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Thomassen Law Group Generic Debt Relief Postcard Sent in For Review

An amazing reader Tissa send in a new debt relief mailer through my I Buy Junk Mail program.

The mailer from “Fresh Start Legal Advocates” was sent from postal permit 1297 in Sacramento, California. The same as another mailer I just covered, here.

But I’m not sure if Thomassen Law Group is embarrassed to use their name on the postcard but I don’t know why they don’t identify themselves as the company mailing this when the web address leads to their site.

The Front

Thomassen Law Group Generic Debt Relief Postcard Sent in For Review

As you can see this comes from the Unsecured Debt Department.

The Back

Thomassen Law Group Generic Debt Relief Postcard Sent in For Review

If this postcard was truly sent by a lawyer or real law firm, they certainly don’t appear to provide disclosures either who they are or who the attorney is behind this mailer.

The domain name tlgfs.com has a hidden ownership so we can’t verify who is behind that as well. It does appear the domain name was abandoned in 2009 and was just recently registered again on June 7, 2013. – Source

The postcard promotes an unidentified “short term debt resolution plan.” And promises a payment of $714.29 a month based on $60,000 in unsecured debt. The card says the company behind this is an A+ rated BBB that has been helping people out for 19 years. So that would be since 1994.

The tlgfs.com (Thomassen Law Group) website says they are located at:

402 W Broadway
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92101

That address happens to be a virtual office space through Regus. – Source

Now there is nothing wrong with virtual office space but you would hope a law firm would have a regular physical office since the BBB says they have 48 employees. – Source

Is this where they all work?

According to the State of California there is no company registered under the name Thomassen Law Group.

Thomassen Law Group Generic Debt Relief Postcard Sent in For Review

The BBB reports the person behind this outfit is attorney Marilyn R. Thomassen whose office is located at 1918 Dover Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. I don’t know why she wouldn’t list her alleged law firm address. – Source

For an attorney who has been practicing for a long time there is surprisingly little online about her as a lawyer.

But in one court document filed January 30, 2013, a consumer who hired Thomassen to “avoid bankruptcy” and settle her debts, wound up filing bankruptcy.

Plaintiff alleges that she retained the Defendants to provide debt settlement services so that she could pay her creditors and avoid a bankruptcy filing. Plaintiff’s Complaint pleads the following causes of action, all predicated on the Defendants’ alleged pre‐petition conduct in attempting to settle her creditor claims for less than the amounts owed:

  • Violation of Debt Relief Agency Obligations as per 11 U.S.C. §§ 526, 527 and 528 (First Count);
  • Unlicensed Practice of Law (Second Count);3
  • Violations of the New Jersey Debt Adjustment Act (Third Count);
  • Illegal Contract (Fourth Count);
  • Common Law Fraud (Fifth Count);
  • Violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (Sixth Count);4
  • Unlawful Conversion (Seventh Count);
  • Violation of New Jersey Criminal RICO statute (Eighth Count); and
  • Aiding and Abetting (Ninth Count). – Source

The Defendants in that case are identified as Marilyn R. Thomassen, David L. Burnell, Marilyn Thomassen and Associates, Law Offices of Marilyn Thomassen, and Thomassen Law Group.

The complaint filed by the New Jersey consumer alleges Marilyn Thomassen is not admitted to practice law in New Jersey where debt relief services were sold.

The complaint states:

  • Marilyn Thomassen & Associates, P.C. is a law firm located in the State of California, with its principal place of business located at 1011 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607.
  • Defendant Law Offices of Marilyn R. Thomassen is a law firm located in the State of California, with its principal place of business located at 2760 S. White Road, suite 200, San Jose, California 95148.
  • Thomassen Law Group is a law firm located in the State of California, with its principal place of business located at 402 W. Broadway, Suite 400, San Diego, California 95148.

The attorney for the consumer in this case stated:

THE DEFENDANTS’ DEBT-SETTLEMENT PRACTICES

“Defendants MTA, LOMT and/or TLG operate a business that offers consumers assistance with the resolution of debt by making monthly payments to the MTA, LOMT and/or TLG.

Defendants, MTA, LOMT and TLG take their fees for their services from the first several payments and, thereafter, the excess funds are deposited to a private savings account so that the Defendants MTA, LOMT and TLG can negotiate reduced payoffs of alleged debts in settlements.

Defendant TLG’s online advertising focuses on debtors who are considering bankruptcy as one of their options, stating:

As most people will concur, when considering financial relief, bankruptcy should always be the option of last resort. Any form of bankruptcy will tarnish your credit for up to ten years and, in some instances, can force you to liquidate assets you’ve worked long and hard to acquire. In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will come to clearly understand why an attorney who specializes in this area of the law will warn you that this avenue is exceptionally invasive into you and your family’s financial life and, accordingly, is never pleasant. In 2005, you may remember reading that the United States Congress, through pressure from the banks that created the credit card industry in the first place, fundamentally changed the bankruptcy laws, thereby making this process even more restrictive and difficult. http://www.thomassenlawgroup.com/non-bankruptcy.php (accessed July 6, 2012)

[Ed: That's what I like to call, well, bullshit.] And what makes this statement even more odd is the fact Marilyn Thomassen has filed a number of bankruptcy cases on behalf of consumers through Marilyn Thomassen & Asosciates, 2670 South White Road, Suite 119, San Jose, California 95148, [email protected]Source

PLAINTIFF’S INTERACTIONS WITH DEFENDANTS

In June, 2010, Ms. Lubetsky found that her unsecured debts were too much for her to continue to pay with her limited disposable income. Ms. Lubetsky’s debts were such that she could no longer afford to pay her mortgage and other expenses in addition to the minimum payments for her unsecured debts.

Plaintiff contacted TLG after searching on-line for an avenue to resolve her debts without filing for bankruptcy relief.

After her initial contact, Ms. Lubetsky spoke with David L. Burnell, a “Director” of TLG regarding her desire to resolve her debts. Mr. Burnell assured Ms. Lubetsky that his firm could resolve her debts for her without the need for a bankruptcy case.

Ms. Lubetsky was thereafter sent a “Retainer Agreement” via email to her residence in the State of New Jersey and agreed to pay $833.70 each month for at 30 months, at which time Defendants assured her that her debts would be resolved for less than the full amount owed.

TLG and/or MTA was to be paid, pursuant to the Retainer Agreement, a non-refundable retainer of $5,302.20, representing 10% of her total debt at the time she retained the Defendants. This retainer was to be paid within the first six (6) payments to the Defendants and no funds were saved for settlement until this retainer was paid.

TLG and/or MTA was also to be paid, pursuant to the Retainer Agreement, a contingency fee of 15% of any reduction in debt on each settled account at the time of settlement.

Following the signature of the Retainer Agreement, Defendants debited Plaintiff’s account each month in for fees and costs in accordance with the Retainer Agreement.

At no time did Ms. Lubetsky speak with an attorney licensed to practice in New Jersey.

DEFENDANTS’ ACTIONS FOLLOWING RETENTION

Following the Defendants’ retention by Plaintiff, Defendants sent correspondence to the Plaintiff’s various creditors advising that they had been retained to represent Plaintiff and that the creditors should cease making contact with Plaintiff. These letters were not signed by an attorney licensed in New Jersey, but rather were signed by Defendant Marilyn Thomassen.

At one point, Defendants associated with a law firm located in California known variously as Emilio Francisco and Associates, Debt Relief Law Center, and by various other names (the “Francisco Firm”).

The Principal of the Francisco Firm, Emilio N. Francisco, Esq., was at all times relevant hereto an attorney licensed to practice in the State of California, but not admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey.

Moreover, no attorney at the Francisco Firm was admitted to practice in New Jersey.

The Francisco Firm, under the auspices of the Defendants, negotiated the settlement of a litigated matter in the State of New Jersey.

Mr. Francisco was suspended from the practice of law as of February 29, 2012. http://members.calbar.ca.gov/ fal/Member/Detail/69900 (Viewed July 6, 2012).

Defendants continued to communicate with Plaintiff’s creditors and attempt to adjust her debts.

At no time did a New Jersey licensed attorney review the Plaintiff’s file, communicate with Plaintiff or otherwise participate in representing Plaintiff.

At no time did any member of the Defendants’ staff apply for admission pro hac vice or otherwise to the bar of the State of New Jersey.

Eventually, Plaintiff realized that she could not afford the payments required by Defendants and requested that the services be cancelled.

Upon termination of the debt settlement program, Plaintiff requested that her “escrow” balance of approximately $590 be returned to her, however Defendants failed to return any funds.” – Source

The case was filed on August 22, 2012 by:

SCOTT J. GOLDSTEIN (SG1837) Attorney for Plaintiff
3175 Route 10 East
Suite 300C
Denville, NJ 07834
Phone: 973-453-2838
Fax: 973-453-2869
[email protected]

It appears to be headed to a jury trial in August, 2013.

And that is not the only unhappy alleged client.

“Hired these guys . They don’t answer ever . Now I have a much worse problem when I had called in . You call in thinking its an finance expert but it’s just a sales person with a script. Your better off paying the credit cards . And working with then directly . I was told they would negotiate my balances theyve just take money now and never answer companies like this should be shut down . They say thy are a rated with the bbb but only for a short time I expect to see an f in the future if they do this to everybody” – Source

An unidentified person responded as Thomassen Law Group, “Feel free to call me anytime with your client id number and I will be happy to address any issues you may have. As you and everyone else knows we are a 100% performance based firm. This means one thing. We make no money unless we succeed. So, people may attempt to level all sorts of scam charges against us but they really make no sense. If we do not perform we make zero money. Our BBB rating is there because we work very hard for our clients and we are 100% on the up and up.”

Marketing

Apparently you can become an affiliate of Thomassen Law Group.

Thomassen Law Group Generic Debt Relief Postcard Sent in For Review

And the Thomassen Law Group site still today makes some very odd claims about bankruptcy considering the fact attorney Marilyn Thomassen filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy for a consumer as little as three months ago and was paid $1,500 for doing so. – Source

The Thomassen Law Group website makes the following statements in what appears an effort to sell debt settlement services:

  • Most people will agree that when considering financial relief, bankruptcy should always be the option of last resort. [Not true.]
  • Any form of bankruptcy will tarnish your credit for up to ten years and in some instances, can force you to liquidate assets you’ve worked long and hard to acquire. [A chapter 13 bankruptcy is reported for 7 years and most people file a chapter 7 bankruptcy which does not require the liquidation of assets.]
  • In the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will come to clearly understand why an attorney who specializes in this area of the law will warn you that this avenue is exceptionally invasive into you and your family’s financial life and, accordingly, is never pleasant. In 2005, you may remember reading that the United States Congress, through pressure from the banks that created the credit card industry in the first place, fundamentally changed the bankruptcy laws, thereby making this process even more restrictive and difficult. [?????]
  • In today’s world, and especially since 2005, after congress changed the bankruptcy laws, this practice of “coming to terms” between a party with outstanding financial liabilities or obligations and a party to whom that obligation is owed, has not only become commonplace, but widely accepted as a good business practice between a debtor and his creditor. [Again ?????]
  • The current condition of our economy has made it more and more difficult for individuals and families to keep up with their ever-increasing expenditures. [Wouldn't that support the need for bankruptcy?]
  • While bankruptcy remains an option for some, blindly moving forward with such a decision without having first explored viable alternatives can potentially result in the most egregious of notations being reflected onto your credit history and future lending worthiness. [I agree options should be explored but not with the misinformation about bankruptcy.]
  • Unlike bankruptcy, however, financial negotiation does not appear as a matter of public record and typically results in far less damage to your lending worthiness. Financial negotiation, then, is an alternative to bankruptcy that may make it easier for you to bounce back to a favorable financial standing in a shorter amount of time and, by undergoing this process, the most problematic and long-standing blemish on your credit report may be avoided. [Okay, that just makes no sense since a "negotiated" debt generally is in default and will remain on your credit report for seven years, it is actually very easy to recover great credit after bankruptcy, and bankruptcy can eliminate all of your debt in about 90 days. See this.]Source

A commercial for Thomassen Law Group offered the following disclaimer at the end, “Thomassen Law Group is a partner of Emilio N. Francisco & Associates, LLP. Debt settlement will negatively impact your credit ratings. nonpayment of debt will increase interest or fees and cause collection activity including possible litigation. Read and understand contract terms before enrolling. Individual results may vary and are dependent on factors such as successful program completion, creditor cooperation and ability to save funds. Not all clients successfully complete the program.” But isn’t it interesting that disclaimer was not on the postcard that started this review. – Source

Thomassen Law Group Generic Debt Relief Postcard Sent in For Review
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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.
  • Thomassen Law Group

    Steve,

    As you already know from our previous communications, Thomassen Law group is 100% performance based. No upfront fees, no monthly fees, 29% contingency based on savings. Obviously I can not comment on a current case other than her enrollment was before FTC Final Rule of October 2010. Since that rule we have been 100% compliant with it.

    As for the Fresh Start Card. They are a wholly independent Affiliate and that is why their name is on the card. They simply offer a referral to Thomassen Law group. The mailer itself is very generic because there is no sensitive information on it. It offers possible help “if” you have at least $60,000 in debt. Now you know that does not mean they have the debt, but if they do we may be able to help. Just like when home owners receive pest control mailers offering help “if” they have pests. Doesn’t mean they have them right? However, if they do that service may be able to help. Now if they do not want to call on the offer then simply throw it away as they are only mailed to the address once.

    As far as Ms. Thomassen performing a Bk for a client? I don’t see the issue here. We also provide bankruptcy as one of our services. We simply beleive that one may want to try our debt resolution program if they qualify before going that route.

    The Thomassen Law group has partner attorneys in almost all States and offer a true legitimate service. Are we perfect? No one is. Does the program work 100% of the time? No program does. However, we are highly successful and stand behind our services 100%.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      So a couple of points. TLGFS.com goes to the website for Thomassen Law Group. How would a consumer know the card is sent by an affiliate?

      The card says consumers will “receive representation from an A+ BBB rated Law Group that has been helping people out of financial difficulties for 19 years.” But what group would that be since it does not appear Thomassen Law Group has been around that long. Other variations have. And if a consumer is referred to a lawyer for representation in another state, are the all A+ BBB rated attorneys for 19 years?

      • Thomassen Law Group

        The Thomassen Law Group came in and assumed the client base for The debt Reduction Law Center as Mr. Francisco was leaving the industry. That way the clients could be serviced under Thomassen and not left in out in the cold. Letters were sent to all existing DRLC clients informing them of the change in provider immediately upon the finalizing of the change. Business start date as stated on the BBB site for M. Thomassen was 1994…19 years ago and she has been helping people the entire time.

        It would be truly wonderful if us or any company could be 100% successful in their endeavors. Unfortunately that is never the case. However, as stated, being 100% performance based means that if we are not successful we charge no earned fees. In fact that is the one grantee stated in the agreement.

        Keep up the good work and as always I am happy to answer any questions or concerns.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Doesn’t answer the questions though. There is not registered company under the name Thomassen Law Group. Please provide a link to documentation that support TLG has been doing business since 1994. Even as recently as three months ago M. Thomassen was practicing bankruptcy under a different name so TLG is not her primary practice?

        Also, you skipped “And if a consumer is referred to a lawyer for representation in another state, are they all A+ BBB rated attorneys for 19 years?”

        Do you stand behind the postcard as being fair and accurate?

      • Thomassen Law Group

        The attorneys are not separate affiliates. They are partners of the firm and their record reflects the firm. Ms. Thomassen has multiple business entities under her main business. The simple fact is that the business model of The Thomassen law group is very effective for the client. We are one of the good guys Steve. i know you are not fond of debt reduction models and that’s fine. We can point to our success in the field and our true desire to help the consumer.

        The post card is fair and accurate. It give no promise. It gives a fair estimate of possibilities for the example debt. The prospect when calling into Fresh Start is greeted by someone answering as Fresh Start. They make a clear distinction in the call that they are referring them to another party. In fact the prospective client must then contact Thomassen law group directly to request consideration for enrollment. We are A+ rated by the BBB. So yes, the card is fair and accurate. Of course every case is different but like I said before we make no money unless we are successful. So it would make zero sense to enroll someone that we are not very confident will succeed in our program. All disclosure are made during the enrollment process and repeated during the recorded compliance call. We are very thorough as we need to always take the clients best interest at heart.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Dancing around the issue again it seems.

        So who owns the website tlgfs.com? Is that a Thomassen Law Group owned site or the affiliate site.

        You also didn’t say if the estimates on the card are those originated by you or your affiliate which I believe is “Fresh Start Legal Advocates Inc has a location in League City, TX. Active officers include Robert Hutchison. Fresh Start Legal Advocates Inc filed as a Domestic For-Profit Corporation on Monday, May 09, 2011″

        They don’t seem to have a website. What is it and is that the correct entitle you identify as Fresh Start?

      • Thomassen Law Group

        No dancing. I see that you have your lets find the bogey man hat on again. Tha’ts fine Steve we are not hiding anything no matter how much you may want to think we are. You would have to contact Fresh Start and ask them any questions concerning their practices. I will ask our IT if the site they use was supplied by us or if they supplied it themselves. I can say that we have no issues with their card and they assured us that they are above board with their marketing. Again, we have receive very little blow back on the card. That’s to be expected as no everyone will look at it the same. We insist that any mailers are only mailed once. The estimates on the card are for a generic dollar amount and are completely plausible. However, like I said each case is different. We have to consider our historical data for each creditor and depending on creditors the estimated deposit could be higher or lower. Generally we estimate high to be safe.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Asking for some confirmable answers is not putting on a bogey man hat. You’ve danced around most of the questions I’ve asked in our comment discussion here.

        Maybe I can put them all in one place so you can keep track of the open questions.

        1. Is the affiliate you are stating sent the card “Fresh Start Legal Advocates Inc has a location in League City, TX. Active officers include Robert Hutchison. Fresh Start Legal Advocates Inc filed as a Domestic For-Profit Corporation on Monday, May 09, 2011?”

        2. If so, what is their website?

        3. TLGFS.com goes to the website for Thomassen Law Group. How would a consumer know the card is sent by an affiliate?

        4. The card says consumers will “receive representation from an A+ BBB rated Law Group that has been helping people out of financial difficulties for 19 years.” But what group would that be since it does not appear Thomassen Law Group has been around that long. Other variations have. And if a consumer is referred to a lawyer for representation in another state, are the all A+ BBB rated attorneys for 19 years?

        5. There is no registered company, or fictitious name registration I can find, under the name Thomassen Law Group. Please provide a link to documentation that support TLG has been doing business since 1994. What you provided was M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C. but that is not the entity identified on the site. Even as recently as three months ago M. Thomassen was practicing bankruptcy under a different name so TLG is not her primary practice, is it?

        6. Who owns the website tlgfs.com? Is that a Thomassen Law Group owned site or the affiliate site.

        7. The BBB says the Law Offices of Marilyn Thomassen & Associates, P.C. has no rating. So is M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C. the same as Law Offices of Marilyn Thomassen & Associates, P.C. and Thomassen Law Group? The BBB has no record for M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C.

        8. A search of the California Secretary of State office at http://kepler.sos.ca.gov can’t locate a company that is registered under the name M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C.

        9. The State of California has no record of a Thomassen Law Group. Dunn & Bradstreet has information about a THOMASSEN LAW GROUP, 2670 S WHITE RD STE 275, SAN JOSE, CA but that is yet a different address for the company. Is that the company address or is it wrong on the website? But other sources list that as the address for Evergreen Valley Law Group. It’s not even the address Thomassen uses with the California Bar.

        10. Your statements imply Thomassen Law Group goes back 19 years but according to Google there are no mentions before 2008 and only a handful in 2008. Most begin in 2009 but that’s only four years ago. And the website for thomassenlawgroup.com was first registered on 2009-09-27.

      • Thomassen Law Group

        The Corporation as M.Thomassen was formed in 2009. Prior to that Ms. Thomassen was practicing law and has been since 1994. The total scope of her service cover 19 years.

        M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C. has a location in Irvine, CA. Active officers include M. Thomassen. M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C. filed as a Articles of Incorporation on Thursday, September 24, 2009 in the state of California and is currently active.

        Filings:

        Articles of Incorporation (CA – Active)

        State of Record:

        CA

        State Reference ID:

        03230657

        File Date:

        Thursday, September 24, 2009

        Active:

        True

        Filing Type:

        Articles of Incorporation

        Source:

        California Secretary of State last refreshed 3/19/2013

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        So the company is not really Thomassen Law Group but in fact M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C. But that’s not what your site says. If I missed it, give me the URL.

        The BBB says the Law Offices of Marilyn Thomassen & Associates, P.C. has no rating. So is M. Thomassen & Associates, P.C. the same as Law Offices of Marilyn Thomassen & Associates, P.C. and Thomassen Law Group?

      • Thomassen Law Group

        Steve,

        Well I trust that the San Diego BBB knows how to vet a company a little better than you do. No offense intended. They have been reporting on us as The Thomassen Law Group and find no issues. In fact as you know an A+ rating in this field is very hard to earn let alone maintain. Now you know as well as i do that a corporation can have any number of business entities underneath it. That does nothing to show any type of malicious intentions.

        While this has been fun I do need to go for the day. Steve, as always you can call me at 866-450-1440 ext. 306 or email me at [email protected]

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Okay then. I’ll contact them and ask them if they can confirm any of my questions.

      • Thomassen Law Group

        We are not so bullish as to not listen to sound advice. If you can say that there are a number of people that feel the card should have some more specific wording or changes We will be happy to consider any input.

      • Fitz

        Dancing, dancing, dancing. I for one am with Steve, card should be more specific.

      • old friend

        Hey Kevin remember this presentation?

        This is the new presentation for all reps to use

        Kevin R. Jackson
        Director
        Law Offices of Emilio Francisco & Assoc.
        The Debt Reduction Law Center
        (866) 591-7222 ext. 306
        (951) 696-2040 Hm. Office
        (206) 984-3336 Fax
        http://www.drlawcenter.com
        [email protected]

        DEBT REDUCTION LAW CENTER PRESENTATION

        Good _______ , may I speak to _______ this is ________with Debt Reduction Law Center. I’m calling in regards to an inquiry you submitted to our firm about a debt situation you are dealing with. Is this a good time to talk?

        QUALIFYING:

        1. YOU SUBMITTED THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH APPROXIMATELY $______ IN UNSECURED DEBT, IS THAT CORRECT?

        2. IS IT ALL CREDIT CARD?

        3. ARE YOU BEHIND ON YOUR PAYMENTS?

        4. HOW FAR ARE YOU BEHIND? (IF THEY ARE BEHIND)

        5. HOW MUCH ARE YOU PAYING MONTHLY?

        6. WHAT IS YOUR AVERAGE INTREST RATE?

        7. IS THIS JOINT DEBT?

        8. CAN YOU GIVE ME AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO CONTACT US?

        (SUMMARIZE WHAT THEY TOLD YOU, MIRROR THEIR SITUATION (THE SPIN))

        TOUCH THEIR EMOTIONS

        OPTIONS:

        AS YOU KNOW, WE ARE A LAW FIRM THAT HAS BEEN DEALING WITH FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS FOR OVER 30 YEARS. WE ARE VERY SELECTIVE ON WHO WE ACCEPT INTO OUR PROGRAM.

        FIRST OF ALL YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THERE IS NOT A PAIN FREE WAY OF GETTING OUT OF DEBT. BASED ON THE AMOUNT OF DEBT YOU ARE DEALING WITH IF YOU ARE ACCEPTED INTO OUR PROGRAM WE WILL HAVE YOU DEBT FREE WITHIN______ MONTHS FOR ABOUT $___________ A MONTH. REMEMBER EVERYTHING I DISCUSS WITH YOU IS PREDICATED ON YOU BEING ACCEPTED INTO OUR PROGRAM.

        BUT BEFORE WE GET MORE SPECIFIC ABOUT OUR PROGRAM. I NEED TO DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS, SO YOU ARE ABLE TO MAKE AN EDUCATED OR INFORMED DECISION ON WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU. WE NEED FOR YOU TO TRULY UNDERSTAND THE PROS AND THE CONS OF WHATEVER DECISION YOU DECIDE TO MAKE. ALSO IN CONJUCTION WITH THE BAR ASSOCIATION AND STAYING IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FTC WE WANT YOU TO HAVE FULL DISCLOSURE ABOUT YOUR OPTIONS.

        YOU HAVE 4 BASIC OPTIONS:

        OPTION #1 YOU CAN CONTINUE TO KEEP DOING WHAT YOUV’E BEEN DOING, BUT AS WE DISCUSSED EARLIER OBVIOUSLY THAT IS NOT WORKING FOR YOU.

        OPTION #2 CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELLING. THESE ARE THE COMPANIES THAT

        CLAIM TO BE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSOLIDATE ALL OF YOUR UNSECURED

        DEBT INTO ONE MONTHLY PAYMENT AND HOPEFULLY LOWER YOUR INTREST RATE.

        NORMALLY THERE IS NOT MUCH RELIEF AS FAR AS THE MONTHLY PAYMENT. MOST OF THEM

        CLAIM TO BE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS BY CHARGING A NOMINAL FEE THAT THEY

        CONSIDER A DONATION IN ADDITION TO THAT THEY USUALLY GET A KICK BACK OF 8% TO

        15% OF WHAT YOU’RE SENDING THEM TO PAY THERE CREDITORS BACK FROM THE

        CREDITORS. WHAT THEY DON’T USUALLY TELL YOU IS THAT BY GOING THROUGH

        CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELLING, IT’S PART OF PUBLIC RECORD AND SHOWS UP ON YOUR

        CREDIT REPORT, AND IF YOU ASKED ANYONE IN FINANCING OR IN THE MORTGAGE FIELD

        HOW THE VIEW CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELLING, THEY WOULD TELL YOU THEY VIEW IT

        ALMOST AS NEGATIVELY AS A BANKRUPTCY. SO TO ME IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE ANY SINCE

        TO PAYBACK OVER 100% OF WHAT YOU OWE AND STILL HAVE YOUR CREDIT VIEWED SO

        NEGATIVELY. WHICH TAKES US TO OUR NEXT OPTION.

        OPTION #3 BANKRUPTCY. WHICH IS DEFFINATELY A LAST RESORT OPTION, ESPECIALLY AFTER THE NEW BANKRUPTCY LAWS WERE IMPLEMENTED IN OTOBER OF 2005? THIS MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT FOR ANYONE TO FILE A CHAPTER 7. WHERE A JUDGE BASED ON YOUR HARDSHIP WITH A SWIPE OF HIS PEN COULD ERADICATE ALL OF YOUR UNSECURED DEBT. NOW THEY ARE FORCING YOU INTO A CHAPTER 13 WHICH IS A REORGANIZATION, WHERE YOU WILL END UP PAYING BACK UP TO 85% OF WHAT YOU OWE OVER THE NEXT 3 – 5 YEARS AND STILL HAVE A BK ON YOUR RECORD FOR AT LEAST 10 YEARS. SO OBVIOUSLY YOU WANT TO AVOID BK IF POSSIBLE.

        OPTION #4 LEGAL DEBT SETTLEMENT, THIS IS WHAT WE SPECIALIZE IN. NOW BASED ON YOUR DEBT OF $_______ WILL BE ABLE TO SETTLE FOR APPROXIMATELY $_________. SO OBVIOUSLY WE CAN SAVE YOU A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY. HOWEVER YOU DO NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVEN WITH OUR PROGRAM THERE CAN BE A SHORT TERM NEGATIVE EFFECT TO YOUR CREDIT. THE REASON I SAY SHORT TERM BECAUSE AS WE GO ALONG AND SETTLE WITH THESE CREDITORS PROGRESSIVELY YOU WILL SEE YOUR DEBT TO INCOME RATIO GRADUALLY START TO IMPROVE, BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WITHIN _______ MONTHS YOUR TOTALLY DEBT FREE, YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO FILE BANKRUPTCY, WE HELP TO INCREASE YOUR MONTHLY CASH FLOW BY LOWERING YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENT AND AS YOU KNOW ONCE YOU TAKE CARE OF THE DEBT THE CREDIT TAKES CARE OF ITSELF.

        NOW DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING WE JUST WENT OVER?

        THE NEXT STEP IS TO GET YOU PRE-APPROVED. DO YOU HAVE ALL YOUR STATEMENTS

        TOGETHER?

        (YES) I WILL NEED YOU TO FAX OR EMAIL ME COPIES OF THOSE STATEMENTS SO THAT I CAN START THE PRE-APPROVAL

        (ASK CLIENT TO HOLD AND PUT THEM ON HOLD FOR A MOMENT, COME BACK AND TELL THEM)

        I JUST SPOKE TO MY DIRECTORS ASSISTANT AND I HAVE YOU SCHEDULED FOR A PRE-APPROVAL REVIEW AT __________ TIME TOMMARROW (LET THE CLIENT KNOW THAT WE NEED TO HAVE THE STATEMENTS HERE AT LEAST ONE HALF HOUR BEFORE SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT TIME)

        ONCE YOU HAVE BEEN PRE-APPROVED I WILL CALL YOU BACK TO GO OVER THE DETAILS OF THE PROGRAM AND WE CAN DISCUSS THE ANALYSIS OF YOUR STATEMENTS.

        STEP TWO AFTER STATEMENTS ARRIVE

        HI, ___________, THIS IS ____________ WITH THE DEBT REDUCTION LAW CENTER. I RECEIVED YOUR STATEMENTS AND HAVE COMPLETED YOUR REVIEW. THE DIRECTOR HAS GIVEN PRE-APPROVAL ON YOUR DEBTS.

        I NEED TO GO OVER YOUR NUMBERS WITH YOU, BASED ON THE STATEMENTS THAT YOU PROVIDED. (GO OVER THE NUMBERS AND THE PROGRAM-

        NOW LET ME EXPLAIN HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS. ONCE YOU ENROLL IN THE PROGRAM, YOU WILL BE MAKING YOUR PAYMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE ATTORNEY/CLIENT TRUST ACCOUNT, THIS IS DONE AS A AUTO DEBIT. THIS TAKES PLACE ONCE A MONTH ON DATES THAT YOU CHOOSE AND THAT WORKS WITH YOUR BUDGET. YOUR MONEY SITS IN THIS ACCOUNT AND BUILDS FOR SETTLEMENT. YOU WILL NO LONGER BEING PAYING YOUR CREDITORS. IN ADDITION WE IMMEDIATELY EXECUTE A CHANGE OF ADDRESS AND TELELPHONE NUMBERS ON ALL ACCOUNTS SO ALL COMMUNICATIONS GET REDIRECTED TO US. EVENTUALLY WE TAKE OVER ALL COMMUNICATIONS AND NEGOTIATIONS WITH YOUR CREDITORS; SO YOU WILL NO LONGER DEAL WITH THEM AT ALL, OTHER THAN DIRECTING ANY COLLECTION CALLS TO US. IN FACT, BY LAW ONCE YOUR CREDITORS VERIFY THE ATTORNEY RETENTION THEY CAN ONLY CALL THE LAW OFFICE NOT YOU. PLEASE BE AWARE THIS TAKES SOME TIME TO TRIGGER IN THE SYSTEM.

        WHILE IN OUR PROGRAM YOU WILL SEE YOUR SETTLEMENT TRUST GROWING. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM THAT ACCOUNT IS OUR RETAINER OVER THE FIRST 4-6 MONTHS. THE REMAINDER OF OUR FEES IS PERFORMANCE BASED AND IS EARNED AT TIME OF SETTLEMENT.

        NOW, WHILE IN OUR PROGRAM YOUR CREDIT MAY BE AFFECTED NEGATIVELY. UNFORTUNATELY THERE’S NO PAIN FREE WAY TO GET OUT OF DEBT. HOWEVER, AS WE SETTLE EACH DEBT YOU WILL RECEIVE DOCUMENTATION FROM EACH STATING THAT THESE DEBTS ARE NO PAID/SATISFIED WITH ZERO BALANCE OWING. THIS IS REPORTED TO ALL 3 CREDIT BUREAUS. BY PROGRAMS END, YOU WILL HAVE REMOVED $___________ FROM YOUR DEBT TO INCOME RATIO AND PUT YOURSELF IN A VERY STRONG POSITION TO REVOVER YOUR CREDIT VERY QUICKLY. REMEMBER, GET OUT OF DEBT AND YOUR CREDIT WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.

        DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR ME?

        WOULD YOU LIKE TO PROCEED WITH FINAL APPROVAL?

        (SEND DOCS AND ET REVIEW TIME WITH CLIENT)

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Since you could not clarify who Fresh Start really was I had to go digging. See “Fresh Start Legal Advocates. Who Are They? And Then It Gets Weird.” – http://getoutofdebt.org/52817/fresh-start-legal-advocates-who-are-they

      Let me know if I got something wrong in that story that needs correction. But as it stands, Fresh Start Legal Advocates appears to be a company one of your own senior directors says they own.

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