Expert Settlement Professional (ESP) Debt Settlement Product from P&E Solutions, Appears There is a Big Problem

Here is a tip that I received about ESP debt settlement software. The tip was sent to me at click here. If you have a industry tip, send it in.

I just wanted to give you a nugget of insight on the ESP product. You are definitely on to something. This group is swaying companies right and left to join in the face of the fears of coming regulatory actions and the promise that they can avoid it by selling “software” instead of DS. The “software” company providing this is P & E Solutions, right? That actually stands for Passero and Ellis. Kevin Ellis and Anthony Passero are behind it.

ESP debt settlement services came to my attention through a previous article and you can read that here. ESP also came up in conversations with some regulators last week as well.

Now I know I’ve come across Anthony Passero before but where? Oh that’s right, he was the CEO of Lifeguard, (source) the company that turned into Safetrust Financial after facing a lot of consumer complaints. See this article.

Passero was also named in a complaint during his Lifeguard days that I had written about before. The complaint said”

Lifeguard is a for-profit debt settlement company which claims it can eliminate consumers’ debt by negotiating settlements with creditors for a percentage of the consumers’ outstanding debt. Lifeguard tells its customers to stop paying their debts and, instead, pay money into an account controlled by Lifeguard. Lifeguard, like most debt settlement companies, collects thousands of dollars in fees from its customers before it even contacts and of the consumer’s creditors. Lifeguard, like most debt settlement companies, often leaves the customer in far worse shape that he or she was before contacting Lifeguard.

As detailed below, Lifeguard finds its customer and makes millions of dollars off of them by engaging in a variety of illegal practices. It violates the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act by purchasing confidential consumer credit reports under false pretenses – by wrongfully representing to credit reporting agencies, including Experian, that it has a permissible purpose to obtain these reports. Lifeguard then uses the confidential information contained in these illegally obtained reports to solicit consumers in hopes of convincing them to enroll in Lifeguard’s lucrative debt settlement program.

Lifeguard systematically employs a variety of fraudulent and deceptive business practices in the marketing of its debt settlement services. For example, when contacting consumers, Lifeguard representatives falsely represent that they are calling on behalf of the consumer’s creditors and that they have obtained the consumer’s credit file from the creditors. Lifeguard representatives attempt to use humiliate and embarrass prospective clients by quoting damaging information (including the consumer’s credit score and amount of debt he supposedly owes his creditors) and they gleaned from their illicit acquisition of the consumer’s credit report. The Lifeguard representatives also falsely notify potential clients that are calling to help the consumer improve his or her credit score. – Source

According to the ESP software agreement used with Phillips Financial, Expert Settlement Professionals (ESP) will negotiate with the creditors to obtain settlements. “Client hereby engages, and grants Software Provider, its employees, agents, assigns, affiliated Service Providers, software systems, law firms, attorneys and its employees, the exclusive right to negotiate with the Client’s creditors, and to settle creditors’ claims.” – Source

As part of that agreement P&E Solutions is mentioned. “Legal Disputes: In the event of any litigation arising out of or relating to this Agreement, all parties, including Client, P&E Solutions agree to resolve the dispute with neutral binding arbitration according to the laws of the State of Florida.” – Source

According to The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) site, P&E Solutions is a member and describes themselves as:

P&E Solutions is a software provider for debt settlement clients and companies. We have just launched the newest innovation in the industry of debt settlement. That innovation is ESP (Expert Settlement Professional.) Expert Settlement Professional system is a revolutionary new technology which empowers the consumer. Expert Settlement Professional, also known as ESP allows the process of Debt Settlement to be fully automated between the client and the creditor.

As per the client signing their license agreement for the ESP system, all of the information contained within their contract is transferred to Expert Settlement Professional. Once transferred, ESP immediately initiates contact with the creditors on behalf of the client. A Cease and Desist Letter and a Settlement Proposal will be automatically sent to client’s creditors. ESP acts as the client’s “arbitrator” by aggressively sending out settlement proposals. ESP becomes more aggressive as the consumer accumulates funds in their savings account. The intermediary’s relationship with Expert Settlement Professional System is simply remarkable.

Creditors will be provided access to ESP and be able to view all accounts which have been enrolled into the program. Creditors will have the capability of accepting, declining and/or submitting counter offers through their ESP online account. In addition, creditors will have the ability to pull accounts and do bulk settlements.

Traditionally debt settlement is a difficult, time consuming and cumbersome process. What we love about Expert Settlement Professional is that it modernizes the debt settlement industry. This software system is both user friendly to the creditor and the consumer. ESP system provides the luxury of having all communication with the creditors viewable and fully automated. Should the client need further assistance, ESP is supported by FBL Associates Law Firm. Each client will receive an independent contractor attorney in their state for legal guidance. Lastly, Pre-Paid Legal will provide up to 40 hours of court appointed representation for each client. All of this value will be provided at no additional cost to the consumer. – Source

It appears that P&E Solutions is attempting to say they are not selling debt settlement services, just software but the description of the “software” on their own site sure makes it sound like a debt settlement service. In fact the description of the service provided by Phillips Financial they were selling as debt settlement service sure sounds awfully close. And there is the issue that ESP can negotiate with the creditors of the client without further consent of the client. Call it software as much as you want but it appears ESP is acting as an engaged agent of the consumer on behalf of a front end marketer. The agreement also makes the typical debt settlement provider disclaimers. If it was a software only product, wouldn’t that be the responsibility of the debt settlement company or is the veil of “software” only? It appears to be nothing more than a disguise to try to sell people it’s not debt settlement services when it acts as the agent of the consumer, has a staff of people that are players in the system and negotiates your debt for you.

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“It seems a bit like saying using a slot machine is not gambling.”

And then there is the issue that the ESP service costs 15% of the debt enrolled. Software costs $495 or some other separate and nominal amount, not 15% of enrolled debt.

And then there is the fee splitting issue. ESP says in their description below “re-directs harassing inbound calls from creditors and collectors to our Law Firm”. So their law firm is going to represent consumers?

Here is how the P&E site describes the Expert Settlement Professional Software.

Expert Settlement Professional system is a revolutionary new technology which empowers the consumer. Expert Settlement Professional, also known as ESP allows the process of Debt Settlement to be fully automated between the client and the creditor.
As per the client signing their license agreement for the ESP system, all of the information contained within their contract is transferred to Expert Settlement Professional. Once transferred, ESP immediately initiates contact with the creditors on behalf of the client. A Cease and Desist Letter and a Settlement Proposal will be automatically sent to client’s creditors. ESP acts as the client’s “arbitrator” by aggressively sending out settlement proposals. ESP becomes more aggressive as the consumer accumulates funds in their savings account. The intermediary’s relationship with Expert Settlement Professional System is simply remarkable.

Should a creditor decline a proposal or submit a counter offer, ESP will automatically generate a new proposal that will be sent to the creditor and continue to drive negotiations. Once a creditor has accepted a settlement proposal then the consumer will direct their escrow account to satisfy the outstanding debt. Only the client can direct payment to any creditor. This keeps the consumer’s money secure. The client will have access to view negotiations as it occurs. The beauty of our system is that the client never loses control of the process.

The consumer will be able to conveniently create changes to their account. Such as adding creditors, changing their address and updating their banking information. ESP will recognize these changes immediately and automatically update the Cease and Desist Letters, Settlement Proposals and payment information.

Creditors will be provided access to ESP and be able to view all accounts which have been enrolled into the program. Creditors will have the capability of accepting, declining or submitting counter offers through their ESP online account. In addition, creditors will have the ability to pull accounts and do bulk settlements.

Traditionally debt settlement is a difficult, time consuming and cumbersome process. What we love about Expert Settlement Professional is that it modernizes the debt settlement industry. This system is both user friendly to the creditor and the consumer. ESP system provides the luxury of having all communication with the creditors viewable and fully automated. Should the client need further assistance, ESP is supported by FBL Associates Law Firm. Each client will receive an independent contractor attorney in their state for legal guidance. Lastly, Pre-Paid Legal Inc. will provide up to 60 hours of Attorney court representation for each client. All of this value will be provided at no additional cost to the consumer.

  • Self help program with a secure log in access that guides the client through the settlement process.
  • Automatically generates settlement proposals to creditors in attempt to satisfy the outstanding balance. In some cases offers sent as low as 20%.
  • Provides Creditors and 3rd party agencies access to view and submit offers on client’s accounts, as well as complete settlements in bulk.
  • Cease and Desist letters are automatically sent to all enrolled creditors/3rd party collection agencies.
  • Nationwide Law Firm accessible to clients should they need additional assistance. (No additional cost.)
  • Daan Module – Debtor Activated Account Notification System. Free for the first 90 days.
  • Up to sixty (60) hours of court attorney representation through Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc
  • Each consumer will be provided a contractor attorney in their state to assist them with any legal advice. (No additional cost.)
  • Lottery Give-a-away in which a client will be eligible to win $10,000 credit that will be paid towards client’s unsecured debts!

DAAN MODULE: re-directs harassing inbound calls from creditors and collectors to our Law Firm.

Please Note: All fees for FLB Associates are included with your purchase of subscription agreement (However client may hire their own attorney at his/her own expense to conduct negotiations. Client is not obligated to use provided Law Firm.)

SUBSCRIPTION COST:
$750.00 PER UNIT. EACH UNIT IS EQUAL TO $5000.00 OF UNSECURED DEBT

Source

Here is Where it Gets Interesting

So here is where P&E Solutions Company gets interesting. P&E Solutions was formed 3-15-2006 by Kevin Ellis and Anthony Passero. – Source

P&E Solutions appears to continue to market its ESP debt settlement product but P&E Solutions has been dissolved by the State of Florida on 9-02-2009. – Source

It appears that since the corporation has been dissolved it creates a contract nightmare for any service provider that is selling the services or customer using the system. You would just think that if this company is a major player they would at least keep their business registration in force and not allow it to be cancelled by the State of Florida.

Oh, and Passero also appears to have an active judgment against him as well for $114,757. – Source

Bottom Line

I think I understand the sales pitch for ESP but it walks like debt settlement services, quacks like debt settlement services, looks like debt settlement services; it’s debt settlement services in my opinion. My bet is it will get closed down like everyone else when new regulations come into force.

Sincerly,


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

54 thoughts on “Expert Settlement Professional (ESP) Debt Settlement Product from P&E Solutions, Appears There is a Big Problem”

  1. @7750366daf2419d77fd79c890f5031bd:disqus Unfortunately what you are now experiencing is the all to typical “run around” that most of these guys do when they don’t have an answer for you because they collected most of your money as fees and the little money you have left is not enough to settle any accounts.  Essentially there is nothing they can do until you have more money.  Of course if you had more money, you could work something out with the creditor directly.

    As far as where to go from here, I can’t answer that for you unless I was more familiar with your situation. Should you quit the program and try and get some of your money back?  Should you stay and hope for the best? Well, only you can make that call, but if they are promising things and then a week later claiming there are no notes regarding the conversation, I would certainly have major reservations about putting my financial future into the hands of such incompetence.

    Reply
  2. Hi Damon,  I checked with the ESP lady to be sure she contacted the firm that purchased my HSBC account.  I found she is with E & .  She was not available and the gentleman I talked to, Jeff said there did not seem to be a record of her call.  Now they want me to fax the letter to them.  I explained I was out of town due to my husbands illness and did not have access to those records.  He just said well fax the document to them.  Am I being brushed off again?  He did indicate ESP has a bankruptcy but they are taking care of the clients.  oh boy what now.  I have paid them over $4000. and he indicated I have $1200 of that for settlements.  NOT ENOUGH OF COURSE  Thanks for your help

    Reply
  3. @7750366daf2419d77fd79c890f5031bd:disqus  Ok, if you are not getting the results you want and feel that continuing with that program is not going to be in your best interest, let me know and we can talk about the different options and figure out the best way to proceed from here.

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  4. Damon:  Well I only pray she can do as she promised.  I thought I would contact her again today and tell her of my concerns.  I do thank you for your input and as far as bankruptcy it seems kind of dishonest.  I do owe these debts and to just eliminate them seems unjust.   I know that sounds goofy.  I may have to change my views and file but I hope not.  Thanks again

    Reply

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