Business Models Debt Relief Industry

Ferry & Nicholas – “We Are Not a Settlement Company.” Walks Like a Duck.

Written by Steve Rhode

A reader and employee of a debt settlement company sent in a copy of a letter they received from a company out of Pennsylvania, Ferry & Nicholas. The tipster (send in your tips here) was confused and says, “They are not a debt settlement company, not attorneys but they will negotiate a settlement?”

Yea, that is very odd indeed.

So I took a look.

Ferry & Nicholas, Inc.
Huntingdon Place Office Building
One Braddock Road, Second Floor
Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666

Their website is and the domain name is owned by a Jaimee Greenwalt from Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The domain was registered on June 21, 2010.

Ferry & Nicholas Not Registered in Pennsylvania

A search of the Department of State of Pennsylvania could not locate any company that began with Ferry & Nicholas that was either registered as a corporation or registered to do business in Pennsylvania.

The letterhead of Ferry & Nicholas lists a number of states: Alabama, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. A BBB search found a Ferry & Nicholas, Inc that was listed in Alabama but a search of the Alabama Secretary of State records can’t locate any company registered to do business under that name.

The BBB records say that a R. Hinkle, the same as signed the letter, is the principal contact for the company. – Source. The BBB indicates the company is a law firm but a search of the Alabama State Bar could only identify a Robin Hinkle in Tennessee. – Source

The Ferry & Nicholas Sales Pitch

The letter below was sent to a consumer.

What you will notice is that the company sends a very official looking letter, that could be mistaken as coming from any number of professional companies, including a law firm. The letter states the person will be served with the lawsuit shortly. They also offer to negotiate with the creditor but in the same breath claim they are not a settlement company.

READ  Ferry & Nichols Said Barclay's Bank Sued Me. - Amanda

Even though they claim to not be a settlement company they say, “We will personally contact your creditor in order to reach an equitable settlement.” Confused yet?

Ferry & Nicholas Website

I found the information on the Ferry & Nicholas website to be confusing at best. In the letter they send to the consumer they claim they “may be able to settle the claim before your scheduled hearing,” but their site says the normal turnaround is about three weeks. – Source

Still, keep in mind they claim to not be a debt settlement company while you read this they say on their site:

We are not a law firm, debt settlement company, debt consolidation company or debt elimination company. Since we are not a law firm we cannot provide you any type of legal advice regarding your debt. We are mediators of debt once it leaves your creditor and then goes through the courts for resolution. Once your debt is in the courts the amount that is owed will not be lowered unless you are able to make a lump sum payment. We have been successful in getting that amount reduced from 20% to 50% depending on your creditor.

Claim what they want, it’s trotting along quacking and walking like a debt settlement duck.

Other red flags on their website, no physical address listed, no identification of people behind them, no business registration found, questionable testimonials, etc.

My opinion, based on the research above, I’d run far away from these guys.


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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.


  • These people are scum. They prey on people who are in a desperate position by preventing them from getting real legal help. They claim to be able to “mediate” your debt, but they don’t bother to tell you that their ‘mediation’ doesn’t do a damn thing to stop the deadline to answer the lawsuit, and while they’re ‘mediating’ the creditor is going to hit you with a judgment anyway and then they’ve just lost all motivation to give you a good deal. By contrast, you can hire a real lawyer to represent you for a couple hundred bucks and either beat the lawsuit outright or get a very good discount. Please don’t fall for these jerks!

  • I just received a letter in the mail from these guys Ferry & Nicholas, Inc and they are giving me a case number and everything and also a couple of days ago someone from VanSlam Inc put a letter in our mail box claiming to be a process server and that i need to call within 48 hours well i called and left messages and still he hasnt called back. What does this mean is it just dept collector?

  • What’s even more of an insult is that they do not even belong to the associations listed in their mailer.  

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