Wise Counsel Debt Solutions Review


Wise Counsel Debt Solutions
2373 Northwest 185th Ave, Suite 140
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
Tel: (503) 747-0268
Fax: (503) 747-8613

Warning: Address may actually be a mailbox at the UPS Store at this location. No physical street address given.


www.mychoicedebtmanagement.com – According to BBB.


Wise Counsel has been researching and monitoring the credit counseling debt relief industry for over eight years. This research has been conducted for the purpose of providing consumers information about options that really work, and to help them avoid becoming a victim of unscrupulous pseudo-companies. While most of the companies and programs available today are legal and legitimate, they generally don’t work well at all, and some may be an outright scam. So please be careful, and use proper judgment. – Source


Ryan Kell – President
Joanne Kell – Vice President – joannekell@comcast.net


There appear to be less than four employees associated with this company. – Source


NCA Credit Repair & Debt Solutions – Possible

Interesting Points

Wise Counsel Debt Solutions BBB Rating

Company is actually Wise Counsel Financial and was previously called Advance Debt Eliminations, Inc. and My Choice Debt Management, Inc. There was also a company called Wise Counsel Financial Services in Texas and they do not appear to be related.

Appears to be most excited about a process they call debt validation which they describe as “This process utilizes powerful legal strategies & Federal consumer protection law to legally and ethically dissolve debts.” – Source

But then they also are excited about “Debt Resolution” which they say is, “Debt Resolution utilizes a notice of assignment to offset debt balances by presenting new terms and conditions to the creditors involved. Resolution simply uses the same process to expertly change the terms of debt in the consumers favor. ” – Source

This debt resolutions process appears to be nothing more than the much discredited novation scam. You can see an in-depth discussion about novation or assignment in this article.

Also very misleading statement about impact on credit when you enroll with them. “When you enroll into our program, there will be engagement with your eligible creditors within a strategic time period and inform them that you will no longer be making payments on the accounts and that they will need to redirect all correspondence to us. Your enrolled accounts will be unable to be reported as past due until the validation process has been completed. Once settled, they will reflect that the account was handled in a satisfactory manner and that there is no outstanding balance owed.” – Source

Makes claim to be able to dissolve student loan debt through trickery, “The debt relief experts at Wise Counsel Debt Solutions offer a variety of credit counseling debt relief programs; including student loan reduction programs that can help you gain access to legal and proven processes to effectively reduce and dissolve your student loan debt.” – Source

Here is what they claim to be their Debt Validation process:


Legal documentation is immediately sent to your creditor(s) by certified mail. These documents place your creditors on notice, and simply state the fact that any phone contact from them will be viewed as harassment under FDCPA law (Fair Debt Collections Practices Act), and that you will welcome communication from them only in writing.

These documents also require that your creditors adhere to certain Federal Laws, as it is your right to validate the debts as 100% true and accurate. The Debt Validation Team will want to see, in writing, how your creditors have come to the exact balances they “claim” you owe. For example, where is the original contract you signed agreeing to any interest or fees they are charging? What was the money they “claim” you owe used for exactly? There are a variety of other proprietary measures that may apply and these, too, will be researched and investigated.

If any of your creditors cannot provide the required documentation, your validation attorneys may be able to legally invalidate the debt, and have the entire balance discharged. This results in the greatest savings for you because there will be no monies paid by you to resolve the debt. The balance is at zero.

While your accounts are in this “billing audit” phase, certain laws under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) may not allow the creditors to report the accounts as delinquent, or if they already are, they may have to stop any further negative reporting. This can work to a huge advantage to you because if any of your creditors are breaking Federal law, your attorneys can use this evidence to your benefit to further reduce your balances, eliminate your balances entirely, or even win monies that could be awarded to you in certain instances.

Also, while your accounts are in the audit process, certain laws under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) may not allow your creditors to accrue any interest, late fees, or penalties on your accounts. If any of your creditors are found to be in violation of these particular laws, the attorneys could possibly use this evidence to further reduce your bills, or eliminate the balances entirely. This is another huge legal advantage you would have when compared to a basic Debt Settlement program.

In addition to the above, your creditors are immediately placed on notice, and have received a legal “cease & desist” order to stop any phone calls to you. According to Federal law under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), your creditors may be subject to large fines of up to $1,000.00 per occurrence if they call and harass you during this process. Again, your attorneys, utilizing Federal law, could feasibly use this evidence against your creditors to further reduce your bills, or eliminate the balances all together if your creditors are found to be in violation of such law.

In summary, phase 1 takes approx 2-3 months to complete, and there will be a colossal amount of work being conducted on your behalf by the Validation Team to legally and ethically dissolve your bills. At this stage, the Vvalidation Team may be able to offer you attractive settlement offers and can provide you with a summary of your creditors that are not in full compliance with the law.


At this point, the validation process is escalated towards any of your accounts that did not validate your debts properly under law. The Validation Team will then contact all three credit bureaus for the purpose of notifying them that the debts are now deemed “invalid” by your legal counsel, and are demanding that each account be removed from your reports per the FCRA laws. This stage usually captures your creditors’ attention, and they will now typically try to validate the debt at this point, offer a settlement, or get the debt out of their possession and sell it to a 3rd party collection company while they can recoup some of their losses. Any account that goes 180 days without payment must be charged off by the original creditor. When this happens, you legally don’t owe that creditor any money on that specific account, and they legally couldn’t take money from you even if you offered it to them.

An account that is sold to a 3rd party collection company has a much greater chance of being invalidated all together, and you are protected even more so, under FDCPA law.

Generally, a 3rd party collection company will purchase large lots of delinquent debts from the original creditors for approx 10-20 cents on the dollar. They, in turn, typically try to bully money out of the debtor and threaten lawsuit. If you were in a Debt Settlement program, things would be getting very nasty for you at this stage of the game, but if you are in the Debt Validation program, the tables are turned in your favor. Your attorneys and Validation Team will now place this 3rd party collection company into the Federal billing audit, and require them to validate the debt appropriately. Generally, these collection companies have no documentation to substantiate your debt as valid, making it very difficult, if not completely impossible for them to:

Prove you owe the exact balance they say you do.

Provide any kind of contract that states you agreed to pay them anything.

Provide any kind of documentation that shows how the debt came to be, and what was the mathematical formula they used to create your current balance.

Provide legal proof that you agreed to pay any and all of the late fees, penalties and interest that have accrued (if any), on the account. – Source

Their “Debt Resolution” process appears to be not much more than words on a page and makes no sense to me.

See also  Debt Restructuring of America - Consumer Complaint - 1-4-2012

I did find an interesting testimonial, ““…We were completely lost and getting killed in our hugely competitive market. Real Ambition turned our marketing around and provided an impressive ROI within just a few months…”
Ryan Kell – Wise Counsel Financial” – Source


I would be careful…..they do not explain that you will need a pot of gold to negotiate your settlement. Creditors will settle but want their full settlement immediately otherwise they will sue. If you own a home they will file a judgement against you. Do your homework, if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. Once Ryan gets you in, he will not respond to you. The “firm” he uses is unorganized. In the meantime, your balances continue to go up and you will be served a summons in the end. – Source

Picture of Web Site

Wise Counsel Debt Solutions

UPDATE: March 18, 2010

I have archived cached copies of Wise Counsel Debt Solutions and My Choice Debt Management since they have been taken offline. I also archived today a copy of Debt Restructuring of America and the site that was known previously as Debt Validation of America.

Is This Your Company?

If this is a review is about your company and you would like to respond to the information I’ve presented here to possibly put it into a broader context or make a correction, please feel free to post your response in the comments section below. I invite you to read my Debt Relief Company and Site Review Policy first.

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17 thoughts on “Wise Counsel Debt Solutions Review”

  1. A lot has happened since my exchange with Ryan Kell of Wise Counsel Debt Solutions yesterday.

    The sites for Wise Counsel Debt Solutions and their sister company My Choice Debt Management have been taken offline. The officers of My Choice Debt Management are Ryan Kell and JoAnne Kell.

    A confidential source told me that Wise Choice Debt Solutions received 10% of the debt amount for accounts they referred out to groups like Bruce Atherton and Associates in Kentucky for debt settlement services. An on the record response to my correspondence to his law office had not been received as of the time of my posting this comment.

    Bruce Atherton was recently disbarred in Kentucky and surrendered his law license in Indiana as the result of his pleading guilty to federal charges of accessory after the fact to a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

    Bruce Atherton continues to offer debt relief services through his company Debt Restructuring of America in a non-attorney capacity.

    Wise Counsel and/or My Choice Debt Management also are alleged to have referred clients to Debt Validation of America (now The Mohnsam Firm) to attempt to have debts disputed through a process similar to what I called novation in my original review.

    I found a couple of online statements that seem to support these allegations.

    “This company, My Choice Debt Management, also known as Wise Counsel Financial, is full of promises by word but is short of actually providing the help in all reality. They claim be there to help people but fail to actually do so!!! Debt Validation of America, that they seem to enjoy to recommend, consists of like minded people proposing to be ever so helpful! They do not stop phone calls, do not return your phone, and then when you decide to end the program because it is absolutely doing nothing for you, they put the OWNER, Brian Perry, of Debt Validation of America on the phone who begins to threaten you that he will sue you for dropping the program and WILL NOT REFUND you the money that is in your escrow account that the DVA contract clearly says you will receive if you terminate your program with them early. So, I contacted My Choice Debt Management / Wise Counsel Financial to see if they would be willing to help me since THEY were the ones False Advertising about the delivery of the company…Ryan and JoAnne Kell, Owners of My Choice Debt Management and Wise Counsel Financial, would not even consider my refund, yet…others were refuunded? I begin to wonder why this was??? Then I found it! Their company is actually in the middle of an Investigation by the Consumer Affairs Department in Georgia…totally get it now. Since I wasn’t a Georgia client, I was not getting refunded. Looks like I need to get the Consumer Affairs Department of North Carolina to look into them.

    If anyone else in NC has had this same experience, please let me know! It will just build a stronger stance against these preying companies!

    Barbara” – Source


    “Bruce Atherton & Associtates – also Debt Restructuring of America – also My Choice Debt Management. Mr. Atherton apparently went into the debt settlement business. I signed up thinking that having an attorney would be beneficial to me. I found out the hard way that all they are good at is taking your money. They didnt return my calls or my creditors calls. Unprofessional, unorganized and unprepared. They cannot provide me with a status on my accounts. They are very good about telling you not to worry. I estimate that I have lost over $8,000 – although he is good at writing nasty letters to his clients. Beware, do not make the same mistake!!” – Source

    It is said that the State of Georgia is conducting an investigation of the business practices of Wise Counsel Debt Solutions and/or My Choice Debt Management.


  2. One other thing…. in regard to this comment from Mr. Kell….

    “For all you people that may be reading this, yes, I want Steve to call me so he cannot continue to place every aspect of my private life on the internet. He may claim to be trying to help people, but he cannot help anyone by spending his time trying to hurt us.”

    WHO is it again that was placing his private life on the internet?? Thanks again Steve… YOU ARE A GREAT HELP!!!

  3. WELL SAID STEVE!! Who in their right mind would enter into a program with such an irrational human being? My word… Ryan seems to be one unhappy individual! “We have you on our radar now”…that was a very intellectual response wasn’t it? And who goes onto the web and posts personal information about their minor child? Who brought that into play?? Oh yes, that was unhappy Ryan. What a disgrace! If I were his wife, I would have his head for that one!! One thing I will say is this… if you look hard enough, you will find all you need to know about this company (except for a website??) Client satisfaction is key in keeping a business going, wouldn’t you agree?? If you piss enough people off, it is bound to catch up with you. Thank you for all of your wonderful reviews! This really helps when we, the consumer, are needing a hand finding reputable companies to help us in our financial situations. Based on what I have read here, I will be sure to pass along to family and friends to run in the opposite direction of Wise Counsel. They are clearly in need of some Anger Management sessions!!

  4. Yes Steve, our company is “oddly unique” as you put it, but again, your wouldn’t care to consider all of the benefits and real help we have provided over the years, as it would interfere with your smear campaign.

    We are here to help people, and we do a monumental amount of pro bono work. We can refer a person to any credit counseling agency that is legitimate, licensed, and operating compliantly. We can also refer people to numerous attorneys in many States that provide free consultations to discuss the legal options of Bankruptcy if a person has no ability whatsoever to pay their bills.
    We can also refer people to an accredited debt reduction company that may be able to modify, reduce, negotiate or mediate a debt on the clients behalf. Some attorney firms are willing to help people in this regard, and they can protect their clients against aggressive creditors who are in violation of Federal Consumer Protection Laws.
    We can also help a person get in control of their spending habits, and create extra money to pay down their own bills in a roll-up fashion by cutting our unnecessary spending and really focusing on placing all the money they can towards their bills.

    I’m sure this strikes you as “weird” too as you are some kind of headhunter looking to play the gotcha game, but it won’t work here, not with us.
    So your question of how much fees are charged simply isn’t applicable. But we don’t charge anyone any fees for the services we provide, never have.

    I am asking you to please take my wife’s picture down. What an invasive thing you have done. We/she have been through so much trauma with simply keeping our young son stable as he has been stricken with a life threatening, debilitating disease at age 8. I am completely and utterly disgusted with your blatant disregard for the quality of anyone else’ lifee but yours, and your blatant hatred for the general privacy privileges one can & should expect while dealing with such heartbreak and the demise of a child.

    I would appreciate it if you never, ever contact me again unless you call me personally as I have a lot to say to you.

    For all you people that may be reading this, yes, I want Steve to call me so he cannot continue to place every aspect of my private life on the internet. He may claim to be trying to help people, but he cannot help anyone by spending his time trying to hurt us.

    • Ryan,

      I have no problem taking down your wife’s picture per your request. And as I told you the reason I cropped the picture to begin with was out of respect for the child.

      Were any of the sourced quotes from your site not correct?

      What aspect of your private life did I place on the internet? Your wife is a VP of the company and had her picture was publicly available online. I never mentioned your son and did not post a picture of him. Unless I read this wrong you are the only one talking about your son.

      Quite frankly, nothing I said hurt you, it was factual and almost all from your own site when I did the review. But readers are probably going to come to some conclusions based upon your postings here. Wow!

      You didn’t answer if you had blocked me or you were having site problems.

      Why in the world would I want to call you? If you have any correction to what I posted, just post it here. What more is there to say?


      • Steve you are so right – Ryan Kell gets paid off of every contract he sends to the mohnsam firm aka the firm aka debt validation of america. Another good one is bruce atherton lol – just look him up on line and run as fast as you can. Mr atherton used to be an attorney before he embezzeled half his clients money.

  5. Hi Steve,

    We have you on our radar now. Thank you. My first question for now is, who pays you to spend the time collecting data in the sole effort a negative twist on it? I am certain, above any doubt that you are being paid for this nonsense, or gaining clientele in some manner only by falsely smearing others. A real class act you are. In my book, this is called “dirty pool”, and cheating to a huge extent. A bit of honesty, and a non bias position would award you a much greater position of respect. Your parents should have taught you that.

    You have a picture of what you claim may be my wife, JoAnne there. What a great help to concerned consumers that is. some of the best detective work I have ever seen. It appears she is pushing a small boy in a wheel chair who is suffering from a debilitating disease, but you expertly cut that out. What a horrible person she must be.

    Do you also think she may be too fat for your taste, or too skinny? Too short or too tall? Come on Steve, you have so many opinions about good, honest people in a negative manner, you surely can’t hold back on making more personal attacks. People like you just can’t help it, especially now that we know you are likely using these smear campaigns to line your own pockets.

    You failed to mention she holds a mortgage license too, and yes, has an extensive employment history with a local Credit Repair company that has a 10 year history, and absolutely zero complaints filed at the BBB just like us.
    But wait!!! Stating any facts like that would only impair you agenda. It is very simple to me.

    There is also absolutely none of the Resolution or “Novation” wording on our website at all, and that is not a product we currently recommend, and we have never provided such a service, ever.

    If you think that we would ever dare refer anyone to a program that is not 100% legitimate and legal, you are wrong. There are no “tricks” here as your irresponsible conversation claims there are.

    The Gentleman named Chris that you are trying to collect is contemplating enrollment into a debt settlement/validation program that is ran by real, licensed attorneys, and they are not going to be happy at all to see any of your misinformation regarding their process I can assure you.

    Chris will have real legal representation from the moment he starts the program, and the attorneys will immediately contact his creditors and start the process of mediating/negotiating his bills as Chris is currently experiencing a legitimate financial hardship. This is not one of the fake, attorney-assist programs that many Debt Settlement companies use. The attorneys will provide thousands of dollars of legal work up front while providing fantastic customer service, and full disclosure and transparency of all the work and contact conducted with his creditors as Chris will have attorney client privilege.

    Steve, I am providing you an open invitation to contact me whenever you have a question pertaining to the services we offer as a research/referral company. I would hate to see such an honest, well intentioned, and hugely respected individual like yourself providing misleading information to consumers.

    Ryan Kell

    • Ryan,

      I went back again and looked at the review. It didn’t look bad to me. All the issues were sourced.

      I did clip the child out of the picture for no other reason than to respect the privacy of the minor in the photo. I don’t have any opinion about if your wife is too tall, short, fat or skinny. I think you did confirm the picture is your wife who is also a part of Wise Counsel as VP. If you want to send me your photo I’d be happy to post that as well.

      I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean by “The Gentleman named Chris that you are trying to collect…” Collect what?

      Your willingness to provide open feedback on your company is fantastic. Thanks for coming forward. I invite you to please provide me with your fee schedule and copy of a client contract so I can post it. I don’t know what your fees are and when you said “attorneys will provide thousands of dollars of legal work” it made me wonder. You can go ahead and post it in the comments for me if you want.

      For the record, I did not say your process was labeled as novation. I said it appears to be the same novation process I wrote about before. And the phrase “Debt Resolution” was one used on your own site.

      And I’m curious why you elected to respond by attacking me and my parents personally, I did no such thing in my review of your site.


      • Hi Steve,

        We don’t have a contract here, and have never, ever charged any fees from anyone looking for help with their debts. The advice that we offer is free. We are here to help people make educated decisions regarding options that are available in the industry. There are some programs that don’t work well, and there are even some scams out there, and we always let our clients know intimate details of what to be aware of.

        We provide great insight to the negative aspects of Settlement programs and try to help people understand the effectiveness and benefits of resolving their debts on their own if they have the ability to do so.

        I couldn’t imagine having the time to dedicate to investigating your family and background in the effort to post a bunch of slime on the internet about you, and then be able to hide behind a self generated screen of it being “sourced” to justify my actions.

        The Gentleman named “Chris” is the person you are attempting to capture/confuse somehow by posting what can be conceived as negative information about my company, and quit trying to deny it. If a person is in a financial bind and falling behind of their bills, they can very well benefit from the right program. Of course, anyone would like to resolve their bills without the threat of being sued. That is the whole goal. How is it that you somehow think that you are the only person who cares about someone being sued?? So narcissistic.

        You are obviously a very passive aggressive type of personality, and I never attacked your parents in any way.

        Please answer the question….Who Pays You To Do This Stuff!

        If someone isn’t paying you, then you are likely trying to capture innocent people in financial straights for you own program or agenda. Why are you so vague Steve?

        I am also sure you would like to post a picture of me, my Uncle, Father, Mother, and anyone else you could if it suited your purpose of gaining a consumers trust through those techiques. If you are truly trying to help people, why don’t you disclose exactly how it is that you get paid before you entice people to contact you by degrading others that are doing the right thing?

        Are you trying to generate enough visitors to your blog and sites that you can then charge advertisers a fee to offer their services? If so, I can sure understand your desire to always stir the pot with your silly “source” material when you have nothing concrete to offer.

        We are here to actually help consumers Steve. What is your ggoal?

        • Ryan,

          I assumed when you said “Your parents should have taught you that” that you were talking about my parents.

          Most of the “silly sourced” material you refer to was quoted straight off your own website. Which part of what I posted was “slime” or negative against your company?

          So to clarify, there is no charge for people to use solutions through your company and nobody has to enter a contract for the client services provided? Is that right? That’s oddly unique. Most service providers do have a fee schedule and client contract. So I’m confused, do you not provide end users services to clients or are you simply referring people elsewhere? I’d double check myself but I’m not sure if you are having site problems or not but I can no longer pull up your site. You wouldn’t be blocking me by chance?

          If you are referring people elsewhere can you give us an idea of what kind of fees are charged and services provided by others?

          The published site terms should help to answer any questions you have in general about the site.


    • Ryan, You are a theif and a scam artist. You deal with theives.  Debt Validation of American, Inc, The Firm, and Kurt K, Mohnsam.  Every negative thing that has been said about you is true.  I asked you to help me and you wouldnt even reply.  Once you signed me up you fed me to the lions. 

  6. My wife and I have been working with Ryan Kell at Wise Counsel Financials. He has recommended The Mohnsam Firm (Debt Validation of America). We have 60,000 in credit card debt and are about to enroll in a debt settlement program with The Mohnsam Firm. Can you give me any advice about this company? Thanks!

    • Chris,

      Debt Validation of America and Kurt Mohnsam had not appeared on my radar before so I went and took a look at the site. It seems that the services being offered as very similar to those covered in this other article.

      Let me ask you, do you need to get out of debt without being sued or are you willing to pay for tricks and hopes of possibly reducing your debt that can leave you exposed to being sued by your creditors? What is the goal you want to achieve and let’s put a plan in place to deal with that.


    • The Mohnsam Firm is nothing more than a rip off service. There employees are not even qualifed to do the work, also of fact the employees average 2-3 months before they walk out and quit. The owner is a thief and uses many aliases, as well as having an extremely colorful background. Majority of your accounts will go into lawsuit – they do not follow up on things in an appropriate time frame. They charge large amounts of fees and most of your debt will never be negotiated. Your are better off requesting your own validation and doing negotiations, in the long run you wont be out so much money.


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