Debt Relief Industry In The News

Able Debt Settlement Files Bankruptcy in Texas

A tipster (send in your tips here) wrote in to let me know Able Debt Settlement in Texas has filed bankruptcy. On 2-1-2011 they filed a Chapter 11 reorganization plan and listed 1,000-5,000 creditors. This leads me to believe they are listing their clients as creditors. – Source

The list of creditors holding the 20 largest unsecured claims is comprised of mostly people listed as “pending refund.” – Source

The larger list of unsecured creditors includes: a former landlord, lawsuits, attorney fees, and State of West Virginia. There appear to be suits in New Jersey, Georgia, and West Virginia for which they owe attorneys fees. – Source

The company claims to have earned $890,424 between May, 2009 to April, 2010 and $260,957 from July, 2010 to January, 2011. – Source

The officers of the company, Ralph Lewis and Robert Lewis are said to have earned $118,500 and are paid bimonthly. – Source

According to the profit and loss statement with their bankruptcy filing the company has lost $100,627 from July, 2010 to January, 2011. Their second biggest expense, after wages, is legal fees. – Source


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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.

41 Comments

  • We’ve had the same problem with Able and can’t figure out how to contact them or get any information. They took money we could have just put towards the bills!!! So upset!!

    • I had this problem also. When I contact them I get nothing. They took my money, but didn’t help my credit at all, it’s even worse now !! What can I do ?? Any advice would be appreciated.

  • I also have am doing business with Able Debt and they have filed a Chapter 11.  I am wondering what I can do as well.  They have one girl, Sandra, working in the office.  All other employees are no longer there.  She tells me that they are still sending the notices once a month.  I’m worried sick about this.  Steve, can you help me?I have been trying to settle with one creditor for 5 years.

  • I also have am doing business with Able Debt and they have filed a Chapter 11.  I am wondering what I can do as well.  They have one girl, Sandra, working in the office.  All other employees are no longer there.  She tells me that they are still sending the notices once a month.  I’m worried sick about this.  Steve, can you help me?I have been trying to settle with one creditor for 5 years.

  • I actually drew up a disclaimer some time ago which in essence states clearly that since they had been in a previous program there was a good chance that this may fail them & they have been to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer 1st. I know it doesnt really hold water for things like BBB complaints but still want to be sure that anyone coming from a failed company understands clearly that we would do our best- nothing more.

  • Andy, all good questions and thoughts…my thought is like State Farm “like a good neighbor State Farm is there”. The only isssue is, I can’t help everyone, 5 is comfortable and will not have much effect on our current capacity or abilities. I’m not looking to tip over the apple cart, hence no charge. The PR value alone in my opinion could hold big value and if we can get a few companies on board…..we could be dealing with a million in consumer debt…there’s a story to be told there.

  • Whoa guys, back the bus up. With respect, this idea could backfire in more ways then one. Here’s how…

    Liability – Who knows what kind of mess the previous provider has made, and do you really want to be responsible for cleaning it up? Sure, new enrollees will sign a new contract with you, but what will be the perception of the consumer? For many they may see it as “ok my first company went under, but these guys are now taking over”. This website is full of examples of companies taking on abandoned clients, and the two companies are always forever linked. This may never come up and actually cost you, but the worry would begin immediately.

    Current Clients – What happens when your current clients catch wind of this massive 66% discount that you’re giving out to new clients of a failed program? How will they feel about paying the full freight and the new guys are all getting it at cost?

    Acquisition – How are you going to obtain these clients outside of the normal marketing channels? I don’t think you would be able to get them from the BK filings, and even if you could, you would most certainly be breaking some laws by contacting them. I don’t think the companies would be able to (or would want to) pick and choose through the clients they’re about to screw over, and pick the few qualified ones to send your way.

    Public Relations – I can understand the idea that this could create some short term positive press to show the ds industry trying to do the right thing. It could also have some negative press issues as well. You know some will label you as “the guys going after the most disadvantaged, abused consumers available”. Do you really need that? How about getting even just 1 BBB complaint from one of these new clients? And they will group you with the original company when they will tell of their awful debt settlement experience from start to finish.

    Sorry for all the questions, I don’t expect you guys to answer them, I’m just speaking in question form tonight. (I say that because I know both of you will try to!) It’s just my thoughts on the subject.

  • Ill call Angelo tomorrow. I think it’s terrific. We simply couldnt afford to continue to do it, even we decide to take on 5- But I love the idea. The truth is Mike, There are tens of thousands in my belief in the same situation- Thats why I think 10% of the savings is reasonable- we could cover our op expense & each take 500 instead of 5.
    What do you think?

    Semper Fi!

  • I also think we can get some positive press and PR and I would be willing to do that work by contacting as many TV and radio stations as my people can to get the word out…

  • come-on Sean talk with your partner and take on 5 projects for the sake of the consumers and the industry….whatta say…who else is with us?

  • Maybe if you put a call into Able tomorrow and let them know what we are willing to do, they can direct a few clients in trouble our way. Then we can establish some guidelines to make sure folks can get through the program (clearly we would do the work to identify those suitable) and get them enrolled and done. I would be willing to put together a press release..it would be nice if others would join in..I think it would really show folks in need there are companies who care, companies willing to give back.

  • Were with Mike!- But we will charge 10% of the savings, our reduction for consumers snared in a bad company- Assuming we can do DS in TX! I’ll check…

  • Sounds interesting. If you wanted to do that somehow I’d be happy to report on it. As far as I’m aware they are still in business so I have no idea how you’d “take on five cases” but keep me posted.

  • Guess they weren’t “able” to getter done…It’s to bad for the consumers though…Steve my firm will take on 5 cases for free and if you want I will let you select them and monitor each one to report the progress here…interested?

  • Guess they weren’t “able” to getter done…It’s to bad for the consumers though…Steve my firm will take on 5 cases for free and if you want I will let you select them and monitor each one to report the progress here…interested?

    • Sounds interesting. If you wanted to do that somehow I’d be happy to report on it. As far as I’m aware they are still in business so I have no idea how you’d “take on five cases” but keep me posted.

      • Were with Mike!- But we will charge 10% of the savings, our reduction for consumers snared in a bad company- Assuming we can do DS in TX! I’ll check…

      • Maybe if you put a call into Able tomorrow and let them know what we are willing to do, they can direct a few clients in trouble our way. Then we can establish some guidelines to make sure folks can get through the program (clearly we would do the work to identify those suitable) and get them enrolled and done. I would be willing to put together a press release..it would be nice if others would join in..I think it would really show folks in need there are companies who care, companies willing to give back.

        • I also think we can get some positive press and PR and I would be willing to do that work by contacting as many TV and radio stations as my people can to get the word out…

          • Ill call Angelo tomorrow. I think it’s terrific. We simply couldnt afford to continue to do it, even we decide to take on 5- But I love the idea. The truth is Mike, There are tens of thousands in my belief in the same situation- Thats why I think 10% of the savings is reasonable- we could cover our op expense & each take 500 instead of 5.
            What do you think?

            Semper Fi!

          • Whoa guys, back the bus up. With respect, this idea could backfire in more ways then one. Here’s how…

            Liability – Who knows what kind of mess the previous provider has made, and do you really want to be responsible for cleaning it up? Sure, new enrollees will sign a new contract with you, but what will be the perception of the consumer? For many they may see it as “ok my first company went under, but these guys are now taking over”. This website is full of examples of companies taking on abandoned clients, and the two companies are always forever linked. This may never come up and actually cost you, but the worry would begin immediately.

            Current Clients – What happens when your current clients catch wind of this massive 66% discount that you’re giving out to new clients of a failed program? How will they feel about paying the full freight and the new guys are all getting it at cost?

            Acquisition – How are you going to obtain these clients outside of the normal marketing channels? I don’t think you would be able to get them from the BK filings, and even if you could, you would most certainly be breaking some laws by contacting them. I don’t think the companies would be able to (or would want to) pick and choose through the clients they’re about to screw over, and pick the few qualified ones to send your way.

            Public Relations – I can understand the idea that this could create some short term positive press to show the ds industry trying to do the right thing. It could also have some negative press issues as well. You know some will label you as “the guys going after the most disadvantaged, abused consumers available”. Do you really need that? How about getting even just 1 BBB complaint from one of these new clients? And they will group you with the original company when they will tell of their awful debt settlement experience from start to finish.

            Sorry for all the questions, I don’t expect you guys to answer them, I’m just speaking in question form tonight. (I say that because I know both of you will try to!) It’s just my thoughts on the subject.

          • Andy, all good questions and thoughts…my thought is like State Farm “like a good neighbor State Farm is there”. The only isssue is, I can’t help everyone, 5 is comfortable and will not have much effect on our current capacity or abilities. I’m not looking to tip over the apple cart, hence no charge. The PR value alone in my opinion could hold big value and if we can get a few companies on board…..we could be dealing with a million in consumer debt…there’s a story to be told there.

          • I actually drew up a disclaimer some time ago which in essence states clearly that since they had been in a previous program there was a good chance that this may fail them & they have been to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer 1st. I know it doesnt really hold water for things like BBB complaints but still want to be sure that anyone coming from a failed company understands clearly that we would do our best- nothing more.

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