Acushield Financial / debt negotiation scam
I entered what I though was a legitimate "debt negotiation" program in October of 2004 with high hopes of clearing out my credit card debts and stopping the insanity of "minimum monthly payments" leading to higher and higher balances with no end in sight. I found them online, and signed a contract with what was then called "Best Debt Solution", set up my account, arranged for an automatic EFT withdrawal out of my checking account of nearly $400 per month, and was told I would be "debt free" in 34 months. At the time I entered the program I was current and caught up with all the payments to the 6 different credit card accounts I went into the program with, but just squeaking by making monthly minimum payments without ever seeing a reduction in my principle balance, which is why I decided to enter the program. Having already declared bankruptcy from post university credit card debt 15 years earlier when I was just out of college, I was legitimately trying to find a way to stop a recurrence of the madness and get out of debt.
Now, 3-1/2 years later, of the original 6 credit card accounts I originally entered the program with, only 2 have actually been settled (with the lowest balances of course), one having gone to legal court proceedings along the way. Interests and penalties on the remaining accounts have INCREASED my overall debt appreciably, my credit rating is in total shambles, and 2 of the remaining 4 accounts are currently in legal proceedings with the other 2 well on the way. 'Best Debt Solutions" has somehow in the interim changed addresses twice, become ACUSHIELD FINANCIAL, and continuously promised me that their "negotiators" were working hard on my accounts while I continued to pay a "maintenance fee" of $39 per month now 6 months PAST the termination of the original agreement. They still have nearly $6000 of my funds in a "set aside funds" negotiating account that has been sitting there unused for months while I wait for them to settle with accounts that have now gone to lawsuits and legal actions. They have charged me over $4000 in "education and maintenance" fees over the term of the original program, which supposedly went toward the management of said program, and which I am now trying to terminate so I can get BACK the money I have in there to use to begin bankruptcy proceedings,
This is a scam like you wouldn't believe. I truly went into the program legitimately looking for an option to get out of credit card debt. They preyed upon my desire for a relatively "quick fix", promised me impossible results, and ultimately did nothing but further ruin my credit and take money from me. This organization (and others like it) should be investigated, stopped, and put out of business before they can do any more damage to gullible, unsuspecting well-intentioned persons like myself.
I am not a cheat. I’m an intelligent, well-educated person who found myself on the credit card "merry-go-round", ending up in over my head and was trying to legitimately get out of debt. In the interim I have endured YEARS of credit collector harassment, lost my steady job which now keeps me from ever HOPING to get out of debt in the near future, and been totally used by these people. I did EXACTLY what I was told to do throughout my participation in the program, and yet there was always some mix-up in getting my information to my "negotiator", or I had to sign a new power of attorney, etc etc etc ad nauseum. Every time I called I had to start any explanation on the phone from complete scratch with a new customer service rep, and heaven forbid I actually voice my frustration or displeasure: I was actually threatened with termination because I swore at a the person on the phone at one point when she told me I should have just declared bankruptcy to begin with…..
ACUSHIELD has been flying under the radar so far: hence the name changes and changes of location for the company (they started out in San Diego, but have since moved to Las Vegas with their financial transactions now being handled in Phoenix, Arizona). I have complete records of the entire sordid history of my participation in this dreadful program, from my original contract to termination letter and countless emails and letters in between, and would like very much to find a way to blow the whistle and pull the plug on these vultures preying upon the unfortunate & gullible in the current economic climate of fear and hardship.
Thank you for your attention, and do not hesitate to contact me regarding these matters. If you know of anywhere else I might direct inquiries to deal with this situation, I would most appreciate finding out about them.
Pertinent Acushield Information:
Customer Service Team
3291 N Buffalo Drive, Suite 9
Los Vegas, NV 89129
Phone [protected] Fax: [protected]
Wells Fargo Lockbox Service
P.O. Box 53506
Pheonix, Arizona [protected]
UCAN (United Consumer Advocacy Network)~associated with ACUSHIELD
1061 Main Street
Banco Park, Suite 6
North Huntington, PA 15642