Latest Posts
Home > Debt Relief Industry > Debt Management Company to Pay $4.5 Million to Settle Debt Management Complaints

Debt Management Company to Pay $4.5 Million to Settle Debt Management Complaints

Attorney General John Kroger today announced a $4.5 million multi-state settlement that resolves allegations that AscendOne Corporation misled consumers about their debt management services.

“Consumers who are struggling to manage their debt need help, not deceptive marketing of debt management plans,” said Keith Dubanevich, Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to Attorney General Kroger.

Today’s settlement is with AscendOne Corporation, a Maryland-based company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries: Amerix; CareOne Services, Inc.; FreedomPoint Financial Corporation; and 3C, Inc.; and Bernaldo Dancel, the owner of the companies. Oregon will receive $169,400 of the $4.5 million settlement that will be shared by 20 states and the District of Columbia.

The debt management services at issue involved the companies receiving monthly payments from consumers and then distributing the money to creditors at a rate negotiated as part of what is generally known as a debt management plan.

The complaint filed with today’s settlement includes allegations that AscendOne misled consumers by representing or causing the likelihood of confusion that the debt management services it offered would be performed by non-profit credit counseling agencies when, in fact, AscendOne performed the services. It was further alleged that some of the consumers AscendOne enrolled into debt management plans did not benefit from the plans. The complaint also alleged that AscendOne offered, sold and/or performed debt management services without first obtaining a license or registration for such services in Oregon.

The settlement prohibits AscendOne and their owner from offering, selling or performing debt management services unless they comply with all state law requirements, including becoming licensed. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services regulates debt management service providers and enforces the law in coordination with the Oregon Department of Justice.

“Be cautious and ask a lot of questions before hiring anyone to help you with your debt,” said Cory Streisinger, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “Your fees and your rights should be clearly spelled out before you sign up, and always make sure the company is licensed.”

The settlement further prohibits AscendOne from misrepresenting services as being performed by a non-profit, the purpose of fees charged, and the impact entering into a debt management plan could have on a consumers’ credit history. The settlement also provides that AscendOne can not enroll consumers into debt management plans unless they first determine a consumer can afford the plan.

The settlement also includes Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Amerix Responds

Debt Management Company to Pay $4.5 Million to Settle Debt Management Complaints

Debt Management Company to Pay $4.5 Million to Settle Debt Management Complaints
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

I can always use your help. If you have a tip or information you want to share, you can get it to me confidentially if you click here.

Debt Management Company to Pay $4.5 Million to Settle Debt Management Complaints 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.
  • Jason Taylor

    Now the BBB is under investigation-

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/

    The NC AG is after them for some nasty allegations.

  • ComplianceSlave

    Where the BBB gave Hamas an A… funny!

  • Peterg

    whats great??

  • ComplianceSlave

    That’s great!

  • Jason Taylor

    Oh it is… and looks like the BBB might have found out too and whatever special treatment the BBB gave Care One for whatever reason might be comming to the end. Click on the BBB logo on the Care One site and they no longer have an “A+” rating, they have “no rating” and the report it is under review. They tend to do this before revoking BBB membership. Here is the BBB report.

    http://www.bbb.org/greater-mar

    I have always found it interesting that Care One Clearly offers debt settlement services but have maintained an “A+” rating while other DS companies, even those who offer it among other services get a “D” or “F” automatically. Not that most debt settlement companies don’t deserve a “D” or “F” but the BBB should be sued for creating an unfair competive environment by blanketing the industry.

    Here is what I think has happend- by giving most all Debt Settlement companies a bad rating rather than grading companies on an individual bases (except for a couple likely deep pocket rare EXCEPTIONS like Care One) is the BBB has actually contributed to legitimate companies charging higher fees to compete with the scams, who have the same “D” or “F” rating and consumers cannot tell the difference.

    Also having an “F” rating forces a legitimate company to spend much more in marketing to obtain clients because so many people will shy away once they see the rating.

    I really hope a regulator decides to act on the BBB practices. Most government agencies are probably willing to ignore the practices of the BBB which some call some very ugly words because the BBB does indeed help governement agencies with investigations of fraudulent companies.

    The BBB was happy to give Terrorist group Hamas membership with an A- rating for $425. Need I say more?

    http://ctwatchdog.com/2010/07/

  • Jason Taylor

    Oh it is… and looks like the BBB might have found out too and whatever special treatment the BBB gave Care One for whatever reason might be comming to the end. Click on the BBB logo on the Care One site and they no longer have an “A+” rating, they have “no rating” and the report it is under review. They tend to do this before revoking BBB membership. Here is the BBB report.

    http://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/business-reviews/financial-services/careone-services-in-columbia-md-22012018

    I have always found it interesting that Care One Clearly offers debt settlement services but have maintained an “A+” rating while other DS companies, even those who offer it among other services get a “D” or “F” automatically. Not that most debt settlement companies don’t deserve a “D” or “F” but the BBB should be sued for creating an unfair competive environment by blanketing the industry.

    Here is what I think has happend- by giving most all Debt Settlement companies a bad rating rather than grading companies on an individual bases (except for a couple likely deep pocket rare EXCEPTIONS like Care One) is the BBB has actually contributed to legitimate companies charging higher fees to compete with the scams, who have the same “D” or “F” rating and consumers cannot tell the difference.

    Also having an “F” rating forces a legitimate company to spend much more in marketing to obtain clients because so many people will shy away once they see the rating.

    I really hope a regulator decides to act on the BBB practices. Most government agencies are probably willing to ignore the practices of the BBB which some call some very ugly words because the BBB does indeed help governement agencies with investigations of fraudulent companies.

    The BBB was happy to give Terrorist group Hamas membership with an A- rating for $425. Need I say more?

    http://ctwatchdog.com/2010/07/21/bbb-admits-it-was-suckered-into-giving-hamas-an-a-rating-for-425

  • Jason

    is the CareOne listed above the same as http://www.careonecredit.com?

  • Jason

    is the CareOne listed above the same as http://www.careonecredit.com?

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.