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Home > Debt Relief Industry > Debt Alternative Center and Legal Debt Pros Both Proud About Debt Restructuring

Debt Alternative Center and Legal Debt Pros Both Proud About Debt Restructuring

A debt relief industry insider asked me to take a look at the Debt Alternative Center website. They expressed some deep concerns that they were promoting the debt restructuring product and FDCPA Protection products.

They also asked me to look at the Legal Debt Pros site as well.

I’ve said it before, debt restructuring is going to turn out to be a stinker product. It’s just fundamentally flawed. Don’t believe me, read Consumer Debt Restructuring 101: What It is and Why You Should Avoid It.

But Here is Why Debt Restructuring is Going to be Bad

So what mainstream provider is promoting debt restructuring to consumers? We know the folks at Cyrus Global are, but they don’t have a good reputation.

The tipster (send in your tips here) said a site for Legal Debt Pros does so I went and took a look. And yes, they do. But here is the interesting thing. If you click on their BBB logo on their site it takes you to their BBB page that says:

ALERT Brian Linnekens, the principal of Legal Debt Pros, is also the Principal for Home Credit Law Center, which has a poor rating with the Bureau based on a pattern of serious complaint allegations and a government action. A separate report on Home Credit Law Center which can be viewed at http://www.labbb.org/BusinessReport.aspx?CompanyID=100091773.

Brian Linnekens is also a principal for Capital Legal Network dba Financial Legal Network, which has a poor rating with the Bureau based on their failure to obtain registration with the State Bar of California as a lawyer referral service. A separate report on this company is available at http://www.la.bbb.org/business-reviews/Attorney-Referral-Services/Capital-Legal-Network-in-Los-Angeles-CA-100101253.

The Legal Debt Pros page promote debt restructuring by saying “A personal debt restructuring program can bundle your many, high-interest debts into one more affordable package. This can often include an outright purchase of your debt from your creditors. Your interest rates may be reduced, your monthly payment may get smaller, and more of your money may go toward the principal of your debt instead of interest payments. On average, debt restructuring customers become completely debt free from their unsecured debts in two to four years.”

That’s a lot of maybes and might be, but what is reality?

They fail to provide any data to support their claims and this solution is not two to four years old so I’ve no idea how they are backing up the statements.

Debt Alternative Center apparently plans to make a big splash at the upcoming Evolution trade conference to promote debt restructuring and something called FDCPA Protection.

My industry insider says the FDCPA Protection product is when a debt relief company charges consumer a flat rate per card for some type of debt collection service to watch for violations but from what was described to me it does not address the underlying debt.

But isn’t the underlying issue that the reason the consumer is getting collection activity is because they have a now broken contract to repay debt?

I can’t wait to write about this new FDCPA Protection product when we learn more.

“Steve

Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Grant

    Many debt settlement companies are being approached about this service.  Here is a breakdown of how it works and why they are selling it so hard to the DS Companies.

    FREE MONEY FOR CONSUMERS – NO COST TO THE CONSUMER

    The basic sale of this service… If you’ve been harassed then you deserve free money.

    Debt settlement company queries database to find complaints from current customers about collectors and mainly 3rd party collections.  The debt settlement company completes a short application with the customer.  After the application is reviewed by the “intake” person at any of the law firms which they send it to they then reach out to the consumer and ask the consumer to provide proof of the violations of the FDCPA that they cited during their complaint to the debt settlement company.  Proof can be in the form of a phone bill, message left on the machine or a recording of the collector calling and not giving the customer the full disclosure about why they are calling and that the call is to collect a debt.

    If the debt settlement customer can provide proof to the law firm then the law firm will send an aggressive letter with the proof of the violations and ask to settle.  On average the collectors are paying a flat fee to the consumer.  Roughly $1,000.00.  The law firm is allowed by law to collect reasonable attorney’s fees.  The customer/consumer pays $0.00. 

    How does the debt settlement company make money from this product?  They Don’t.  Collecting a from a customer for this service is unethical. Being paid by the lawyer is illegal.

    In the instance above the client would receive the $1,000.00 and could use that money towards settlements.  If the client is with a performance based debt settlement company then there is a chance that the customer can use the money to settle a debt or debts and a performance fee can be earned from the client.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Someone else mentioned that there are a number of FDCPA attorneys out there that will do this on a contingency. The original tipster said this was going to be pitched to consumers saying they might have to prepay a “retainer” for each card. We know what happens with those “retainers.”

      Have you heard that as well?

      • Grant

        Yes. 

        I only like this option if the DS company does not earn any type of fee from the client up front or the law firm.  If the DS company earns money indirectly VIA a performance settlement fee then I don’t see any issues.

        We can all agree that any consumer who complains about a collection agency to the collection agency is only going to be harassed further. 

        FDCPA Protection will be short lived.  Worst part will be those that actually need protection won’t get it..

  • Debtman

    There is absolutely no reason to pay for “FDCPA Protection”. There are attorneys around the country in consumer practice that take debt collection abuse and viotalions of Fair Debt Collection Practices on a contingency. This means you can speak to an experienced attorney at no cost, discuss your issues and rights, if the attorney sees a case, they take you on as a client at NO COST. They will get paid if they resolve your issue while representing you.

    The majority of collection violations suits are filed in federal court. This means an attorney in another state can assist you or be assistance of counsel to your local attorney.

    There are times your attorney would choose to bring an action against a debt collecor in state court. A good example would be California and the Rosenthal Act that further protects its reseidents from collection abuse.

    Why buy protection for something that is already your right and can be pursued at no cost to you?
    Dont!

    People selling “FDCPA Protection” are generating commissions for themselves. Nothing more.

    http://www.lawpoint.com is a fantastic resource for consumers and their local attorneys to connect with if they need expert legal advice on collection abuse and FDCPA violations.

  • Matt

    What a great opportunity to stay abreast of the trends and investigate the various offerings of the debt relief arena. The message we will send from the stage will reverberate within the industry. Truth, Transparency, Compliance, Honesty and Consumer Focus. You have to be in the business to help people first and earning revenue has to be a result of fulfilling the services offered. Evolution 2011 will certainly illuminate the many products and services being offered and explored in the debt relief realm and will shine a light into any “darkened corners” of the business. We invite anyone seriously considering staying in or entering the debt relief business to come and be enlightened, equipped and inspired to lead the evolutions necessary to create a safe and effective industry.

    • http://northeast-properties.com Andy Faria

      Matt,

      Are you really letting these guys come to your conference to pitch this crap?

      This is NOT an example of the industry “evolving”, it’s the same old bullshit. I’ve smelled it before, and I can smell it again.

      Leave these guys at the TASC conference, where they belong.

      • Matt

        Come on Andy, of course not. They are exhibiting just like every other service provider that is coming. It doesn’t mean that what they have is being “pitched” at our conference. If it doesn’t hold water, they will get eaten up at the conference and everyone will know who they are. I would have thought you knew more about who I am and what I represent. That comment was mildly offensive, but I will forgive you for misjudging me and MSTARS in general. This event is going to UNITE the solid players and create a moving force of providers willing to step up, be transparent and honest and forge the future of our industry. There is no angle to our conference other than to move it in the right direction. Once the show is over, there will be a lot of “Aha!” moments. I know what I’m doing here… I got it. The consumers are my first priority and empowering good companies to provide their services in a manner of excellence. I love ya’ Andy. We are on the same page.

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