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Is Thomassen Law Group a Scam I Should Avoid? – Rachel

“Dear Steve,

I am looking for a way to consolidate my credit card debt so that I can make just one payment a month versus several and hopefully pay off my debt faster.

I have received a call back from the Thomassen Law Group. I’m not sure if this is a scam or not. I am not comfortable simply not making payments to my credit cards just to that I can go from good standing to bad just so they can negotiate on my behalf to reduce my debt by 50%

Has anyone had any experience with the Thomassen Law Group? Is this a scam?

Rachel”

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The Answer

Dear Rachel,

If you are able to make your current payments and they told you to stop paying your credit card debts, shame on them.

While being delinquent is generally the foundation for pursuing a settlement, it will also result in negative entries on your credit report for seven years and potentially being sued for non-payment. It just doesn’t sound like that’s what you are looking for.

From the information you’ve shared it sounds like you simply are looking for a straightforward debt consolidation at a lower rate and you are current on your debts. Take a look at LendingClub.com for just such an unsecured loan. If you do decide to go that route, post your loan number in the comments below and I’ll help fund it.

The LendingClub.com approach will result in you paying off your current balances in full and not result in any derogatory delinquent payment notification.

As far as saying Thomassen Law Group is a scam, what I can offer is that based on what you said you wanted to achieve, it does not sound like the solution presented meets your goals or expectations.

Is Thomassen Law Group a Scam I Should Avoid?   Rachel

Thomassen Law Group
402 W Broadway
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 866.450.1440
Fax: 866.610.1554

Just as an interesting observation, I did notice that while Thomassen Law Group says they are involved in personal injury, family law, and mediation, when you look at the staff, it looks pretty debt settlement focused to me.

  • Marilyn Thomassen – Lawyer
  • Scott Waszak – “Scott Waszak has had a long and successful career working in the financial services industry, including debt settlement, IRS and State of California Tax negotiation and settlement, as well as pre-IPO investments. Mr. Waszak considers his greatest attribute pursuant to his profession to be a genuine concern and empathy for his clients. When not helping his clients with their debt issues, he enjoys relaxing with family, friends (including his two very best four legged friends, Paisley and Dino…) and, of course, driving very fast sleek Italian sports cars that end in the letter “I.”
  • David Burnell – “Mr. Burnell has been considerate and diligent in helping clients clearly and deliberately understand the process and benefits of the debt negotiation process offered to them by this law firm.”
  • Elizabeth Leonard – “three years with the Thomassen Law Group as an Executive Assistant to Mr. David Burnell and Mr. Scott Waszak.”
  • Melissa Stuart – “Mrs. Stuart has been with the firm for three years, learning the debt settlement industry and the way this firm practices debt settlement law as an Executive Assistant and then being promoted to an Analyst about two years ago.”
  • Patricia “Tricia” Livingston – “For the last three years, she has been with this law office as the Executive Assistant to Mr. Scott Waszak and to Mr. David Burnell.” – Source

Even their own promotional videos are targeted towards debt relief services.

Source video

Video source

Video Source

They also say they are part of the Consumer Debt Legal Network.

Video Source

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

Is Thomassen Law Group a Scam I Should Avoid?   Rachel
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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.
  • 1911man

    Steve, thank you for the work you do.  What a resource you have here!

    With this one, it might be a good idea to back up a bit and find out who Thomassen Law Group is.  (Like you did with Paul Paquin and Golden Financial.)  

    I went to http://www.danhatesspam.com to access Cal Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s website and searched for a legal entity registered as “Thomassen Law Group”, “Law Offices of Marilyn Thomassen & Associates”, and four or five other “Thomassen-related” names these people use.  Nothing shows up!  

    In which state are they registered to do business because I can’t find anything under any of the various names they use?  Why aren’t they registered as Consumer Credit Counselors in my state as required by law?  Where do they hold municipal business licenses?  And, in what name do they hold these licenses?  I did a search on the address they use on their website, “402 W. Broadway, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101″.  I expected a PO drop.  But, it shows up as an address for Legion Counsel, LLP.  Called Legion at 619-595-4860 and reached an unconvincing woman who said Thomassen Law Group shared a suite with the other businesses at suite 400!  Maybe someone out there can do a drive-by (looking only, please) and see what’s up.Another call to one of their toll free numbers was answered by an cagey, evasive fellow who said his office was one of many with Thomassen Law Group.  He said that he was at 2670 South White Rd., Suite 120, San Jose, CA 95148.  Thomassen Law Group doesn’t have a San Jose Business License.  However, it does have one registered to “Francisco Thomassen & Associates,” owned by Francisco Emilio, Esq., which lists Suite 119. I reached a fellow who identified himself as Frank Kucera.  He claimed to be an attorney who worked with Thomassen’s clients and/or Thomassen Law Group.  I believe Ol’ Kucera was involved with Emilio Francisco awhile back….Kucera’s law license is under suspension as is Emilio Francisco’s.  Kucera’s CA Bar info shows him in Suite 120…this is dizzying!!!!I wouldn’t give these people a penny of my money.  Steve, my interest in Marilyn Thomassen is the illegal telemarketing that seems to repeatedly lead to those purporting to be with the Thomassen Law Group.  I’ve received many, many unsolicited prerecorded calls that lead back to debt relief/credit card debt counseling entities claiming to be associated with Thomassen, et. al.  Anybody ever speak to Marilyn Thomassen or see her in person?  

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Great detective work.

    • Thomassen Law Group

       Wow 1911 man someone has a lot of spare time on their hands. Lets set a few things straight. Thomassen Law Group took over the client base of E.Francisco and has been servicing their clients for some time now. There was of course a transition period and now Thomassen Law Group is exactly that the law offices of Marilyn Thomassen. Some key employees from E.Francisco were kept on board and remain but the transistion is complete and Thomassen is now the firm handling all accounts. As far as illegal telemarketing…there is none. All calls are in accordance with the TSR. Thomassen only calls out on inquiries submitted through either the internet or inbound calls from radio,TV, and direct response campaigns. We keep all ip addresses of all opt in submissions. Now of course sometimes people like to think they are funny by submitting false information and that does happen. If a prospective client asks us not to call we immediately disposition it as DO NOT CALL. As far as credit counseling licensing? We are a law firm NOT CCCS. We handle not only zero upfront zero monthly debt negotiation but Bankruptcy as well. We are fully in compliance with all State and Federal requriements.

      • 1911man

        Wow, another person claiming that Thomassen Law Group exists!!!  You didn’t “set straight” anything, especially the matter of the true identity of “Thomassen Law Group”.  You said, “Thomassen Law Group is exactly that the law offices of Marilyn Thomassen.”  Who are you trying to fool, TLG?  You have not revealed the true legal identity of the entity you pretend to represent as “Thomassen Law Group”.  You can dress the name up by putting “The Law Offices of” in front of “Thomassen Law Group” but neither name is the name of any Corporation or LLC registered on the California Secretary of State’s website.  The last scammer who telemarketed me claimed to be with “Law Offices of Marilyn Thomassen & Associates”with a website of http://www.thomassenlawgroup.com.  I have personally received a number of illegal unsolicited Press 1 prerecorded telemarketing done under several derivatives of names related to “Thomassen Law Group”.   Emails that I received refer me to http://www.thomassenlawgroup.com.  That website is registered anonymously…there is no registrant information.  In my experience, legitimate companies do not hide behind anonymity.  TLG, tell us, WHO OWNS THOMASSEN LAW GROUP,  and WHAT IS THE TRUE LEGAL NAME OF THE OWNER OF http://www.thomassenlawgroup.com?  

        “Now of course sometimes people like to think they are funny by submitting false information and that does happen.”Who do you think you are kidding with that last comment, TLG?  A robo dialer is calling people right out of the blue!!!

      • Annapate69

        My husband has been talking to them regarding our debt, we are not able to file bk since we had file one 4 years ago. My husband has lost several jobs (laid off) and put us in a bind. So do you think these people are not leget.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        I urge you to follow my two guides to evaluate your choice of any company.

        The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line

        How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off

        You can look at the related articles section of this post to see what has been written about them in the past. The comments on any relevant post may be enlightening as well.

    • Rich

      Great research! Thank you.

  • Joey

    After I was laid off of my job two years ago, I was not able to make payments on my credit cards. So, I went with the Thomassen Law Group plan and make one monthly payment per month. They settled two credit card accounts perfectly. The other credit card account refuses to accept Thomassen as a legitimate arbitrator on my behalf. I’m in too deep now and have to go along with Thomasses, I’m afraid. But, I do see that I might suffer legal and financial consequences from this. I’m happy about the two accounts. They were resolved. I really didn’t realize that what was happening is that I allowed my account to fall into default. It would have happened with or without Thomassen. I was completely broke when I was laid off. So, I guess I have mixed feelings about all of this. It sure has been a whirlwind for me personally. I always paid my debts until I lost my job. It was the first time I was ever let go. At least, it wasn’t for cause. I have worked part-time jobs, but may never recover as far as I can tell at this point. So, I really had no choice but to look for a way to settle these debts without losing my rental apartment.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Joey,

      Did you ever consider bankruptcy at the time or did Thomassen suggest you talk to a bankruptcy attorney?

      Also, do you know if you paid their fee when you started the program or only if they settled a debt?

    • Rich

      Thank you for sharing. I can really relate!

  • Billable12

    I recently found out that Thomassen Law Group is one of the same with National Advocacy Program (and yes that’s the name of the company).  They own the website http://www.nationaladvocacyprogram.com and they are soliciting people in Florida with SnapPack mailers are described in this thread of yours “http://getoutofdebt.org/28538/housing-economic-recovery-program-pl-110-289-mailer-scam”   I cant believe these California organizations.   

    • Thomassen Law Group

      National Advocacy Program and The Thomassen Law Group are NOT the same

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        It does appear the reader is correct that NationalAdvocacyProgram.com is owned by Thomassen Law Group.

        Registrant:
        Thomassen Law Group
        17532 Von Karman Avenue
        Irvine, California 92614

        Administrative Contact:
        Emilio Francisco
        Thomassen Law Group
        17532 Von Karman Avenue
        Irvine, California 92614

      • Thomassen Law Group

         I will look into this. Thomassen Law Group does not own National Advocacy Program and Emilio Francisco is not involved either. I do know that National Advocacy as well as about 5 other companies share the same building as Thomassen but they are not owned or operated by Thomassen Law Group. I will see why it is coming up that way on your search and let you know what I find out.

      • Thomassen law Group

         Check it again and it should be resolved and corrected. They are not connected with Thomassen

  • Stytlin4u06

    I signed on with MTLG in 11/2011 I have made 7 payments and I know that they are legit because they wrote a letter to a lender that wanted clarification as to why I stopped paying my credit card bills, the terms of the contract, monthly payment etc. So far so good. I don’t get any calls from the creditors and I get a monthly call from my account representative. I hope this works out in the end. Also MTLG does not get paid until they settle a debt. The incentive for them is settling the debt for the lowest amount because they get a % for the amount they settle for, I have a set amounts for payments and length of payments. No more no less. There is online billing so I can see the amount in my “Trust” account. 

  • Moneyagent

    The article was below average. An advocate with a pitch and a strong sensation of arrogance. Never really making a point. Glazing over facts and never finding out what the individuals needs are is the same as pushing her off on to another bank so you can make some money. No Help! You can’t and should not borrow to pay unsecured debt. The fact that you use fear to try and mask what might be a better solution is scary.

    ” I am not comfortable simply not making payments to my credit cards just to that I can go from good standing to bad just so they can negotiate on my behalf to reduce my debt by 50%.”

    Am I to think she is comfortable making the bank richer while she finds a way to get out of debt in a reasonable amount of time. Or is it clear she is looking to understand her options available to her.

    Debt Rhino

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Debt Rhino,

      So let’s run through this.

      If a consumer is able to make their monthly payments without trouble but wants lower interest rates, what first option would you recommend?

      Actually restructuring unsecured debt with a loan with better terms makes perfect mathematical sense. Suggesting it does not if the numbers add up is silly.

      Since you did not like my logical suggestion, tell us, what other option besides the suggestion to look into an unsecured consolidation loan first allows her to reduce her overall interest rates without negatively impacting her credit or requiring her to pledge collateral?

      • Charlotte Gallentine

        Hi my name is Charlotte I was thinking about going with Thomassen Law Group but after reading this and not knowing weather or not the guy I have been talking to on the phone and online actually works for the, because he says he works from his house and when I put his name in SmartPeople.com they can not confirm that he works there. Me and my husband have great credit scores right now and I don’t want to ruin them and be scamed at the same time.

  • Kevinsarah8020

    The Thomassen Law Group is a full service law firm. Their area of expertise is in the financial field. They are A+ rated by the BBB and are 100% performance based. Not only do they have zero enrollment or upfront fees. They also have no monthly fees of any kind. They in fact only make their money based on performance. 29% of what is saved only after the creditor has been paid and the money has been saved by the client. The Thomassen Law Group is a hardship program that one must qualify for. They do not offer enrollment to everyone. You must have current or eminent hardship and must demonstrate a good understanding of the process that will be used by the firm. If you can pay your bills then of course you need to pay them. However, if you are in true hardship and you qualify, then Thomassen Law Group can be a lifesaver. I believe even you Steve would have to agree that a firm that charges absolutely nothing until it gets the job done and then is based on how well its done is a fair proposition.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Good to know. Thanks for the information.

      If I read your comment correctly, since it appears the reader is able to make her payments you seek to be saying the problem is not a good fit.

      Did you have any advice for Rachel about what she should be concerned about when intentionally defaulting on her bills?

      • Kevinsarah8020

        Correct, if the consumer is able to make their payments and there is no current or imminent hardship then she needs to pay her bills. By intentionally defaulting when there is no need she will obviously be damaging her credit unnecessarily. She will receive collection calls and accelerated collection efforts that could lead to law suit and wage garnishment. Not to mention that if there is no hardship then intentionally defaulting is just plain unethical. Perhaps she might want to look at a software called zilchworks. I have recommended it to consumers when they are not a good fit for our firm as a great way to get out of debt while increasing your credit worthiness. It does take effort and you really need to be on top of your finances and have the ability to pay a bit more than the minimums but it works very well.

        Always remember that responsible debt programs are there for those who need it and not all who want it.

      • Lestyebe

        Intentionally defaulting is a business decision, not an ethics decision.
         

      • Kevinsarah8020

        Lestyebe, My comment was if the consumer is able to make their payments and there is no current or imminent hardship THEN the intentional default is unethical. There is no “business” decision involved when you have no issues with payment and you are simply defaulting because you do not want to pay what is owed. Unfortunately many companies out there will claim that this would OK and acceptable. Programs like Thomassen Law Group maintain their rating with the BBB by not engaging in enrolling everyone they can. There is a level of responsibility to the industry that we must accept in order to help it grow and clean up the mess left behind by so many money grabbers.I will stand behind my comment that intentional default on debts you can pay with no hardship IS unethical. But you are entitled to your own opinion…respectfully

      • Lestyebe

        ethics and moral high ground in debt and credit of all flavor are an emotional tool.
        debts, credit scores etc… do not define a person, they are used to define risk.

        take the emotion out of money… like a banker….

    • Terrifictjb

      My sister just signed on with these people and they are taking her first 4 payments of $500+  BEFORE any reduction in her debt.  That doesn’t sound like “absolutely nothing until it gets the job done” to me.  
      Additionally, they will take 16% of what they save her. 

      • Kevinsarah8020

        That is not Thomassen Law Group. There are no fees until the debt is settled.

      • Trustworthy

        Terrifictjb is correct.  I have been making ‘payments’ of nearly $400 a month for 11 months now, when the account reached above $1400, they subtracted $1400 from my account (a generic statement that just shows payments each month) for a reason I can’t get an answer for, now I have a balance of nearly $3000 that just sits there accruing but no negotiations/settlements have occurred.  They do not return phone calls, emails or faxes.  If I finally reach someone they state they will get back with me but don’t.  I am going to get another attorney and get my money back from them!  I guess I better stop the automatic debit also!

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