Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Debt Settlement

I Just Signed Up For J Hass Group Debt Settlement Services And I’m Worried. – Jamie

“Dear Steve,

I just signed up for debt negotiation with consumer debt counseling group/J. Hass. Then I read the BBB report, including a grade of “F” and 81 (resolved) complaints.

Have you any knoowledge of these groups? I’m thinking I should call my credit card companies and tell them what I’m planning…since I can’t afford to save for settlement and make monthly payments to them. Any advice?


Dear Jamie,

As the result of your question I just wrote a review about their site. Read J Hass Group Review.

When you start sending payments to the debt settlement company you will be in default with your creditors. They will begin collection and that can lead to lawsuits and potential wage garnishments. It will also ruin your credit. Also bear in mind that your first three months of payments will go to fees and part of your first half of the remaining payments will as well.

What is your situation? If you gave me more background I might be able to give you a better answer which solution would be best for you.

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READ  Is There Anyway to Get My $7,000 Back From J Hass Group? They Did Nothing. - Cheryl

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.


  • Jamie –send the money to your creditors and stay away from JHass group,they will tell you one thing and do some thing else! What they did to me was tell me they would charge me 1100.00 to settle my accounts and that they would take 49.00/ month till there fees where paid and the rest of the my money would go towards the credit cards, after 9 months I figured out that they where taking all the funds and not one card was settled and now I am being sued, to top it off they will not send my money back ,they told me to read my contract that was sent to me,which they faxed to me in Feb. 2011 and I have been with them being in May 2010 and the contract was signed with my name ,HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!!!!! I did not sign the paper work because I never saw it before Feb…. GET AWAY FROM THEM THEY WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND NO RESULTS!!!!!

  • Jamie –send the money to your creditors and stay away from JHass group,they will tell you one thing and do some thing else! What they did to me was tell me they would charge me 1100.00 to settle my accounts and that they would take 49.00/ month till there fees where paid and the rest of the my money would go towards the credit cards, after 9 months I figured out that they where taking all the funds and not one card was settled and now I am being sued, to top it off they will not send my money back ,they told me to read my contract that was sent to me,which they faxed to me in Feb. 2011 and I have been with them being in May 2010 and the contract was signed with my name ,HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!!!!! I did not sign the paper work because I never saw it before Feb…. GET AWAY FROM THEM THEY WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND NO RESULTS!!!!!

  • Jeremy,

    this was my first time reading the comments listed above and I truly commend you for your posts as well as your decision to back off. I work for a competitor and would love the opportunity to give a shameless plug due to the fact that WE offer services with no monthly fees and only one complaint since inception 5 years ago, but that’s not why I’m responding. At the end of the day we all are providing a service (me,you and Steve)and yes Debt settlement isn’t for everyone but that doesn’t make it the worst of the debt relief programs. In my 3 years as a Debt Counselor I have received as many complaints from clients who had enrolled in Debt Counseling Programs (Consolidation) who were late making a payment 1 time after being enrolled in the program for over a year with a faithful payment record only to have the agreement rescinded and the client find themselves, at best, back at square one with the interest rates back to the way they were before entering the program, which was the reason why they entered the program in the first place due to the excessively high interest rates,or at the mercy of the creditor. What I’m getting at is that not every program fits every body but with the proper education and research there is a program for everyone so if we’re going to disclose the pitfalls of a Debt Settlement program for the Benefit of the people and not for our own agenda “STEVE” then we should at least list the pitfalls of the other Debt relief programs since we care so much about our people. Jeremy you really know your stuff and I Commend you for your attempt to settle the score but as you see the odds were against you and no matter what you said you were never given a fair shake but they would take one comment out of 100 and try to build a case on that to vilify to you. Again, I Work for a competitor and I’m not promoting J Hass I just felt a need to comment. Maybe I’m missing it, I thought that Steve was just showing some love and concern for those that had issues with Debt Settlement Programs and not pushing his own agenda and services and if so, disregard my comment. People…. Do your Due Diligence with whoever you decide to enter in agreement with you owe it to yourself, God Knows We’ve all been through enough without having Wolves in Sheep’s clothing trying to get us into more danger.

    • First I would like to say, Stop bashing Steve.

      He has always given oportunity for any debt settlement company to respond & clarify anything posted they feel is inaccurate. In fact Steve actually incourages everyone to offer information on anything they feel is not correct.

      In fact, Steve has allowed you the chance to voice your own position on this site even though many viewers may not agree with your point of view.

      As far as your comments on jeremy & his company, have you actually read any of the inaccurate statements he has made on this site?

      I think what this site is all about is giving individuals as much information as possible to make informed decisions on their own.

      I know I have learned alot on this site just by hearing others tell their experiences.

  • I owned my own contruction company (sole proprieter) for about 6 years when I started to have financial difficulty when a couple of my contractors I did work for went bankrupt. Over the years I had accumulated nearly $30,000 in debt, and with the economy going my company began to crumble, with no cash flow and the bills pilling up I started to look for a way to get some help, trying to avoid bankruptcy myself I contacted Consumer Debt Counselors Group out of Boca Raton, Florida. They hooked me up with the J. Haas Group in Arizona.

    Things started out well enough, I started out paying 457 a month in March of 2009 (and have continued through the present). We had our first settlement within six months and I thought things were looking up. Things started to change when we got our first court summons in Feb 2010 from Discover Card. They reached a settlement out of court but we had to come up with $5000 to get that taken care of (80% of the debt we owed) thankfully we were able to have our tax return by then and we used that to take care of it.

    I sold my business and with the remaining money I had we sent it to the J. Haas group via our Noteworld Account thinking we were almost done with our obligation to them and that our debts would be settled in a short amount of time (because apparently if you have no money in your account they don’t negotiate or even make contact with your creditors). When I signed up, like I said we had about $30,000 in debt and we signed up with them for 36 months at $457/month which translated to about $16,500.

    To date I’ve paid them and/or my creditors in the time I’ve been in the program nearly $20,000 and I still have one debt that hasn’t even been touched and another one that is in the process of going to court. I have over $5000 in my noteworld account since April and they are having a difficult time negotiating with the creditor that is suing us right now. They can never give me a straight answer as to how much more money I owe them and as of right now I’m about ready to close the account they have access to.

    The legal reps don’t answer our calls and we are relegated to taking to the secretaries who don’t know the entire situation. I guess thats enough of our story and background for you to get the jist of it all.

    What can we do to get out of this? As I mentioned we still have one more debt other than the one that’s in the court process right now. The one that’s in the court process will settle for at least $7000 and the other one is like at $7000 right now with no contact from them at the moment. So I hope you can see our delima…we’ve payed nearly $20,000 and we still have our 2 biggest debts left to settle….what can we do? (The $5000 in the noteworld account is included in the $20k that we’ve paid them). What advice do you have and what recourse do I have against them? Can I possibley get some of the over $4000 in fees they’ve taken from me to help settle my debts?

  • What happened to Jeremy?
    Haven’t noticed any post recently defending the JHG.
    Did they finally realize everytime they comment they actually dig a deeper hole.

  • Steve you are correct that the delinquent account will show up for some time, however it will only show that te person was having trouble and went delinquent. Bankruptcy and other debt managment programs all are required to report to the credit agencies. What they report is that you were enrolled or used them as a method of debt elimination. This shows any future credit grantor that you had to reach out to a 3rd party for help and could not take care of the debt on your own. Where clients in a debt settlement program choose to go past due and take the negative hit on their credit there is no report of any 3rd party assistance. Most creditor grantors look at a 24 month period web deciding if a person is a credit risk. With that said most people who complete a debt settlement program can start re-establishing their credit much faster than those who choose bankruptcy or other debt managment options.

    • Jeremy,

      Your statement that “Bankruptcy and other debt managment programs all are required to report to the credit agencies”, is not true. Bankruptcy is not reported by the court or attorney. If it is reported on the credit report it is done so as a public record entry. Credit counseling is not required to report to any bureau. In fact the credit hit taken in credit counseling is not because of the entry into credit counseling it is because the accounts were closed and it’s that the same result when the accounts are closed in a debt settlement program?

      A Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes months to complete and consumers can begin to establish credit again immediately after, how is that not faster than waiting a couple of years for a debt settlement program?

      There is no evidence that says credit is easier to rebuild after debt settlement than bankruptcy.


      • Steve,

        Thanks for your efforts to get all this info out to the public.

        Wish I knew about your site before I got involved with this DSC.

        Looks like every time they post on your site some of their info turns out to be inaccurate.

  • 1. No we are a member of USOBA as well as members of IAPDA
    2.the J Hass group charges a 15% of the clients debt at time of enrollment as well as a $49.00 monthly fee to cover the client phone device as well as the associated trust fees
    3. We are only paid the 15% fee, however our negotiators are on a performance based pay scale.
    4. If a consumer changes their mind within the first 30 days they will recieve a full refund. However after the first 30 days All refunds are up to the managment.
    5. The average term of our program is 36 months so 1 year is only a short part of the program. However if you have fuffiled your end, made all your payments and stayed up to date with the J Hass group and we have not been able to secure any type of settlement on your behalf than we would refund you all of the fees paid on the accounts that we were not able to get a settlement offer on.
    6. We have been in the debt settlement buisness since 2005. As of te end of 2009 we have settled out $67,499,896.86 for $23,613,216.31. That’s roughly 34%
    7. No we cannot stop the creditors from calling you, nor can we stop them from contacting you via mail. However we do provide all of our clients who have a land line a DAAN device. The DAAN device is a phone module that monitors for FDCPA violations and helps te client direct the creditor calling to contact our office.
    8. We do not make monthly payments to your creditors, we set our clients up on a monthly savings plan and make mostly lump sum settlements.
    9. Yes you can be sued. About 1% of all of the accounts we have come into some type of legal action. However the J Hass group has a department dedicated to dealing with accounts that have had any type of legal action taken against them. We cannot gurantee that we will stop any legal action however we can normally get a settlement offer before te clients has to go to court.
    10. Yes this will have a negative impact on your credit. However the impact on your credit is far more damaging with bankruptcy and other debt managment programs. Since those programs are required to report to the credit bureau it will stay on your credit report for 7-10 years.
    11. Since we are working on the creditors time table i can not give you an exact time you will recieve your first settlement, however we normally see the first settlements in 6-8 months.
    12. All the numbers that we quote are estimates since our settlements vary from creditor to creditor and account to account. However our fees are fixed so those will never go up. Based on our historical data we have avaraged settlements below 40% since we have started.
    13. Yes the are tax consequences. However since we are not tax experts we suggest you talk to a tax proffesional. It is our experience that any savings greater than $600 is subject to a 1099 from the creditor.
    14. You money is being held at a banking institution of your choice, however we suggest that our clients use either NoteWorld servicing center or Global client solutions. The money is held in an account that only you have access to and you have total control of all of the funds in your account at both NoteWorld and Global.

    • Jeremy,

      I’m not sure I understand your answer to 10. If a account goes delinquent with the debt settlement approach isn’t that still listed as a delinquent and potentially charged off and latter settled account for 7.5 years from date first delinquent? How would a bankruptcy be far more damaging since both would be reported on a credit report?

      Are you ready to embrace the challenge for transparency at and publish this information on your site? If so, that would be fantastic.


      • Steve theres realy no point I am thinking he works for one of the companies.I to was told not to pay my credit cards not to speak to them and now am being served..The one thing that I got yelled at by the lady who works for Guardian for answering my cell phone and even talking to a crediter.My ? is if I could prove they have not contracted any one as well as except companies knowling to them that will not talk to them can I act on that?

    • First,the answer in #5 is very misleading.

      I think what Mr Hass meant to say is ,if they settle even (1) of your debts they feel they are entitled to the full amount they charged to settle all of your debts.

      I paid the JHG over $4000. they setttled just (1) of my (6) debts in 2 years. They never offered to refund any money for the remaining debts that were not settled.

      Based on their total fees presented to me when signing up for their program, this single settlement should only have cost me about $866.

      *Note in #6 above Mr hass stated they have been in the debt settlement businesss since 2005 (About 5 yrs).

      (3) months ago in a letter to the FTC the JHG stated they had been enrolling consumers in debt settlement programs for (2) years (9) months.

      There seems to be a (2) year discrepency concerning these statements.

  • Jamie,

    in regards to your question about the BBB and the J Hass Group. The BBB has voted on a national level to rate all Debt Settlement companies no greater than D-. They have decided this because they do not understand what it is that debt settlement companies do and they dont like to recieve complaints. The J Hass Group has an F rating with the BBB. However if you take the number of complaints filed with the BBB and the # of active clients roughly 18,000, they ahve less than 1% complaint rate. For most people that i sa pretty amazing #, however since the BBB does not like Debt Settlemetn and does not full understand it they ahve decided to pass judgement on all debt settlement companies with out taking in the facts. If you have other questions about this please contact J Hass Group Customer Service at 1-800-565-1260

    AS far as the information Steve provided you i would like to comment on that as well. The J Hass Group offers a Hardship program as an alternative for Bankruptcy. THe program is not easy, it is not a free ride and does not provide you any immunity from your creditors. However, all methods of debt resolution are difficult, non are easy and all will impact your credit score. Bankruptcy will damage your credit score and credit profile for at least 7-10years. A non-proft debt managment program will not damage your credit score, but will damage your credit worthiness. The thing that you may or may not know is that when you sign up for a non profit debt managment or counceling plan it will show a 3rd party assistance on your credit report for the next 7-10 years. This mark when looked at by a lender or credit granter is as bad if not worse than a Bankruptcy.

    Im not saying that Debt Settlement is the best option for you. But compared to the other debt resolution methods available it is the strongest for you long term credit worthiness and profile. It will also if folowed correctly save you the most money off of your principle and interest owed. The J Hass Group has been settling debt for under 40% for the last 12 months streight.

    Once again if you have any questions please contact J Hass group Customer Service, ask questions, make sure this is the correct program for you.


    • James (aka Jeremy),

      The BBB does list some debt settlement companies higher than a D-. I’ve reviewed them and just recently reviewed Trinity Financial Mission that has a B+.

      Thanks for posting your feedback on the review. Was their anything in the review that was not factual or needed correction?


      • Steve,

        The BBBs national board set a national edict that they did not want Debt Settle firms as they were not sure they were a credible buisness, in contradiction to what the FTC (FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION) stated. The FTC stated that debt settlement is here to stay, and that they outperform credit counceling, debt managment and even Bankruptcy. Most every BBB in the country has adopted that with the highest rating beening a D+. There are a few BBB’s that have not adopted this but will in the near future. Additionally if the Debt Settlement Firm does lies about the buisness they were in and states financial services or some other buisness practice than they will not be subject to the edict.

        The way to read a BBB rating is by the ratio of resolved complaints to the total customer base. With 82 complaints filed and 82 complaints resolved, when you figure our complaint % based on the 18000 active clients that we service we have .004555555% complaint rate. Please look at other business that have that many clients with that few complaints.

        of the 3 serious complaints, which were called unresolved up untila few months ago. The J Hass Group agreed to binding arbitration, however the person who complained refused. The 2 other serious were because we felt that our wrok was completed and refused to refund additional fees.

        Please look at the BBB report for Wells Fargo Mortgage and compare how they are being rated to how debt settlement firms are rated.

        From the BBB Website
        When considering complaint information, please take into account the company’s size and volume of transactions, and understand that the nature of complaints and a firm’s responses to them are often more important than the number of complaints.
        BBB processed a total of 1754 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 1754 complaints closed in 36 months, 988 were closed in the last year.
        These complaints concerned :
        13 regarding Advertising Issues
        2 – Advertised terms not honored
        2 – Advertisement misrepresented a service
        1 – Bait & switch advertisement
        1 – False or unsubstantiated claims in advertisement
        7 – None of the Above – Advertising Complaint Issue
        694 regarding Billing or Collection Issues
        251 – Failure to correct billing errors
        6 – Failure to provide itemized billing as requested
        27 – Failure to substantiate charges
        61 – Improper collection practices
        330 – None of the Above – Credit, Billing or Collection Complaint Issue
        13 – Unauthorized bank debits
        6 – Unauthorized credit card charges
        207 regarding Contract Issues
        40 – Failure to honor a contract or agreement
        3 – Invalid or false contract
        150 – None of the Above – Contract Complaint Issue
        8 – Unauthorized changes to the contract or agreement
        6 – Work performed outside the terms of the contract or agreement
        353 regarding Customer Service Issues
        100 – Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services
        35 – Failure to respond to phone calls or written requests for assistance or support
        19 – Inappropriate behavior by customer service personnel
        199 – None of the Above – Customer Service Complaint Issue
        6 regarding Delivery Issues
        1 – Non-delivery of products
        5 – None of the Above – Delivery Complaint Issue
        15 regarding Guarantee or Warranty Issues
        4 – Failure to honor money-back guarantees
        1 – Failure to honor service under the terms of warranties
        2 – Failure to provide promised written warranty or guarantee
        8 – None of the Above – Guarantee or Warranty Complaint Issue
        16 regarding Product Issues
        16 – None of the Above – Product Quality Complaint Issue
        140 regarding Refund or Exchange Issues
        17 – Failure to honor promised refunds, exchanges, or credit
        15 – Failure to honor refund, exchange or credit policies
        108 – None of the Above – Refund or Exchange Complaint Issue
        5 regarding Repair Issues
        5 – None of the Above – Repair Complaint Issue
        104 regarding Sales Practice Issues
        55 – None of the Above – Sales Complaint Issue
        2 – Sales presentation did not disclose complete pricing information
        4 – Sales presentation did not disclose key conditions of the offer
        5 – Sales presentation misrepresented the product
        13 – Sales presentation misrepresented the service
        6 – Sales presentation not consistent with the written agreement
        18 – Sales presentation used dishonest sales practices
        1 – Sales presentation used high pressure methods
        201 regarding Service Issues
        18 – Delayed completion of service
        12 – Failure to honor service estimate or agreement
        2 – Failure to provide invoice or estimate for service upon request
        23 – Improper or inferior service
        136 – None of the Above – Service Complaint Issue
        6 – Services resulted in additional damage (exp. Damaged product during shipping)
        4 – Unauthorized service

        These complaints were closed as:
        1442 Resolved
        301 – Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.
        1140 – Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.
        1 – Company offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer accepted.
        312 Administratively Closed

        On top of all of this i will be happy to send you a copy of our contract and disclosures as they lay out all of the pit falls involved in our program. As well as pay for a visit to our office so that you can see our operation first hand. We are confident that a visit will result ina retraction of your statements.

        In November the FTC issued the top 10 complained about buisnesses and debt settlement was not included in the top 10 most complained about.

        I would also advise you review our submission to the FTC submited in November regarding creditor harrasment and deception.

        Once again i would like to invite you to get the facts, review our paperwork and visit our offices in scottsdale.

      • Steve,

        In regards to Trinity Financial Mission that has a B+, they are not listed as a debt settlement company with the BBB

        • Jeremy,

          Can you answer the questions posted by the debt settlement company New Era that they say all debt settlement companies should answer?

          1. Are you a member of TASC?
          2. What are your fees?
          3. Are you being paid commission?
          4. Do you have a money back guarantee if I change my mind?
          5. If I have faithfully made my payments for one year and you haven’t settled any of my debt, how much money would I get back if I decided to quit?
          6. How long have you been in the debt settlement business and how much debt have you settled?
          7. Can you stop my creditors from calling me?
          8. Will you be making monthly payments to my creditors?
          9. Can I get sued?
          10. Will this have a negative effect on my credit report?
          11. When can I expect my first settlement?
          12. Can you tell me exactly how much this will take and exactly how much this will cost?
          13. Are there tax consequences I should be made aware of?
          14. Who is holding my money while I’m waiting on a settlement?


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