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I Signed Up With Credit Advocates Group. Has Anyone Had Luck With Them? – Debbie

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

Have alot of debt, was not behind on anything until this last month when I signed with this company. about 22,000

I recently signed up with a group called Credit Advocates Group out of Tamarac, Florida. I’m now concerned that they are not going to do what they say. I cannot find anything good on this company.. Do you know of anyone who has had good luck with them?

Debbie”

Question Theme

Dear Debbie,

I had not run into them before so I used some of the suggestions in these guides to do some research.

  1. The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
  2. 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You
  3. How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off

Here is what I found.

On their own website the use two business names. The say they are Credit Advocates Group and Credit Advocates Debt Resolution Firm, LLC. – Source

According to the State of Florida the only companies that begin with “Credit Advocates” that are registered to engage in business are: Credit Advocates A Law Firm, Credit Advocates law Firm, and Credit Advocates Financial Services.

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The State of Florida also does not list any company that is registered to use Credit Advocates Group or Credit Advocates Debt Resolution Firm as a fictitious name.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.22.11 PM

The address given by Credit Advocates Group of 6941 W. Commercial Blvd. Tamarac, FL 33319 has been associated with other debt relief companies. For example, Legal Helpers Group Debt Resolution and Macey Aleman Hyslip & Searns. – Source

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It is also associated with Fast Track Financial Services. –
Source

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A search of the State of Florida Division of Consumer Services website could not locate any company that began with Credit Advocates that help a telemarketing license.

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And then when you get to their “about us” page they mention yet another business name, Credit Advocates Law Firm, LLC. – Source

Credit Advocates Law Firm, LLC

The State of Florida lists the business address of Credit Advocates Law Firm, LLC as 8201 Peters Road, Suite 1000, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33324.

The manager of that company is Adela Estopinan.

The Florida Bar does list Adela Daud Estopinan at Credit Advocates Law Firm, LLC, but at the Peters Road address.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.39.30 PM

Interestingly in 2010 the company owners/managers were David Prince, Scott Silver, David Phillips. – Source

So when the Credit Advocates website refers to “The Founding partners of Credit Advocates Law Firm, LLC understand that many debtors see no other choice available other than filing bankruptcy,” who are they actually talking about?

Their domain name, creditadvocatesgroup.com, was registered on November 14, 2011. Their site sits on the same server with:

canadiandebtservices.com
creditadvocatesgroup.com
lower-my-debt.com
thechatpeople.com

Canadian Debt Services

It sure looks like a very similar site.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.53.34 PM

And the Canadian Debt Services website even lists the exact same debt settlements as the Credit Advocates site. So which company actually got the settlements?

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.54.46 PM

Another concern is the site lists examples of settlements but there is no way to know what their actual client success rate is or if this even a fair representative sample of results you should expect. – Source

But their disclaimer provides some clues and clarification.

Important notice: Results are individual settlements for consumers who enrolled and completed program. Results are not shown for consumers who did not complete program in full. Many consumers receive differing settlements and some receive none because they terminate or drop-out of program. The information on this page is for illustration purposes only based on enrolled debt amounts ranging from $10,000 – $100,000, for enrollments between 1-3 years ago, and for top 5 largest creditors. Please do not rely on information as an promise or guarantee of results. Information presented is solely to illustrate that company does indeed get results if consumer meets all qualification factors. See contract for complete terms.

What we don’t know is what percentage of consumers completed the program. If it was only five percent then these settlement are not representative of much of anything.

Based on the fact the company can’t even get their name right, I’d certainly encourage you do more homework and decide if this company is right for you.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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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.

7 Comments

  • You did an amazing job, Steve! I am decided to file a lawsuit against them. I have 7 months left out of the 48 signed in the contract with them. There was no way I could escape this “program” without losing more money. Out of 13 accounts they settled 5 thus far and working on the 6th. Their “math” for planning these payments is atrocious and clearly well designed to make money for them. Trying to see the positive: you have here a case that documented everything, filed everything and tracked everything for 41 months. I am ready to blast them – please check out the internet on how to join me if interested to do the same! I’ll make sure to make it very public as soon as I have enough on hand to begin. God bless!

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