Get Out of Debt Guy - Steve Rhode

Persels & Associates Named in Georgia Class Action With Host of Major Players in Debt Relief


On January 28, 2012 Carla Broyles, Charity Miaco and Melba Walker filed a class action lawsuit in Georgia against Persels & Associates, Ruther & Associates, Freedom Debt Relief, Consumer Law Associates, Amerix, Careone Services, Tiffany Rowe.

The suit states it covers all Georgia resident debtors who have done business with Defendants since July 2003 to the present for violations of Georgia’s Debt Adjustment Act, OCGA §§ 18-5-1.

The case alleges the Defendants created an illegal debt settlement scheme, Defendants “associate” a Georgia licensed attorney to conduct a cursory interview with the Georgia debtor. Upon information and belief, Persels & Associates, LLC f/k/a Ruther & Associates, LLC; Persels & Associates, LLP; Persels & Associates, PLLC; and Consumer Law Associates, LLC; (Collectively hereinafter referred to as the Persels Organizations), are careful to select young, inexperienced attorneys in a solo or small practice with little to no experience in the consumer law arena. These attorneys are paid a small fee for the “use” of their bar license, in an attempt to shield the Persels Organizations, Amerix Corporation, and CareOne Services, Inc. from liability behind the “attorney exemption” to the Debt Adjustment Act, OCGA § 18-5-3.

The case does mention how the focus of marketing by the named debt relief companies was targeted to the “Avoid Bankruptcy” message. “Looking for a miracle, or at least an alternative to avoid the stigma of bankruptcy, these Georgia citizens are most vulnerable to Defendants’ siren song of virtually instant financial relief.”

The following facts are directly from allegations made in the filed complaint.

Facts Related to Carla Broyles

Facts Related to Melba Walker

Facts Related to Charity Miaco

You can read the full complaint here.

This case was filed by:

James W. Hurt, Jr.
345 West Hancock Avenue
Athens, Georgia 30601
(706) 395-2750
Facsimile: (866) 766-9245

Christopher A. Cosper
801 Broad Street, Suite 700
Augusta, GA 30901
Telephone: (706) 722-4481
Facsimile: (706) 722-9779

George Richard DiGiorgio
F. Jerome Tapley
Jon C. Conlin

2131 Magnolia Avenue
Birmingham, AL 35205
Telephone: (205) 328-2200
Facsimile: (205) 324-7896

Kris Skaar
James M. Feagle
108 E. Ponce De Leon Avenue, Suite 204
Decatur, Georgia 30030
Telephone: (404) 373-1970
Facsimile: (404) 601-1855

What is interesting about this case is it is the first I can recall that makes an allegation of a connection between Freedom Debt Relief and CareOne.

I can always use your help. If you have a tip or information you want to share, you can get it to me confidentially if you click here.