This review is the result for several requests I’ve received about this company.
3100 S. Harbor Blvd., Suite 250
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Also know as Debtmerica Relief.
Domain was registered April 28, 2006 and is owned by Debtmerica LLC. Good.
Debt settlement company.
Jesse E. Torres, IV
Jesse E. Torres – Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer
Jesse Torres is both a founder and managing partner of Debtmerica, LLC and has been actively involved in operations since the firm’s founding in April 2006. His current duties include overseeing all aspects of marketing, finance, and administration and he is also actively involved in setting Company strategy and risk management. Jesse has extensive experience with online marketing, consumer finance, accounting, and strategic management. His background includes over 10 years of financial services experience, including investment banking for technology-based firms at Prudential Securities in San Francisco, CA, where he focused on M&A. He is a graduate of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania where he received his B.S. in Economics with dual concentrations in finance and entrepreneurial management.
Harry H. Langenberg – Managing Partner & Chief Operating Officer
Harry Langenberg is both a founder and managing partner of Debtmerica, LLC and has been actively involved in operations since the firm’s founding in April 2006. His current duties include overseeing all aspects of sales, customer relationship management, and business development and he is also actively involved in setting Company strategy and managing growth initiatives. Harry has extensive experience with sales management, business development, customer relationship management systems, and a track record of success with both operational and strategic management. His background includes over 10 years of financial services experience, including investment banking for technology-based firms at Merrill Lynch & Co. in San Francisco, CA. He is a graduate of both the Wharton Business School and the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.S. in Economics, concentrating in finance and B.S. of Engineering, concentrating in systems engineering.
Kristen Bemis – General Counsel
Kristen Bemis is currently the General Counsel of Debtmerica, LLC. She is a licensed attorney in both the states of California and Nevada. Since 2004, Kristen has served as an outsourced general securities counsel for small cap public companies. During her time as general securities counsel, she assisted in the preparation and review of Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings for her clients. Kristen has also drafted and reviewed various business agreements and advised clients on general corporate governance issues. She has extensive experience in regulatory issues given her significant experience in working directly with SEC staff and having served as a legal intern for the California Department of Corporations while attending law school. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minors in Business and History from the University of San Diego and is also is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Carlos Caponera – Director of Marketing
Carlos Caponera is currently the Director of Marketing for Debtmerica, LLC and has been involved with online marketing for over 10 years. His leadership experience includes being involved with a variety of financial products, including those related to retail distribution. As the Director of Marketing for Debtmerica, Carlos is directly responsible for the deployment of all marketing initiatives including search engine marketing, product development, and strategic planning. Prior to joining Debtmerica, Carlos held various marketing and product management positions at Experian where he was part of the team that built out both their international product CreditExpert.co.uk as well as CreditSecure, a credit monitoring product that was created exclusively for American Express. Carlos holds a B.S. and an MBA from the University of California, Irvine.
Jarrod Bassin – Sales Manager
Jarrod Bassin joined Debtmerica, LLC in January of 2008 and is currently the firm’s sales manager. His responsibilities include hiring, training and oversight of the company’s debt consultants, accountability for quality customer experience, and management of processes essential to the efficient delivery of service. Jarrod’s background in financial services management spans 12 years, predominantly in residential, commercial, and construction financing. Jarrod earned his B.S. in Business from Excelsior College and plans to pursue his MBA in early 2010.
Jennifer Johnson – Director of Training & Business Development
Jennifer currently leads the wholesale training and business development team, where she is focused on growing and maintaining current affiliate relationships as well as cultivating new opportunities. Jennifer has been involved with Debtmerica for several years and brings with her a broad breadth of experience which she utilizes in her relationships with partners. Previous experience includes transactional work in both the real estate and mortgage industries. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton and is currently pursuing a Master’s Certificate in Organizational Leadership.
Yaz Hernandez – Director of Information Technology
Yaz Hernandez is currently the Director of Information Technology for Debtmerica, LLC. His responsibilities include supporting the technology initiatives for the Company, including managing telecom, local and wide area networks, desktop support, IT security, DRP, and records management. Yaz has been involved with Debtmerica since its founding in April 2006. Previous experience includes retail banking for Wells Fargo and duties as a personnel administration specialist with the U.S. Army. Yaz received a B.A. in Network Communications Management from DeVry University.
Christine Bui – Public Relations Manager
Christine Bui is currently the Public Relations Manager of Debtmerica, LLC. Her current duties include managing the public relations function on both a local and nationwide level, having authored press releases that are distributed to hundreds of news websites each month. Christine is additionally involved with copyright work for Debtmerica and has authored several articles related to the Company’s mission and messaging. Prior to joining Debtmerica, she had extensive experience in real estate finance, performing roles as a senior processor and then escrow officer for a nationwide title company. Christine graduated from California State University, Fullerton, where she received a B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management Information Systems.
Sonia Duenas – Human Resources Manager
Sonia Duenas is currently the Human Resources Manager for Debtmerica, LLC. Her current duties include managing the human resources function, compliance with state and federal employment guidelines, healthcare and benefits management, and payroll related functions. Sonia has had extensive training in human resources and has been awarded certificates of completion for courses taken specific to the successful implementation of human resources policies and procedures. She has been with Debtmerica since its founding and seen the firm grow from a small startup to a nationwide leader in negotiated debt settlement. She has held previous roles in various office management related functions and plans to pursue additional education in accounting.
Management information comes from Debtmercia. – Source. I do have to give a big prop to Debtmerica for providing this information on their site. Of all the debt settlement companies I’ve reviewed they are the first I’ve seen to provide bios for their management team and good for them.
The links at the top translate their site into spanish and vietnamese. Not something you see often.
I think they embellished their description on their debt options page when they said their debt resolution program “could be one of the fastest, most effective ways to settle your debt for less than the original balance owed.” – Source. Where I take issue with this statement is that it is used to sell their debt settlement services but it was not mentioned in the bankruptcy section or here that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most common bankruptcy filed, is much faster (a matter of a few months) in ending problem debt and eliminates the debt for 0% on the dollar. However they mention this on their FAQ page. – Source
Finally a debt settlement company that came out and spoke the truth about bankruptcy when they said:
Bankruptcy also offers legal protection under the court so that you don’t have to worry about being sued or harassed by creditors while completing the bankruptcy process. While most reputable debt settlement firms will work to drastically and effectively minimize creditor calls and harassment, debt settlement does not provide the guaranteed legal protection that bankruptcy does. – Source
Wow, I was very pleasantly surprised to read the following on their FAQ page. You’ve got to give them credit for putting the truth right out there.
With the huge rise in unemployment, unmanageable debt, economic problems, and uncertainty in the marketplace, many fly-by-night companies have sprouted up offering debt settlement to consumers that are not legitimate; in fact many are nothing more than scams. Some offer unrealistic settlement expectations or promise nearly impossible monthly payments and time horizons. They are simply doing this to make a quick buck at your expense!
A good debt settlement firm always trains its agents to help you understand what your options are and is very realistic with you about what to expect. Often, companies simply looking to scam you look to collect fees up front regardless of whether they stand behind their promises.
I can’t agree with their statement that letting your payments go delinquent and falling behind on your debts is going to better than bankruptcy. They say, “However, having to experience this circumstance is almost always better than dealing bankruptcy, especially on your credit rating.” – Source. I don’t find that true at all. In my experience, not only is it easy to rebuild your credit score following bankruptcy but if you are behind on debts people actually can see their credit score increase by filing bankruptcy.
They did almost get an A for their honest statements about the tax consequences of debt settlement but they missed a fine point when they said, “the IRS will often waive this tax liability if you can show that you were insolvent during the time in which your debt settlement took place.” If your forgiven debt makes you solvent then that portion above where you are solvent is taxable. It’s a fine point but people need to understand that it’s not if you were insolvent at the time you started the process that is the key point here.
While Debtmerica did a much better job than almost every other debt settlement company out there in presenting their services and the realities of settling debt I do have to ding them on their television commercial below. It seems to easily fall into the over hyped bucket with all the other debt settlement commercials I’ve seen but thankfully it isn’t another one of those fake government looking commercials.
BBB review on the day I wrote this.
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