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Home > Debt Relief Industry > Reader Wants to Know How Consumer Debt Help Association Charges Enrollment Fee for Debt Negotiation

Reader Wants to Know How Consumer Debt Help Association Charges Enrollment Fee for Debt Negotiation

A reader contacted me and wanted to know how a group called Consumer Debt Help Association can charge an enrollment fee of $499 for debt negotiation / debt settlement help. Excellent question.

I could not find a contact form or email address to reach out to them to answer the question. If anyone happens to know someone over there at Consumer Debt Help Association, let them know about this post.

Here is what they say on their site that caught the attention:

Debt Settlement companies charge a fee based on a percentage of your unsecured debt total, not per performance of each account; usually this fee is 12% – 20%……give an example.

Our Debt Negotiation program only charges a one time flat enrollment fee and then we get paid once we have performed (settled an account) for you; we only charge $499.00 at enrollment and truly earn the rest our fee when we do the work….Pay per Performance!Source

I don’t have a plausible answer how this approach does not run afoul of the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rules that prohibit advance fees for debt settlement services. Am I missing something?

The slogan repeated on the site is “No Results, No Fees…It’s Guaranteed” but isn’t charging $499 to enroll a fee?

Thinking their “debt negotiation” approach was somewhat different than debt settlement I dug a bit deeper in the site. Nope, it appears it is debt settlement.

Here is how they describe how it works:

Your creditors and unsecured debt collection firms will be asked to communicate with our office directly to discuss your debt settlement options. This allows for some relief from the stress that you may have been experiencing in regard to your calls or communications. Your creditors are advised of our involvement based on the uniqueness of each account and based on the timing and status of the account(s).

After successful negotiations with your creditors we obtain letters from them which outline the exact specifics of the settlements in writing. Once we receive each letter from each creditor you will elect to accept or reject each and every offer and then pay the agreed upon settlement amount to your creditor and our performance. – Source

More details are given on how the program works:

Get Out of Debt Free Hotline
  1. Fee is not based on a % of Debt Total – take this line out
  2. No Monthly Fee Payments
  3. No Home Required
  4. No Credit Check
  5. Debt Free in 12-36 months – Source

More effective than any other Debt Negotiation/Settlement Company.

Where is the Loophole?

If CDHA has found a loophole to the TSR, what is it? I’m sure other companies would love to discover what it is and begin charging an enrollment fee of $499 as well.

Seriously, what am I missing here?

Consumer Debt Help Association Info

Just as a bit of background.

Consumer Debt Help Association
1300 NW 17th Avenue
Suite 140
Delray Beach, FL 33445

888-628-7535
800-301-1526
cdhassoc.net

Consumer Debt Help Association is a Florida LLC formed in 2010. The current manager of the LLC is Timothy Cerruti. – Source

The company had a previous name, CDH & Associates. The company was voluntarily dissolved on December 1, 2010. The reason given was, “One partner (Amjad Hyadin) was removed from the company and we opened a new fresh LLC with no connection to him. The new company is Consumer Debt Help Association, LLC.” – Source. That’s quite a statement. There’s got to be a story behind that and a lesson learned.

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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.
  • Timothy Cerruti

    I’m sorry for the late response, but CDHA does not charge any up front fees. Depending on the state that the client lives in will determine the settlement fee percentage after each and every account is settled.
    Now I don’t want there to be any confusion, when enrolled the clients are set up with a 3rd party dedicated account with Global Client Solutions, now they do have a monthly fee of $10.75 to service the account.
    Also every client has the option of legal protection with the Veritas Legal Plan, this is not mandatory it is an option. This legal protection will cover a client in the event that a creditor pursues litigation, they will hire one of the attorneys in their network in the county that the client resides in to file the response, go to the scheduled court date, and negotiate settlements. There is a $499.00 enrollment fee that goes directly to Veritas and they also charge a $55.00 a month service fee, but in the event that a creditor pursues litigation there is no out of pocket expenses from the client besides the enrollment and monthly fees, unless of course there is a filing fee with the state.
    But to sum it up Consumer Debt Help Association absolutely does not charge any up front fees, we are accredited and A rated with no complaints with the BBB.
    If anyone has any questions or concerns please fell free to contact me here on this forum or at the office 888-628-7535; t_cerruti@cdhassoc.org

    I hope this cleared up any confusion
    Thank you,
    Timothy Cerruti – CEO

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

      Thank you for responding.

  • n kl

    Again…beg your pardon, but CDHA charged and took $499 in 2013 from a relative.

  • T_cerruti

    The changes have
    been successfully made to the web site, thank you again for bringing the
    errors to my attention.

    I have a question for the author of this article, You said and I quote

    “I could not find a contact form
    or email address to reach out to them to answer the question. If anyone happens to know someone over there at Consumer Debt Help Association, let them know about this post.”You pulled direct quotes from my web site, but claim you could not find a contact form? The contact form takes up 1/4 of the home page and the contact page. Anyone that visits my web site can see that clear as day.Timothy Cerrutit_cerruti@cdhassoc.org

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      That form does not appear to let people insert a message or comment to reach you but appears to be a lead form. Where is the message entry area? Did I miss it?

      • Timothy Cerruti

        That is correct,
        that form is a contact form and comes directly to Consumer Debt Help Association
        The form is intended for anyone who wants to receive a call from a representative of Consumer
        Debt Help Association. We do not have any messaging platforms available other
        than via phone or email and if someone would like to be contacted via email they
        could just fill out the form and opt out of putting in a phone number. Someone
        would get back to them shortly after

  • Timothy Cerruti

    You are right there is no loophole, we do not charge an upfront fee, unfortunately after we took out the $499.00 fee in October of 2010 my web site designer did not update every page on the web site, he missed that page completely, his excuse was that it was a link at the bottom of the page that directed to a different page and it was overlooked. Thank you for finding that error on the web site and it is being fixed immidiately. We are an A rated accredited business with the BBB and they had to do a complete background check on the company and I had to send them the agreement to make sure CDHA was compliant with the TSR rules, and we are. And as for the company name change, it was as simple as one of the members leaving, how could we keep the name Cerruti, Distasi, Hyadin, and Associates (CDH & Associates) when there is no Hyadin, therefore Consumer Debt Help Association was born. Look up CDH & Associates, not one complaint anywhere. If you have any questions about the company or the way we are structured feel free to email me directly at t_cerruti@cdhassoc.org

    Sincerely,
    Timothy Cerruti

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