A reader shared the email below from the office of Dallas, Texas debt settlement attorney Lloyd Ward. (You can send tips in here.) Apparently Ward is concerned that consumers that cancel accounts with him need to be careful about finding reputable debt settlement service providers. That’s good advice.
And while I am critical of activities that harm consumers, I’m also more than willing to praise debt relief companies, and in this case, Ward, that do the right thing and give consumers helpful information.
Ward’s advice in the email is spot on and he says consumers with concerns about companies should reach out and contact the Attorney General or the Bar Association and make their concerns known or seek help. That is good sound, logical, and reasonable advice.
The email says:
If you feel that you have been contacted or enrolled with a Debt Settlement company that is illegally practicing, please contact one or all of the above mentioned organizations to report that group. [Attorney General’s Office, State Bar Association]
The tone and message of the email presents a double edged sword for me personally. On one hand I applaud the commonsense advice offered by Ward in the communication and I’m publicly praising him for offering the wise guidance. This is advice that consumers should know who they are working with debt relief companies that give them pause or concern. The advice is wholly supported by me. In fact is sounds very similar to advice I’ve given for a long time.
On the other hand the irony doesn’t escape me that in ways, it was the offering of similar advice by me to readers, some of them Ward clients, that Ward apparently took issue with when it involved him.
The Alleged Ward Advice Email
The email forwarded to me by the reader is below.
A Message From the Desk of Lloyd E. Ward
October 26, 2012
Here at the Lloyd Ward Group we appreciate the opportunity to help all of our clients achieve financial freedom! We strive to make your debt settlement experience as pleasant and seamless as possible. Communication with you is a crucial part of what helps to make your program as successful as possible. One of our goals is to maintain the integrity of your account at all times.
We understand that you have chosen to close out your account with our office. It is your right as a consumer to make the decision on which company to entrust with resolving your debts. Our hope is that everyone making a decision on who to select does the research necessary before making their choice. We would like to provide you with the information needed to research such groups;
Unfortunately, there are many debt settlement companies operating illegally throughout the country. These companies do not have licenses to operate debt negotiation firms, yet they enroll consumers with the intent of collecting fees knowing that they will not be able to properly service the accounts. Retaining an illegal company could have serious repercussions and leave you in a worse position then when you started. We want to not only assist our current clients, but also educate consumers on locating a company that will work for your best interest.
There are many organizations set up to help consumer’s spot companies that are appropriately licensed in their particular field. You can contact the Consumer Complaint Division of your state’s Attorney General’s Office to report businesses operating without a license. You can go onto their website and search for your company’s license;
For consumer complaints or information on the business history of a debt settlement company you can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint Division. Here you are able to file complaints and read reviews or all Debt Management companies in the State. If you know of a company that is illegally operating, you can report them here;
You can also verify with The State Bar that the company is a licensed law firm. Any reputable debt settlement company will have a strong legal backing through an established law firm. You can verify their State Bar information at;
If you feel that you have been contacted or enrolled with a Debt Settlement company that is illegally practicing, please contact one or all of the above mentioned organizations to report that group.
Educating yourself is the best way to ensure your debt settlement needs are properly met. We want to make sure that all consumers, whether using our services or not, have access to verify that their debt settlement firm is fully licensed to practice in the field of Debt Negotiation.
If you have questions or would like more information regarding these issues please feel free to give our office a call at (855) 366-0156.
Lloyd E. Ward
Lloyd Ward & Associates, PC
12655 N. Central Expressway
Dallas Texas 75234
Toll Free (855) 366-0156
Telephone (972) 361-0036
Facsimile (214) 853-5530
This email was sent to [ ] by firstname.lastname@example.org |
Lloyd Ward Group | 12655 N. Central Expressway | Suite 1000 | Dallas | TX | 75234
Besides the obvious irony, I can’t find fault or criticism with the advice given in this specific email.
Whoever crafted this email to clients wrote a masterful customer service letter that will serve consumers well.
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