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 ferryandnicholasinc.com 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.
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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