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I Was With CareOne and The Persels and Associates But Now I Have a Judgment. – Jeff

“Dear Steve,

I’m at a loss of what to do. I signed up with CareOne years ago, and even with a reduction in payments I fell into a time where I was unable to meet my monthly payment. I begged for them to suspend, but was told there was no way this could be done.

At this point, I was shuffled to a kind sounding gentlemen who assured me he could help. His assuring tone and expert sounding nature was incredibly soothing in a time of stress. He basically said he could offer me a payment plan that would be half what I currently was paying through the services of Persels and associates.

I had no other option so I went ahead and signed up with the service. When contacted by Persels I was told to stop paying on all my accounts. This sounded CRAZY to me so I questioned the logic behind this method. Essentially I was told that this was the only way for the program to work. When continued to question him, he threw down the “expert” card and essentially said it was up to me if I wanted to get out of debt the easy way or hard way.

So I began to pay $146 a month and have continued to do so since that moment. Well, today, after quite sometime I checked my credit score and was shocked to see a judgement has been made against me. First off, I had no idea about this, second no one told me about this, third… what am I paying these guys to do exactly? I would like advice on how to handle this. Do I confront them? Do I figure this out on my own and cease service forfeiting over 1k for nothing? I have no idea what to do. Please help. Thank you

I need to know what to do about this judgement that has been made against me. I have no idea who it is from or how to go about acknowledging its existence. I don’t know what my legal options are so I’m considering contacting Persels and Associates. The problem is, they have not been in contact with me AT ALL despite receiving my payment every month. Aren’t they some how accountable if they are in charge of mediating settlements with the creditors? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Jeff”

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The Answer

Dear Jeff,

It sounds to me as if you were working with CareOne on a debt management plan and that at some point you could no longer afford it and looked for alternative solutions. You were then connected with Persels and Associates and enrolled you in a debt settlement program.

If you were sued by the creditor and not properly served, that would be a legal matter which you should discuss with your attorney at Persels or a local attorney licensed in your state.

Any time you are not making payments to creditors under some mutual agreement there is always the possibility of continued collection activity, legal action, etc.

One issue I’m curious about is if you started or were still getting calls from your creditors or collection notices on these accounts once you fell out of the debt management program. Did your creditors not communicate with you at all?

You should absolutely contact Persels and Associates and discuss this issue with them. Never hesitate to contact your debt relief company at any time and ask for help or clarification. After all, at the end of the day, these are your debts.

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

Big Hug!

I Was With CareOne and The Persels and Associates But Now I Have a Judgment.   Jeff
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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.
  • Jeff

    Ms. Griffith,

    I’m the original author of the article and I would like to give you an idea of what my experience has been like since that original posting. The judgement has been settled, yet it still remains on my credit report. After contacting your company to inquire about why it is still showing I was told to contact the firm that handled the creditors account. That firm has pretty much said it was my problem and the judgment still shows. I contacted your company again seeking help and received the standard mumbo jumbo about how you only handle this that and the other.

    Fair enough. Everyone got their money (the account was “settled” for the same amount, but that is another story) and now I’m on my own. I’m still in the process of getting the judgment vacated. It was settled well over a year ago.

    Later, ANOTHER judgement appears. This is why you check your credit report folks. Turns out it was for another account of which I was unaware and I expressed my concerns about never actually receiving any notice. This was met with being told it really didn’t matter I was still liable (apparently being “served” doesn’t mean actually receiving the notice) and I immediately took action to settle the account. However, I was told by YOUR COMPANY that settling outside of Persels would influence ongoing negotiation efforts with other creditors and I should instead have them handle the account. Well, I’m already in so deep so why not. At their recommendation increased my payment each month even though I’m in the worst financial position I’ve ever experienced. I’m told everything will be ok, we understand, blah blah blah. I did this in May. I’m writing this in August.

    Today I received a wage garnishment notice related to the account I turned over to you in May. I am livid. I was ready to reach out and make some sort of payment to settle the judgement and you advised me to let you handle the account and I receive a WAGE GARNISHMENT!? So, I call. Basically I’m told that the account has already been settled… problem is it’s the wrong account they are referring to. After correcting your staff, I’m told that I need to get the original account number or call the firm handling the account to verify that Persels is handling the account. Before I hang up I’m asked to increase my payment amount by $35 a month. Let me clarify the situation. I’m calling because I’m about to have my wages garnished and the call ends with being asked to pay more money per month AFTER being told to do what I would think you would have done in the first place. What really upsets me is the fact I HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH IN ESCROW TO SETTLE THIS ACCOUNT. If you were really looking out for me, you would have reached out to the creditor from DAY ONE just like I was planning to do.

    All the PR in the world can’t cover up what is actually happening to people that trust you to help them get their debt under control. Your “settlements” are paying the exact same amount. Your “reviewing the file” is having me do all the work and shifting blame whenever I call out shoddy book keeping. I’m actively trying to fix my credit score, get my finances in order, and move on. Taking on Persels and Associates to help me with that process was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. I see absolutely no excuse for sitting on the money in an escrow account when it is more than enough to negotiate a settlement. It’s very easy to post “Please contact us about your account, we want to address your concern” but you won’t be the one that answers the call. As it stands, your staff uses apologetic mumbo jumbo, blame redirection, and up-selling to handle very serious inquiries. I’ve played an active role. I’ve documented every conversation. I’ve kept every scrap of paperwork/e-mail/etc. I’ve made every payment on time and increased bit by bit as I find more ways to save. I’m not just “making the payments” and expecting a magical solution. I’m expecting you to know the difference between various accounts and be able to explain your strategies for handling them. I’m expecting you to work on my behalf to negotiate debt minus all the fees/excessive interest that penalized me during a time of severe economic hardship. I’m expecting you to listen to my frustration and concern and not end with asking me to increase my payments to an even higher amount. I’m asking you Ms. Griffith, to answer that phone and remind me again what it is exactly you DO do enables me to gain financial stability that I can’t do on my own. I’m asking you to give me examples of people in my same situation that emerged from this program victorious and able to reclaim their good credit score. I’m asking you to give me a game plan that we can both work together and achieve. I’m doing my part… it’s time for your company to do theirs.

    • Errick

      The number they are giving you isn’t even a law office, it’s a call center. The law firm is at 410-512-5500. Or you can call Jim Persels directly at 410-758-6513. If they won’t speak to you, call their bar grievance folks at 410-514-7051. They know all about your difficulty.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Great information.

  • Patti

    Dear Steve, I have been recently served papers to go to court with Capital One. Two years ago I also became blind and naive and enrolled with Care One/ Persels Associates. Four months later my creditors called  me for payments. I told them I had enrolled with Care One and was told by Care One when I enrolled they would send a letter to my creditors and tell them that Persel Assoc was representing me and to refer any creditors to them. To my shocking surprise Creditors never got a letter from Persels, and they didn’t want to call them / it now made sense why should they? I was sick to my stomach as my debt was becoming increasingly higher with late fees, over limit fees, I was in worse shape than before. I contacted the Attorney General from my State who said he had received numerous calls regarding this Company and was trying to build a case. When I called Persels and demanded why they misrepresented me, they said it takes time to get into debt , the more you go without paying the better it is for us to negotiate a better rate for you. I ceased my enrollment. Since then I was to far into debt to even come up with a payment plan. I wondered if anything could be done. I wanted compensation for my anquish and to start where I had left off and try to negotiate with my creditors myself. I wrote each of them a letter explaining what I had done and requested they remove the over limit fees and late fees so that I could try and make payments again. No one budged. I have now been served to go to court for Capital one. Sadly my ending balance before I enrolled with Persels was only 500.00. I consolidated that with the other credit cards, with the bank continuing to add on fees it is up to over a thousand now. Now the problem I really have is that Capital one repeatedly called me a work, harrassed me, and get this… I work as a property manager for 96 apartments. They actually sent a letter to one of my tenants saying that I was inquiring information on them for a credit card with Best Buy. The tenant came down to see me and was upset and so was I . I never ever inquired her personal information , it was their way of “locating” me to get me to call them. When the resident called to request what it was about they hung up on her. Therefore I truly believe Capital one has crossed the line and this constitues a law suit against them . Please advise. I have copies of everything.

    • Guest

      Patti:  As you know we cannot contact you directly because of the anonymity provided here. We do take client complaints very seriously and will be happy to address your concerns if you contact the firm at 866-939-7252.

      Leza Griffith
      Practice Manager

  • Leza Griffith

    Justbeinglovely1,
     
    We appreciate your taking the time to share your challenges on this thread.  We would like to speak with you regarding the accounts you included in your representation, as well as the opportunity to review your file. Unfortunately, we are unable to contact you personally due to the anonymity provided by the forum. Please give us a call at 866-939-7252 so that we can put you in touch with your attorney. We are committed to providing you with good experience as a Persels & Associates client.  We would like the opportunity to review your file, explain all the activity that has occurred and assure you that you are making real progress.  We hope that you will reach out to us today so that we can quickly address your concerns.  
     
    Leza Griffith
    Practice Manager

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      A helpful response. Thank you.

  • Screwed over client

    Jeff/Steve-
    I had a similar experience with Care One/Persels and Assoc. In fact, my participation in the program ended today after they terminated the representation. I also had a default judgement against me that ended up in my wages getting garnished. I kept calling them to find out what was being done….and my attorney in my state provided cheap, law school quality papers for me to file, with the wrong case number, wrong judge, etc. Even had me sign an affidavidt that ended up with incorrect info. Fortunately, my father-in-law is an attorney and was able to appear in court for the hearing with me. Well, Persels “mgmt” called me today, said since i hadn’t made payments since Oct because of the garnishment, they had nothing to negotiate with and therefore, nothing they could do for me at this time. The lady was VERY rude and derogatory. Perhaps offended that I got another attorney involved???? Perhaps they should have done their job in the first place and not let the account get to a lawsuit situation. Either way……will be researching my options against them.

    • Errick

      Any claim you have against CareOne and Persels is about to be settled.  You got a notice from the Court.  You are about to receive the grand sum of $0.00 from them, in exchange for a complete waiver of all claims. You are being represented in Florida by a law firm.  So go away, you are getting all the justice you are entitled to already.

    • JB

      I have been working through Persels for about two years now and I have had nothing but luck with them. You have to understand that you have to play a role in this process by making your payements everymonth and reading all mail from creditors and reporting it to Persels. I have done the above and I will have gotten rid of $30,000 dollars of debt in about 3 years. It doesn’t happen over night but it does happen if you do your part. Creditors play every trick in the book I have had one account transferred 3 times to diferent agencies and each time I had to give Persels that information because the creditors do not notify Persels. Everytime I read a complaint I can tell that the person thought they just made there payments and didn’t watch there mail for collection agencies and just thought Persels would magically know whats going on. You have to be part of the team/solution also or they wont know what your creditors are trying to trip you up on. They have backed off the nastiest of collectors for me because I informed them of the issue.
       
      JB Soon to be debt free!

      • Justbeinglovely

        Persels does nothing to help you but collect retainer fees. I had a creditor balance I could have settled myself but chose to put in the plan which amounted to approx. $345 with almost $1000 in my account. Never was settled, never attempted to settle, and still no real explanation as to why they sat on this an other account under the total amount in my account. Please argue continuing to pay a monthly payment when your balance in their account way more than the creditor balance. Seems to me they are looking to make the most money from the larger accounts and are not concerned with getting as much debt cleared no matter how small. I would rather have 3 small accounts removed and over and done than to have 1 large account sitting there that would take many more payments to be able to pay off. THey will get the most money for that account. What would the average person do, if they could make $1200 over $40, most would choose to focus on the one with the most payout without a thought to the actual consumer who just wants everything paid off in no particular order. 

  • Leza Griffith

    Jeff,
     
    We would like to speak with you regarding what you found on your credit report, as well as the opportunity to review your file. Please give us a call at 866-939-7252 so that we can  put you in touch with your attorney.
     
    This complaints forum provides you anonymity so we are unable to identify you as a Persels & Associates Client. Unfortunately without having your full name we are unable to review your file to determine precisely what has occurred. In some instances a client may receive a judgment as a result of a creditor litigating against a client because of the past due balance. In order for the creditor to receive a judgment the client must be served with the court documents, as creditor must follow due process. Did you receive any sort of documents which were legal in nature? If so, I hope you would have forwarded them to our firm so your assigned attorney had the opportunity to review the documents, and provide the legal advice you needed. 
     
    We are committed to providing you with good experience as a Persels & Associates client.  We would like the opportunity to review your account status, explain all activity on the account and assure you that you are making real progress.  We hope that you will reach out to us today so that we can quickly address your concerns.  
     
     
    Sincerely,
    Leza Griffith
    Practice Manager

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