Debt Settlement

Does the Consumer Defense Group Really Charge 55% of Debt to Help Me?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

Could you help clarify this contract including how the 55% legal fees are applied?

Answer:

Thank you for sending the client agreement with your question. It appears that while the fax came from Consumer Defense Group, the client agreement is from Phillip Sellers, an attorney in Wyoming.

The client agreement says the services purchased are:

When it comes to fees the client agreement makes a number of statements.

There may be additional legal fees charged for collection harassment actions and defense of collection actions. Additionally, the client will pay a monthly maintenance fee to The Oak Group.

The cost of the service is stated to be “equal to 55 percent of the total amount of the Verified Balance of the Referred Debts.”

Wow!

According to the agreement, outside of that gigantic cost, you will be responsible for “any monthly account maintenance fees and the monthly account software drafting fees.”

The agreement is between Phillip Sellers, an attorney with a Wyoming address of 1712 Pioneer Ave, Suite 506, Cheyenne, WY. That happens to be the same address for The Oak Group, LLC. It is a registered agent address. – Source

The agreement says it will “be deemed to have been made in and will be governed by and construed under the law of Texas.” There is a Phillip Sellers who is licensed to practice law in Texas.

However, the State of Wyoming does not list an attorney named Phillip Sellers that is eligible to practice law in Wyoming.

According to the agreement, you have about $12,000 in debt and the firm is going to charge you about $10,000 over three years.

The agreement also says, “In order to keep costs down as much as possible, the Law Firm may use third-party providers to perform certain non-legal services, such as maintaining your files and acting as an intermediary in conversation with creditors.” Does that mean the attorney isn’t even going to be talking to your creditors for you?

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What does not seem to be apparent is how or why The Consumer Defense Group is involved in this at all. The Consumer Defense Group says they are located at 6996 Piazza Grande Ave, Suite 211, Orlando, FL. The State of Florida says the manager for the LLC is Alex Morales, Jr but the company lists a different address of PO Box 681038, Orlando, FL 32868.

What seems a bit perplexing is the fact you are embarking on a solution that will take up to three years, has no guarantee of success and will cost about 80% of your total debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will take about 90 days, cost less than $2,000, and eliminate your debt tax-free.

I wish you the best of luck for whatever path you elect to follow. If you do go with The Consumer Defense Group of Phillip Sellers, I’d love to get an update from you in the comments.

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About the author

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.

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