Date This Problem Happened: December 26, 2009
State You Live in: Maryland
Age Range: 36-50
Total Amount of Fee Paid: $6,125.24
Company Name: Debtmerica – Freedom Debt Relief
1875 S Grant St
San Mateo, CA 94402
Company Telephone Number: 800-470-8155
Website of Company: debtmerica.com
I was told NOT to pay my credit card bills, because I needed to prove there was an urgent need to file for debt settlement.
After I signed the contract for automatic withdrawals from my bank account, and received my schedule for all the debtors (credit cards) they were going to pay. The company told me they were going to work with the creditors to negoitate a lower interest rate so I could pay off the bill in full.
Every time I would call to check the status of my case, they would tell me there was not enough money in the account to start paying my bills off.
After a long time of taking monthly automatic withdrawals from my bank account, they closed my account. When I called to ask why they closed my account, I was told it was closed due to late payments.
They did not pay any of my creditors off . Not even one.
To make matters worse, I got a judgment filed agaisnt me from “Bank of America.” I’ve been paying that off and it will be paid in full in July 2012.
BOA was listed on my schedule. So, they got me in LEGAL trouble.
I feel embarassed and stupid. They had a very professional website that had references and associations, etc all over it. I thought they were a good company. Thank you
Consumer Action Taken:
I spoke to a representative on the phone to ask for my money back.
They told me I signed a contract and that they would not refund the money.
Nor could they give me a good explanation of why NONE of the creditors were not paid.
Date Scammed>> A year after signing contract, 2009 they closed my acct.
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7 thoughts on “Debtmerica – Freedom Debt Relief – Consumer Complaint – 3-8-2012”
Just for the record, Debtmerica is a leading debt settlement Company that has helped thousands of consumers since 2006 when the company was started. Debtmerica is located in Santa Ana, CA and is fully compliant with all state and federal laws (it holds numerous licenses in states that require a provider of debt negotiation services to be licensed). Debtmerica was one of the first companies to fully embrace and transition to the contingency fee model once the FTC ruling took place in 2010. Getoutofdebt.org praised Debtmerica for that leadership here: https://getoutofdebt.org/27084/debtmerica-takes-stance-against-attorney-model-debt-settlement-companies
Optima Tax Relief was started in 2011 by the same two partners that continue to run Debtmerica. Optima Tax Relief is a sister Company of Debtmerica, and it assists consumers by providing tax resolution programs, a very important service for people that need this help. The Enrolled Agents, Attorneys and case workers employed by Optima are highly experienced and skilled at delivering results for clients that need professional help for their tax burdens.
The management team at Debtmerica and Optima Tax take customer service very seriously. We stress the importance of always putting the needs of our clients first. Our goal is to become the industry leader in the services we offer, and we are very proud of the amazing staff that we have assembled to accomplish this. If you have encountered a poor experience with Debtmerica or Optima Tax, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can resolve any issues directly with you.
Forget about them for credit card debt…..now they have jumped on the band-wagon for “tax relief and IRS issues” with their company Optima Tax. Pleeeeessssee, close your doors and quit ripping people off. You are going from distressed consumers with credit card debt to serious, serious issues with the IRS. Either way, Debtmerica/Optima Tax Relief should have a second look by the Feds.
James, I just found out that Debtmerica is now doing IRS/income tax settlements. This is serious business as it involves the federal government, not just creditors/banks. Why isn’t this company being investigated by the FTC and attorney general’s office? The debt settlement industry is being closed in on and so now these crooks in Orange County have to find another handle?? With their high fees, hidden costs, and not disclosing ramifications, how can these people at Debtmerica/Santa Ana stay open???
My husband and I enrolled with Debtmerica in 2011 and it has been nothing but problems. I believe we were led astray as to the ramifications of debt settlement in addition to the fact that Freedom Debt Relief has taken over our file and we cannot get a straight answer from anyone. We attempted to contact our original rep at Debtmerica, and of course that person no longer works there. Our settlement on a large Wells Fargo account, by the time you add in their fee, came out to about 78%. Obviously, hardly worth the anxiety and taxes we will have to pay on the difference, which Debtmerica failed to tell us about ahead of time. Do your homework, go with a company that someone you know has had success with or just plain try and settle the debt yourself because these clowns at Debtmerica Relief and Freedom Debt Relief are only in the business to make money for themselves.
I agree with Joaquin below; after leaving the mortgage world when it hit rock-bottom, I ventured into a short career with debt settlement, selecting Debtmerica Relief as what I thought would be a classy operation. WRONG ! All these guys care about is pressuring the distraught clients into enrolling online before they know what hit them. This is something the average person could basically accomplish on their own to avoid bankruptcy and /or go to an accredited attorney that specializes in debt. These creditors laugh out loud at companies like Debtmerica. Debtmerica is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it comes to their clients’ outcomes. Lots of false promises to the clients and lots of false promises to employees and how they ever earned a decent BBB rating or being voted as one of the best companies in Orange County to work for puzzles me. Their hefty 23% fee does not put the client that much ahead after tax penalties that they neglect to inform the client about. I was going to go to the Labor Board about unpaid commissions I dutifully earned but was not worth being in contact with these scum bags again.
Steve – After doing some research while interviewing for a position there, I was disappointed to learn that Debtmerica is NOTHING BUT A SUBCONTRACTOR/SIGN-UP SERVICE that enrolls clients for companies like FREEDOM FINANCIAL, etc. They do not take any personal responsiblity for the clients’ outcome in regards to law suits, garnishments, creditor harrassment, income tax liabilities on forgiven debt, etc. It is a boiler room in Orange County, California that puts high pressure on their sales reps “to pull the trigger” on potential clients that call in or have gone online to get information. By the time you pay their outrageous 23% fee, and with potential tax liabilities, the every day debt consumer that gets sucked into their program saves VERY LITTLE for all of the anxiety they have been exposed to. Debtmerica promises to protect them from that, but again, another one of their false promises. With their padded Better Business Bureau report, these guys are nothing but big fish in a very little pond taking advantage of consumers distraught with financial woes. I sincerely hoped that Debtmerica was different from other debt settlement companies I had read about. In the long run and in doing some personal reflection and in discussion with my wife, I knew this was a place I did not want to work. Consumers are better off consulting with a bona fide debt settlement attorney or attempting to work out something with the creditors themselves
Thanks for the feedback.