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Consumer Protection Counsel in Florida Raises Questions

A company called Consumer Protection Counsel in Florida has raised some questions for me and I’m hoping readers can provide some feedback about them.

What I heard was Consumer Protection Counsel, PA was allegedly going to charge a consumer more than $50,000 to deal with student loan issues.

What made this curious and worth asking for public feedback was the fact the only Consumer Protection Counsel in Florida that is registered to operate is Consumer Protection Counsel, PA. The company was registered just a few months ago in July, 2013. – Source

The state of Florida lists the president as Otto E. Berges and says the company is located at 224 Greenwood Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida. It appears to be a private residence.

224 Greenwood Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida according to Google.

224 Greenwood Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida according to Google.

The Florida Bar lists an attorney Otto Berges who is active and eligible to practice law. The member listing does not list the middle name. – Source

Otto Berges says he practices law at Berges Law Group, PA, 1451 W. Cypress Creek Road, Suite 211, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. His website is listed as

It appears the website for the CPC, Consumer Protection Counsel is nearly identical to the site for Berges Law Group.

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 3.33.52 PM

The exception is the CPC says it is located at suite 211C and uses a different telephone number, 855-756-1785.

The only other major difference I easily spotted was the fact the Consumer Protection Counsel website does not have a bio link on it like the Berges Law Group site does. If you try to reach a bio page on the CPC site you get an error page that mentions the Berges Law Group. – Source

The website for the Consumer Protection Counsel does not mention any experience in dealing with student loans, that I saw.

The ownership of the domain name is hidden.

If you’ve had experience using the services of this company and have some feedback to share, please post it in the comments. If you have a client agreement with this company you would be willing to share, please upload it to me here.


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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Mandy

    I cancelled my contract with this company. I am so upset I fell for it. When they try to “recruit” you.. you hear all the answers you want to hear. As you go forward with the process you find out that you’ve been lied to on more than one occasion.
    It’s truly upsetting. Thankfully, I was able to get some of my money back. Not all of it. I’m just thankful I got out now before I wasted 30 grand.

    • Steve Rhode

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Julia SL

    To Anyone Currently Using or Considering Using Them:

    advice would be to get out while you can or not to do it in the first
    place. When it started the representative I talked to (Carmine Attonito
    from Debt Be Gone LLC (I think)) was so thorough and kind and assured
    me that if they could not help me I would not pay a dime and I would be
    refunded what I had already spent. He also assured me I would know
    within the first few months if they could help me. What they don’t tell
    you is that then you get sent to a completely separate “Partner
    Company.” Over time it all turned into empty promises. Once talking to
    this new “partner company” once you get started they were telling me
    there was NO GUARANTEE. I would not get my money back if they were
    unable to help me. Not only that, but I may not know if my “case” was
    won until 36 months later. So I could pay for 36 months for nothing and
    have no way to get my money back. In my case that would have been
    nearly $13,000 wasted. They claim that Wells Fargo would not be allowed
    to report negative during that time – all lies. My loans went past due
    during my “case” and my credit was being trashed the whole time.
    Luckily, I didn’t fall for it for to long and cancelled it. I was able
    to get a part time job and get my loans back on track before it was too
    I’m not sure that I can call them a “scam” per say,
    however, they definitely are not a legitimate company. My belief is
    they are a company who makes false promises and offers but in a legal
    way that makes it possible for them to do so.
    They have 3
    different “names/companies” (that I know of), different call centers,
    different departments, and all of them tell you different things. There
    are so many people desperate, like I was, because of student loan debt
    and unfortunately they are one of the many horrible people out there
    waiting to prey on desperate young people in desperate situations. When
    I confronted them on their bad BBB reviews they even had an excuse for
    that. The very unprofessional Mr. James DeMillion from their company
    sent me an email containing a link to how the BBB is all “corrupt” and
    that is why their reviews are bad.

    I’m not sure if anyone
    else has noticed all this but there are virtually NO reviews and NO
    research on them. I plan on spreading the word the best I can after
    this. Anyone who can help me, please do. They go by 3 different names
    that I know of:

    Consumer Protection Counsel, PA
    Otto Berges Law Group
    Debt Be Gone LLC

    They have many addresses and many different phone numbers. I’m not sure that
    anyway to track them or take any action against them. I would like to,
    but I’m just not sure how. I hope this helps someone else in their
    decision making before they lose $1800+ like I did! If you have more
    questions on it or want to ask me more about my experience my email
    address is: [email protected].

  • Mandy

    Did you go through with this and if so, how is it working for you? We signed an agreement today because it seems legit but have a few days to get out of it if necessary. Just wondering!

  • artschoolissilly

    Has there been any further progress in determining if this company is legit or not? They’re claiming to be able to get my sallie mae private student loans dismissed in four years by paying them $500 a month, which I suppose is better that $400 a month for…. the rest of my life. it should be noted that I am over 80k in debt for two semesters of school at Harrington College of Design.

  • Joe Truth

    Please…Everyone MUST GO TO>>>>> http://steverhodetruth.wordpre

    Steve is a FRAUD!!

    • Steve Rhode

      I will post my previous response yet again.

      You know it is interesting. That site does not allow me to comment on their false allegations, is not open about who is behind it, and has not update any of their accusations with my response that can be found here.

  • Eric

    I looked into this and received some calls and an email from someone at Consumer Protection Counsel. They wanted to get me on the phone but I just responded to their email looking for some information before I waste my time with some scam. This is the response that I received,

    “I completely understand your concern. But this here Eric is not a scam. We are an actual Law Firm registered by the Florida bar. We specialize in private student loan defense. We specialize in private student defense because as you stated there really isn’t any help out there. Our process is simple; we approach the lender and ask them for your file pertaining to the loan making sure everything is in compliance. There are a lot of State laws, federal laws, rules and regulations, consumer codes and commercial codes that must be followed in order to collect money from any consumer. So once we find out then we decide to take action which can lead to a settlement where you are only paying a much smaller portion of the loan or ultimately a dismissal which means you don’t have to pay the loan at all.
    So thats just a small over view of what we do. Completely legitimate and everything is done under the law.

    Hope I answered some of your questions.”

    I could find very little online about them… this is how I found this site. Seems sketchy to me.

  • Deborah

    Wondering the same thing…found this page trying to do research. My husband spoke to someone about helping consolidating private student loans. They want to charge over $500 up front (non refundable) to investigate and see if they can help and then, if they can get a settlement (they say it’s always at least 50%) they charge $250/month for 7 years. I am always very skeptical and trying to find out more.

  • Peanut

    I was wondering about this company, also. I can’t find alot of research on it on the intranet. Wondering if it is a scam?????????????????

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