement.

      • gerkey

        Steve Rhode, why do you continue to support businesses that are engaged in deceptive and unfair trade practices such as Care One and Persels and Associates? 

        These attorney models are misrepresenting consumers and will continue to do so until they are stopped by regulators across the country.  At no point is any client ever represented by an attorney, it is all done by Care One and their customer service center.  Steve, you cannot deny how there model is structured, yet you continue send clients to them.

      • Guest

        Gerk,
        I am no settlement company sympathyzer, but what do you have to offer as an alternative to what happens to consumers in a settlement program as administered by the typcial settlement company?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I’m not sure I understand your question. Are you asking about an alternative to debt settlement or an alternative to when a debt settlement program goes bad?

      • Guest

        I am asking Gerk to point to an alternative for consumers that is not the same as jumping from a pan to a fire for debt help. How is settlement as available through the company thread topic different than what he would suggest for a settlement service?

      • gerkey

        Guest, anyone has options to eliminate their debt.  It just depends on what option is best that suits their financial hardship or their goal.  Its really simple, for those who are current on their bills, have high interest rates, understand that their monthly payments are going to interest, and they do not want to fall behind on their bills-Credit Counseling should be there best option as long as they can afford the minimum required monthly payment that creditors are willing to accept.  For those who may already be a month or two behind or something has happened to prevent that person to continue making the mandatory monthly minimum- Debt Settlement may be their best option ultimately avoiding bankruptcy.  A person entering into a debt settlement program needs to understand that while enrolled into this program they know there monthly payments are not going to the creditors and will have a negative impact on there credit score.  Those who are unable to maintain a monthly payment on a debt settlement program and has little to no assets-Bankruptcy may be there last resort best option.

        Guest, you have to understand that there are different options for different situations, not one solution fits everyone’s situation.  I am just shedding light on the fact that Steve Rhode directly supports models that engage in deceptive and unfair trade practices and could potentially bring harm to any consumers that where referred to these companies.  The attorney model has and will continue to be challenged, no matter which model it is.  The model is utilized for the sole purpose of avoiding state laws, regulations and licensing requirements.  Consumers are given a false sense that it is the law firm that will negotiate on the consumers behalf and that they are being represented by the law firm.  The law firm or even the attorney in the state has little to no involvement with the person enrolled into the program.  They sign off on client files and collect monthly checks for companies to use there name.  If any debt relief company, any credit counseling company or law firm that regularly engages in debt adjusting and really wanted to have the best interest of consumers in mind would actually get licensed to do business in the states that require the license.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I was with you through most of the first paragraph but in the second. Kaboom!

        Let’s get to your accusation about me. I’ve asked you to supply me with a specific example of a consumer that was referred and enrolled with a non-complaint company. You have not. So let’s cut that crap out till you can identify someone and I can investigate the issue.

        I’m with you on the advanced fee attorney model. I don’t like it. In fact I’m currently working with an insider at one such firm to expose what is really going on with those models.

      • Errick

        Ugh, I was with you until the last sentence.  I don’t think licensing helps the consumer one bit.  It helps the government by looking like they do something.  It helps licensed companies because it discourages complaints.  But the consumer has a new layer of apathy set between her and her rights.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Are you outraged at the attorney model, advanced fee attorney model, CareOne, Persels, or something else.

        I have certainly been very critical of advanced fee attorney models. I have no referral relationship with CareOne.

        As I’ve offered to you before, if you have any issue with CareOne, please feel free to email their president Mike Croxson directly. I’ve even shown you where to find his email address.

      • gerkey

        “I have no referral relationship with CareOne”?  You have a direct connection with the AACC members do you not?  And if people have questions or may need debt settlement help you can point them with your website to the AACC right?  Here is a direct link to advice that you provided.  In this advice you state:  “For debt settlement solutions I suggest you talk to one of the AACC member companies.”  Call me crazy, but that to me looks like a direct referral to AACC members. direct link:  http://getoutofdebt.org/28354/weve-been-following-the-dave-ramsey-snowball-plan-but-its-not-working-for-us-shannon

        Do you support Care One’s debt settlement program which is Persels and Associates?  Yes or no?  Simple question.  This is not a courtroom…cant plead the 5th. 

        To answer your question, I have an issue with the deceptions and misrepresentations that attorney models have in general.  Just an example, consumers will feel like they are truly being represented by an Attorney in the state that they reside when they never are or ever will.

        Just like your industry article you just wrote about the AFCC, I have given you substantial information to show you that Persels and Associates is not licensed nor exempt from attorney exemption status to some state debt adjusting laws and could potentially be harmful to many consumers like those in Kansas, soon to be Maryland and Washington State.

        So again, Steve Rhode, why do you continue to support Care One and Persels and
        Associates, knowing they are violating state debt adjusting laws? 

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Bring me a specific example of a current state CareOne services is working with new clients through P&A and I’ll gladly bring that specific example to the attention of CareOne for a response like I have done before.

        All I’m asking for is the state, why P&A would not be eligible to provide services there and some sort of confirmation you can get that they are currently enrolling clients there.

        I’ll chase it down for you but you’ve got to be specific for me in one statement of facts so I can ask for a direct answer to your concern.

        You’ve got to help me to help you find the answer you are looking for.

    • Errick

      If you have a letter that says one of your debts has been settled, but the creditor says it has not, you should take that letter to a lawyer of your own right away.  Your debt settlement company may be held responsible for your losses.  If your money has been used to pay a creditor for a settlement, but the creditor says they never settled, you should go to the attorney regulators of your state right away.  Many states have funds to repay the victims of this kind of fraud.

  • Guest

    Hey so what’s goin on with this case in light of the Illinois case against Legal Helpers?

  • Debt Whistleblower

    Kevin Glendening is 100% on the ball when he said that these debt settlement companies are just renting the local attorney’s law license to protect their company.

    I spent years working for debt settlement companies. The most recent one was, indeed, the attorney model. Everything about it smelled fishy.

    As Kevin stated above, the consumer NEVER met with the attorney. Also, they were told upfront that if they ever got sued by the creditor, the attorney would not appear in court with them.

    It’s a very misleading model, because people assume that when they retain an attorney, the attorney will protect them. The attorneys in these debt-settlement models could care less. They are getting kickbacks in exchange for doing no work. It should be against the law.

  • http://www.EliminateCreditDebt.com Debt Whistleblower

    Kevin Glendening is 100% on the ball when he said that these debt settlement companies are just renting the local attorney’s law license to protect their company.

    I spent years working for debt settlement companies. The most recent one was, indeed, the attorney model. Everything about it smelled fishy.

    As Kevin stated above, the consumer NEVER met with the attorney. Also, they were told upfront that if they ever got sued by the creditor, the attorney would not appear in court with them.

    It’s a very misleading model, because people assume that when they retain an attorney, the attorney will protect them. The attorneys in these debt-settlement models could care less. They are getting kickbacks in exchange for doing no work. It should be against the law.

    • Guest

      Hey so what’s goin on with this case in light of the Illinois case against Legal Helpers?

  • Errick

    Pam, I wouldn’t do either of those things right away and I’ll tell you why. CareOne is already in a nationwide class action with it’s debt management customers which was filed in 2005. FIVE YEARS AGO. You are probably in the class but you don’t even know it yet because they are throwing every stall trick in the book at it. Does that sound like someone who personally cares about every client’s success? They may pay you something to shut up, but not nearly what they cost you.

    In Washington State, the Scott Law Group is trying to keep their lawsuit, which is NOT yet even certified as a class action, from getting kicked out of court. The hearing to find out if they can even sue anyone is next month. You can always opt in the class action when you get the notice from the court: in 2016! They also just want your information to make their job easier.

    Before you do anything else call Jim Persels at 410-739-0032 or 410-695-3531. Tell him your story and find out what he is willing to do for you first. He doesn’t own his own firm anymore but it’s still his name and reputation on the line. And he has to speak with you because he was your lawyer. If he won’t, call the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. If you don’t like what he says, then go get your OWN lawyer. Tell that lawyer to look at the Bronzich case in PACER and advise you based on your personal situation.

  • Steve Rhode

    Pam,

    Steve Rhode from GetOutOfDebt.org brought your comment to my attention.

    I personally care about every client’s success. Since you were a former CareOne customer I would like to investigate your situation and see how we can assist you. Please contact me personally at mcroxson(at)careonecredit.com and let us look into the issue for you.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Croxson
    President
    CareOne Services, Inc.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    Pam,

    Steve Rhode from GetOutOfDebt.org brought your comment to my attention.

    I personally care about every client’s success. Since you were a former CareOne customer I would like to investigate your situation and see how we can assist you. Please contact me personally at mcroxson(at)careonecredit.com and let us look into the issue for you.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Croxson
    President
    CareOne Services, Inc.

  • Steve Rhode

    Pam,

    Steve Rhode from GetOutOfDebt.org brought your comment to my attention.

    I personally care about every client’s success. Since you were a former CareOne customer I would like to investigate your situation and see how we can assist you. Please contact me personally at mcroxson(at)careonecredit.com and let us look into the issue for you.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Croxson
    President
    CareOne Services, Inc.

  • ScottLawGroup

    Pam, Our office has filed a civil class action complaint against Persels and CareOne on behalf of Washington consumers to recover the fees paid to Persels and CareOne. Our investigation is ongoing. We would be interested in discussing your situation. Please feel free to contact us at The Scott Law Group, P.S., (509) 455-3966, http://www.thescottlawgroup.com, Attn. Attorneys Darrell Scott and Matt Zuchetto.

  • Steve Rhode

    Pam,

    Steve Rhode from GetOutOfDebt.org brought your comment to my attention.

    I personally care about every client’s success. Since you were a former CareOne customer I would like to investigate your situation and see how we can assist you. Please contact me personally at mcroxson(at)careonecredit.com and let us look into the issue for you.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Croxson
    President
    CareOne Services, Inc.

  • Pam

    My husband and I joined CareOne Credit Counseling back in 2008..when it looked as if it would still take forever to get out of debt, they referred us over to Persels and Associates. We have paid over $7000 in legal fees and have had 3 lawsuits served and one has now gone to judgment and we are being garnished. The creditor that filed a judgment against us was willing to set up repayment plans, but negotiators ignored the agreement and now we are being garnished. What recourse does a consumer have with companies such as Persels? We feel as if we have been taken advantage of and can’t afford an attorney to fight this battle.

    Very disgruntled
    Pam Washington State

  • Pam

    My husband and I joined CareOne Credit Counseling back in 2008..when it looked as if it would still take forever to get out of debt, they referred us over to Persels and Associates. We have paid over $7000 in legal fees and have had 3 lawsuits served and one has now gone to judgment and we are being garnished. The creditor that filed a judgment against us was willing to set up repayment plans, but negotiators ignored the agreement and now we are being garnished. What recourse does a consumer have with companies such as Persels? We feel as if we have been taken advantage of and can’t afford an attorney to fight this battle.

    Very disgruntled
    Pam Washington State

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Pam,

      Steve Rhode from GetOutOfDebt.org brought your comment to my attention.

      I personally care about every client’s success. Since you were a former CareOne customer I would like to investigate your situation and see how we can assist you. Please contact me personally at mcroxson(at)careonecredit.com and let us look into the issue for you.

      Sincerely,
      Mike Croxson
      President
      CareOne Services, Inc.

    • Anonymous

      Pam, Our office has filed a civil class action complaint against Persels and CareOne on behalf of Washington consumers to recover the fees paid to Persels and CareOne. Our investigation is ongoing. We would be interested in discussing your situation. Please feel free to contact us at The Scott Law Group, P.S., (509) 455-3966, http://www.thescottlawgroup.com, Attn. Attorneys Darrell Scott and Matt Zuchetto.

      • TriSwimmer08

        I was initially with CareOne and they recommended that I seek “help” from Persels and Associates.  I’ve been with Persels and Associates for nearly two years and they’ve done nothing but give me the runaround.  I feel completely helpless and am looking for a way out of the situation I got into with them!  I am in Georgia; is anyone aware of a class action complaint in GA? 

      • Fvdfv

        TriSimmer.. Don’t worry. Careone, the company who “recommended” you to P & A is a TRUSTED AACC member. 

        Ok, enough with the sarcasm. IF they charged you up front fees, complain to the BBB, Attorney General, Bar Association. This website actually has a guide. FOLLOW THE GUIDE http://getoutofdebt.org/20126/how-to-get-out-of-a-scam-and-get-a-big-refund. Don’t let Careone get away with something IF they have done something wrong.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        @145e25b713dff6e82b90598614f40f84:disqus  Let’s tackle this on two fronts. As the other commenter said you can follow my refund guide too begin the process of lodging your complaint and pursuing a refund with P&A.

        But I’m not quite sure what the reference to “don’t let Care One get away with something” means. It seems like your issue is with P&A and alienating Care One, who could assist you in this, does not seem like the smart play to assist you in resolving the problem. 

        I’ll send an email to Care One and direct them to your comment and let’s see if as a community we can’t help to resolve the problem.

        Does that sound like a reasonable approach?

      • Gerkey

        This is a  classic example of an Attorney Model(Persels and Associates) being utilized by Care One to go around fee guidelines and the ability to actually do debt settlement in the state of Georgia.  Are the attorneys or the attorney representing you from Persels and Associates assisting you in any way?  Or is it Care One’s customer service?  Just ask them where they are located.. 

        Triswimmer08, do you have a copy of the agreement? What were the fees that were being charged to you?  The state of Georgia restricts fees being charged to only 7.5% of the total amount of money paid to the creditors monthly:  http://consumer.georgia.gov/consumer-services/debt-adjustment-act

        Also, if you were “initially” with Care One what were the fees being charged to you?  Because if they over-charged you, under § 18-5-4. Penalty for unlawfully engaging in business of debt adjusting -section b #2

        (2) Any person who engages in debt adjusting in violation of the
        provisions of Code Section 18-5-2 or subsection (a) of Code Section
        18-5-3.2 shall further be liable to the debtor in an amount equal to
        the total of all fees, charges, or contributions paid by the debtor
        plus $5,000.00. Such debtor shall have the right to bring a cause of
        action directly against such person for violation of the provisions of
        this chapter.
         

      • Question

        I’m sure Care One will step in and liason between P&A to make sure the customer is happy.

      • http://Community.CareOneCredit.com Suzanne Coblentz

        Hi TriSwimmer08

        Thank you for taking the time to post your concerns with Persels & Associates. The Providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services are committed to making sure that everyone we help, including those we refer to our partners in debt relief servicing such as Persels & Associates, experience is both positive and productive. We are going to escalate your issue to Persels and Associates. We hope that you will give Persels & Associates the opportunity to contact you personally and to try to resolve your issues. If you are not comfortable providing your contact information, please feel free to reach out through CareOne; 1-800-CARE-123. We will do whatever we can to make sure you find the support and assistance needed to address your issues.

        Kind Regards,
        Suzanne Coblentz
        CareOne Services, Inc.

      • Errick

        What, you mean you didn’t know that you are already in a proposed class action settlement?  Yes it’s true.  Every debt settlement victim nationwide is about to settle their claims with these people.  You have a lawyer in Florida and everything.  How much did your lawyer get for you in this proposed settlement.  Zero.  How much do the lawyers get in this proposed settlement? $300,000.  I know, it sounds really fair to me too.  Look it up, that is, if you have a PACER account and can pay $6.00.

      • robert s

        Does Care One refer them to Persels? Or are they the back-end? What is the exact, non-marketing-explanation of the relationship between P&A and Careone? 

      • Joe Cosentini

        TriSwimmer08

        I am very sorry to hear
        that your experience with Persels & Associates has been a negative one.

        GetOutofDebt.org provides secures your anonymity so
        we are unable to identify you as a Persels & Associates Client, and
        therefore unable to research your specific account information or reach out to
        you privately to try and resolve your issues.

        Providing superior
        customer service is a priority for Persels & Associates and we hope that
        you will give us the opportunity to better explain our settlement process to
        you so that you can be assured that you are making real progress and achieving
        settlements with your creditors.

        I urge you to please
        give us the opportunity to address your concerns. Please call 1-866-939-7252 and request to speak with
        a manager so that we can resolve your issues and get you back on track with your
        settlement goals.

        Thank you,

        Management Staff of Persels &
        Associates

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        @145e25b713dff6e82b90598614f40f84:disqus I reached out to both CareOne and Persels & Associates for you to help you get your issue resolved. Please do me a favor and be sure to post an update after you let them help you address your situation. Sound fair? 

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Pam,

      Steve Rhode from GetOutOfDebt.org brought your comment to my attention.

      I personally care about every client’s success. Since you were a former CareOne customer I would like to investigate your situation and see how we can assist you. Please contact me personally at mcroxson(at)careonecredit.com and let us look into the issue for you.

      Sincerely,
      Mike Croxson
      President
      CareOne Services, Inc.

    • Errick

      Pam, I wouldn’t do either of those things right away and I’ll tell you why. CareOne is already in a nationwide class action with it’s debt management customers which was filed in 2005. FIVE YEARS AGO. You are probably in the class but you don’t even know it yet because they are throwing every stall trick in the book at it. Does that sound like someone who personally cares about every client’s success? They may pay you something to shut up, but not nearly what they cost you.

      In Washington State, the Scott Law Group is trying to keep their lawsuit, which is NOT yet even certified as a class action, from getting kicked out of court. The hearing to find out if they can even sue anyone is next month. You can always opt in the class action when you get the notice from the court: in 2016! They also just want your information to make their job easier.

      Before you do anything else call Jim Persels at 410-739-0032 or 410-695-3531. Tell him your story and find out what he is willing to do for you first. He doesn’t own his own firm anymore but it’s still his name and reputation on the line. And he has to speak with you because he was your lawyer. If he won’t, call the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. If you don’t like what he says, then go get your OWN lawyer. Tell that lawyer to look at the Bronzich case in PACER and advise you based on your personal situation.

      • Cupid

        Errick, should not all non profit DMP-ers be held to a standard where they refer consumers who can qualify for chapter 7 to an attorney to learn more about how that solution fits them rather than enrolling them in a program out the gate?

        Should they not be held to account for enrolling millions of consumers into a program that may not have been the best answer for them?

  • Robert Stevenson

    I don’t know the specifics, but if there Owner/Attorney is stating in the press he has requested the complaints of clients in Kansas and the state hasn’t provided any… I have to wonder where is this coming from.

    Of course, we’re looking at several possibilities (that a “front-end” is using license, etc)… But that isn’t for the banking commission to ASSUME, rather prove in court.

    Here is my gripe… Banking Interest have effected every single Americans life. Example, “Bankruptcy Reform Consumer Protection Act”…. You think this is really a friendly consumer bill? No way, this is a Bank Bill drafted by the top. Chapter 13 has its place, but talk to many attorneys and it has a far reach.

    We want to blame the consumers when they sign up for Debt Relief, but we rarely hammer the Banks when they sign up consumers getting into debt.

  • Robert Stevenson

    I don’t know the specifics, but if there Owner/Attorney is stating in the press he has requested the complaints of clients in Kansas and the state hasn’t provided any… I have to wonder where is this coming from.

    Of course, we’re looking at several possibilities (that a “front-end” is using license, etc)… But that isn’t for the banking commission to ASSUME, rather prove in court.

    Here is my gripe… Banking Interest have effected every single Americans life. Example, “Bankruptcy Reform Consumer Protection Act”…. You think this is really a friendly consumer bill? No way, this is a Bank Bill drafted by the top. Chapter 13 has its place, but talk to many attorneys and it has a far reach.

    We want to blame the consumers when they sign up for Debt Relief, but we rarely hammer the Banks when they sign up consumers getting into debt.

  • Errick

    CareOne Debt Relief are the ones that rent the Persels license, you should ask Mr. Croxson about it.

  • Errick

    CareOne Debt Relief are the ones that rent the Persels license, you should ask Mr. Croxson about it.

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