Guardian Referral Network and J. Hass Group Slammed in Article

Philadelphia Weekly reported that a Pennsylvania consumer had a negative experience with two debt relief companies, Guardian Referral Network and J. Hass Group.

Using powers of persuasion, a solicitor from Guardian Referral Network, a company “dedicated to helping individuals and families rid their lives of burdensome debt,” convinced Yard, a North Philly resident, to sign over his debt to a debt-settlement company. Willing to do almost anything to rid himself of the gnawing anxiety that had plagued him for months, Yard agreed. “When you’re between a rock and a hard place, you’re looking for a lifeline and you just kind of close your eyes and hope,” he says.

Acting as the middleman, Guardian Referral Network connected Yard with J. Hass Group, a debt- settlement company based in Arizona that, at the time, went by the name of JDH & Associates. A few days later, the company sent Yard a 20-page contract loaded with legal jargon and microscopic print.

Two years later, Yard’s debt has grown by an additional $14,000 and he’s been sued by one of his creditors.

The documents show that JDH withheld the first three payments as a fee for their services. Each subsequent payment was placed in a trust account that would be used for settlement payments to credit card companies. Over the next 15 months, the company received 48 percent of the payments, and it deposited the remainder into a bank account for settling debts via NoteWorld Servicing Center—a Bend, Ore.-based payment processing company that recently had its accreditation license yanked by the Better Business Bureau—which charged Yard a mysterious $200 management fee, the only fee not detailed in Yard’s contract with the debt-settlement company.

Jeff Hass attributes the fallout to miscommunications between his company and creditors. He says that consumers are often too skittish and wind up assigning blame to the debt-settlement company.

“When JDH or J. Hass calls and tells [consumers] one thing, and any other creditor calls them and tells them they never communicated with us and they don’t settle with us, who are you going to believe? Then after four or five months they get a summons, and we have the ability to negotiate and settle those, [but] the customer gets so rattled they seek an attorney and wind up declaring bankruptcy, and once they have that bankruptcy, they blame us for everything.”

As for advising Yard to stop making his credit-card payments, Hass denies that his company would have said that. “We don’t tell people not to make their payments. [Yard] decided not to, or at the time he came in, wasn’t making his payments,” he says. “I can’t prove or disprove that, [but] the people who do marketing for us are explicitly told that is not something they can say.” – Source

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See also  J. Hass Group - American Debt Settlement Group - Consumer Complaint - 10-15-2011

6 thoughts on “Guardian Referral Network and J. Hass Group Slammed in Article”

  1. Everything in this article is correct, including JDH & Associates telling Guardian Referral that we are not allowed (legally) to tell clients that they should stop making a payment. I know this cause I used to be an employee of GRN… That doesn’t mean they weren’t told to stop making their payments, cause most of the people that worked for GRN (now shutdown/closed) want to make the sale and get a 15% commission based on the first payment… I don’t work with them anymore – i had moral issues doing what i was doing, but don’t go with debt settlement companies… its like diet pills when you know that they say at the bottom of the commercial “results not typical”.

  2. Steve

    What are your feelings regarding the denials Mr Hass made in this article.
    Do you agree that his statements conflict with the information on their company website?

    Knowing that the JHG regularly views your site for when their company is mentioned, I thought maybe they would address this article. I was hoping someone from the the JHG might offer an explanation after seeing my comment from 07/20/2010.

    It appears the JHG more often responds to request directly from you Steve, could you forward this on to them for a possible response.


    • I would be surprised they would comment if they felt they had been caught in a misrepresentation. Hopefully they will respond and help to clarify the matter with a good explanation. You raise a good observation.


      • Steve

        I am sure you are correct that they most likely would not respond.

        If they did comment, what could they possibly say?

        Still I had hoped the less intelligent one of the group would have humored us with a response.

        Steve, I would like to thank you for such an informative site. I have recommended your website to many, even posted directions to your site on several other sites. Keep up the good work!



  3. In the last paragraph of this article Mr Hass denies that their company would tell a client not to make their payments.

    As I write this comment I am looking at the J.Hass Group website under DebtSettlement- The Program. In paragraph #4 it certainly looks like they are telling you in order to graduate from their program. You will have had to make the decision not to make any further payments to your creditors.

    If you read further down on the page, they describe the general strategy of their program. “Stop making payments to your creditors long enough to force them to be willing to settle for less”.

    Certainly looks to me like they are telling clients to stop paying creditors.


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