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Consumer Law Associates / Fradulant solicitation

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Contact information:
Consumer Law Associates
7668 Warren Parkway
Phone: 888-807-5118
We signed with the Comsumer Law Associates to have two credit card bill negotiated on by
this firm for payoff. The fee was $345.oo which we sent in. All additional payments would
be due the 26th of each month which would be like a "savings acount" which would be used
as negotiating tool for payoff of the credit card bills. Approximately $2100.00 into our payments,
we found out that only $700.00 was available for the payoff of our bills. By this time, we were
about 6 months past due on our bills and unable to continue these $300.00 payments for no
results. As we were being harassed by the credit card companies, we learned that Consumer
Law had not attempted to negotiate a settlement with either company. It was at this time
that my spouse began negotiating directly with the credit card companies. Upon negotiating
a settlement, it was learned that Consumer Law had defrauded us out of all of our payments
except $700.00. We would to request a full refund of all of our money including the initial
fee of $345.00 due to a breach in our contract.

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A  24th of Aug, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I experienced the same thing. They are not very explicit about the fact that the first six months of payments to to them. Well, by that time you are being threatened (as in my case), sued, having wages garnished, or whatever the case may be. Not to mention the amount of late fees that have piled up. I too ended up negotiating on my own with the creditors and they were extremely supportive and understanding. I requested a refund from CLA and received a partial today but am still out about $765 which I'm negotiating with them as I speak. I'll get my money back one way or another. And just so supporters of CLA know, I am a very intelligent, college educated person who thought long and hard about signing up prior to doing so. I read the documentation etc but, again, they do not clearly spell out that your savings don't build up for six months.

Good luck to you and anyone else that has to deal with this company! And PLEASE consider settling your debts on your own!! You CAN negotiate a reduced payment, 0% interest rate, etc on your own.
A  13th of Dec, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Experienced something similar . . . plus, it was only after repeated calls that I learned they DO NOT NEGOTIATE with the primary lenders - they wait until you are contacted by a third-party collector, and then negotiate. I didn't find this out until well after a year into the process. And like others, I am trying to recover monies they collected. During one conversation, I was told they have trouble with their "sales" people . . . anyway, negotiated on my own, and am trying to find a valid email address/web site for them, since the one in the packet they sent sends me to a German c0mpany . . .
A  16th of Dec, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am in the same boat with them, but decieded to continue the process. but now i cannot get in contact with them none of the phone numbers work. Any body else having this problem? getting nervous.
N  7th of Jan, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
After reading these posts, I tried all the numbers I have to get in touch with them, and all said the offices were closed.I left my number, and was told I would be contacted within 24 hours. If I don't here from them, I am going to cancel the contract, and suck up the $200.00. They are not listed with the BBB either. From everything I have read, and seen about them, I would strongly suggest everyone stay far away from this company. I didn't find them on the internet either, I was solicited through the mail.
D  17th of Feb, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
They answer the phone everytime I've called during the day when there open. I've settled 2 accounts $54K BOA and Chase $24K for a total of $19, 000 when I owed them a total of about $78K. My attorney there has been great for advice and I only have one small account left.
A  24th of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I wish I had read this before I signed with CLA. What an appalling situation. I am a widow and had to use part of my widows benefit to make payments to them. I could never log in to my account to view the balance and constantly emailed customer service at the toolbox web site, never did receive a reply. When I first signed up I was contacted by a young man that was to be my "contact" person, which was false. When I encountered problems with the web site I tried to reach him via phone, after several voice mails and zero returned calls I gave up. I called the general 800 number only to be told to log onto the toolbox web site, no one was truly listening to my complaint. Then I wanted to change the date of my ACH, faxed a copy of the request to the number given to me, a week later I had a call from my bank that I had an overdraft. CLA had not changed the date of withdrawal. I called to complain and was told they never received the fax and I probably had the wrong number. Through numerous phone calls that yielded zero customer service I canceled my agreement with CLA. I was told to fax a copy and mail a copy, which I did and have not heard one word from them and I feel I am due a refund of my money. I don't know what to do because I can't afford to hire an attorney to pursue this matter for me. Any suggestions?
How do companies continue to operate in such an unethical manner? I did file a complaint with BBB.
A  31st of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have paid them $4600.00 dollars to settle my outstanding Credit card debt. I had them take out in one chunk the last $2300.00, then to take $1, 000.00 once a month thereon to start paying my debts. They took out the $2300.00 AGAIN!!! This was the month that was to start the $1, 000. I have called and called and they are giving me the run around. They are supposed to put the 1300.00 back . After reading the comments from the others here I can see I am just another sucker. They sucked up my husbands paycheck along with money that was to be drafted by others. Now I am over $700.00 in the hole in the bank and most of it is overdraft charges that they have caused. We need to do a class action suit. This company is a sham. I will file a complaint with the BBB, but a lawyer is needed here.
N  31st of Mar, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have had the same experience and have lost money on their supposed promises of help. I
am persuing legal guidance to see what I must do to rectify this if possible. These companies
should be stopped and I am submitting a letter to my congressman. If more people are aware
maybe they can be stopped.
A  13th of Apr, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
What makes this company even worse is that it was on Channel 11 (11Alive) local
news station and if you called into the number on the screen and requested their HELP
the $50.00 set-up fee would be waived !!! It's been a NIGHTMARE for us too !!!
My husband almost went to JURY TRIAL 2 times because they did NOT NEGOIATE in
the timely matter. The account we paid to them to "settle" was the EXACT AMOUNT
we owed the credit card company to begin with...We need to get out of this not sure how to yet. We were desperate when my husband(the bread winner) lost his job and we
were close to losing our car, truck and home. We have 2 accounts yet to deal with
wish we knew of another way out!!??? WORRIED AND USED
N  16th of Apr, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
had the same experience with them. My case ended up in a judgement against me for twice the original amount after I was told and agreed to a verbal agreement. They told me everything was taken care of and there would be no more worries about this account.next thing I know I got papers to go to court.They are a BIG RIP OFF. I cant even get my money back from them that was in a special account to pay creditors.So far i`m out over 2100.00.Worst thing is they would`nt even talk to me about it.
A  25th of Jun, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
i too got screwed over by CLA. i sent them a total of #2, 200 to help me pay my creditors. and nothing was paid at all!! i wrote them a letter to tell them that i wanted to cancel my contract with them. they sent me a refund check for almost $250.00. they said that they were going to send me more money but haven't heard from them since. and that was way back in November of last year. Lori Stangeland Minnesota
D  22nd of Jul, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
You people are so stupid. Maybe you should do something, like, read the contract. Or maybe even better, so some research on how the program works. Don't blame the company for not making payments to your creditors when it is a SETTLEMENT program. Get with the program you stupid uneducated idiots.
A  3rd of Aug, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I too, am one of the unfortunate people who trusted Consumer Law Associates to negotiate with my creditors on my behalf. I faithfully faxed in the letters I received from my creditors, as I was told to do. In May, I was served papers from one of my creditors. I faxed the paperwork to CLA noting on the cover sheet this information was urgent! I received a notification back the following day stating they had received my paperwork and an attorney would be calling me shortly. After waiting a week and a half, I still hadn't heard from their attorney (as you know, judgements are time sensitive and need immediate attention, ) and I needed to file the paperwork with the courts. I ended up writing up my own papers and filing them myself. After this incident, I cancelled my contract with CLA, that was May 21, 2010.

Today, Aug 3, 2010, I called CLA regarding my refund. I was told that my refund review had been closed on July 12, 2010 and the money I paid to them was deemed earned. I'm now out $2, 200.00.

I believe CLA stole my money. Please, please DO NOT every use this company to settle your debts. They will steal your money as well!!!
A  1st of Sep, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
So I too am in the same boat as you all. Have any of you received more than the "six month" fee? I believe I will have to cancel since I just got my first letter via courier which scares me.
They make everything sound so great when they explain how they are going to have you make payments to build a bank and then use that money to negotiate. Plus everytime I call they say that I most likely won't have to pay the full amount of the contract, they will settle all of my debt before that time comes.
I will be calling them tomorrow so we will see. I will give an update on how it goes but if anyone has any advise on how to get some or all of the fee refunded I would love to hear.
A  7th of Sep, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I, too, was taken by them. I was sending them $1.000 a month. One account was in fact settled but only after I sent them an additional sum of money to settle it. Otherewise, they did NOTHING for me. When I inquired about a refund for the money in my "account" I was told that there was $850 in the account as the rest of the money was paying their fees. I love how they get their fees paid before they even settle any accounts! I do agree that there needs to be a class action suit against them. They are taking advantage of the very people who need the assistance the most. We are now filing Chapter 7 as we have no other options available to us. And they have several thousand dollars of my money for doing nothing.
A  27th of Sep, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My situation is the same as the several victims above, I gave CLA $2, 100.00 for no services. I read my contract thoroughly, I did understand about the payments directly to CLA before my account would have vested funds however, what made me consider the program is that they would negotiate and be in contact with the collection agencies/attorneys, this was not the case – I terminated my contract in May 2010 and received a follow up email ‘reaching out’ from the ‘specialist’ (term stated lightly) who signed me up with the program.
Below was my reply to him.

The program was absolutely no help to me, in fact, my financial situation is worse than before I entered the program.
Customer service was inconsistent, no help, provided little communication with me and NO communication to the collection agencies/attorneys.
Other than CLA filing my paper work and taking my money that is all CLA did for me and once terminating the enrollment and requesting a refund – the minuscule refund also added insult to injury and quite frankly was offensive.
The monies given to CLA I would have been able to settle/pay off an account and again, instead, I am in a worse financial situation.
At one point, I knew I should have followed my instinct and listened to the other consumers that complained about the program and just settled the debt myself which would have been a better result.
I think program like this, preys on the consumer that has heighten emotions and fear about their finances. Fear drives/directs most things.
I consider myself an intelligent person but, becoming another statistic of a debt relief program that failed I have viewed myself differently and never want to be a victim again.
Whether or not I am an ‘isolated incident’ or this will be turned around as my fault for whatever reason, the program failed me. I have heard customer service tell me if the program fails it's because I didn't follow it. I read my contract thoroughly and understood the process and the amount of time it would take to settle my debt however, when the program doesn’t communicate with the collectors as I was told and it would have been years before I would have been able to settle even one account, again it failed me.
I withdrew from the program due to being served/sued from all my collectors, risking garnishment of my wages and in turn would have also risked losing my house.
IF the program has helped others, than good for them, for me this was certainly not the case and feeling completely disappointed and disgusted doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings.
D  29th of Sep, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I signed up with CLA in FEB 2010 and I understood they front loaded their fees so I understood most of my money was going to them for the first 10 months. I also understood the settlement process and the fact they would not be working with any of my creditors for atleast 4-6 months. I felt they had explained the process pretty clearly and pretty well educated on what the process was going to be. Then I read multiple posts from different websites and began to get sick to my stomach because I felt like I was going to be one of these people duped. Well all of that was eased as they have began settlement with my Jupnier creditor. What I owed was around $4500 and what they settled for is $2050 over four monthly payments. I know people who have made comments about people that make positive posts about this company are employees, well I am not an employee. I am a real person who lives in NC and work for Fidelity Investments.

Here are some things I would say keep in mind when doing a debt settlement or working with CLA:

They front load their fees in the first 10 months so yes the bulk of the money you pay them does go to them
Yes they do prefer to work with third party vendors (collection agencies)
Don't expect them to start settling right off the bat, your accounts need to go past due and in most cases they need to go 120 to 180 days past due.
They may do monthly payments to settle the account and not a one lump sum settlement
A  8th of Nov, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am so surprise because this Debt relief program had been mentioned in a news report as a viable source for help. I just tryed making a call only to find out that it went to someone other than the person named on the documents I received. I should have had two creditors paid off by now but have received nothing. I don't know what to do?
A  13th of Dec, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
All of the above has happened to me. I have lost a little over $3, 000 to this company. They are everything these complaints are and more. I am calling my State Attorneys Gerneral's Office in NC. After talking to a non-profit organization to help me, he informed me Consumers Law Associates, LLC had been banned from doing business in NC by Roy Cooper, State Attorney General for NC. I think it is time to look into an attorney who would consider doing a class action law suite. This is terrible business practices and needs to be put to a hault before they become any richer from unfortuate people like us, that the economy has buckled our knees. I am also a widow, with 2 children I'm trying to help as well as tending to my mother with Alhemizers. This has devasted me! I am a total wreck most of the time. They have added to my stress level and shot it out the roof! Connie Gunsley
A  31st of Dec, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Ditto. I signed with CLA June 2010 after facing reduced hours at work. I found my monthly payments to be impossible to meet, but did not want to file bankruptcy for many reasons. Like the others, I experienced a smooth talking sales guy from California who promised to be in "close contact with me" for about 3 years. (Never heard from him again). I understood clearly that for 6 months I would be paying their "retainer fees." I didn't have a problem with that. I understood that they needed to work with 3rd party collectors. I was patient. Then I was sued by one creditor and another. Nothing was done. They claimed they didn't have my information even though it was right there in the toolbox. Meanwhile, my debts with these creditors have doubled after I put it in the hands of CLA. I am now in the process of trying to recover my money paid to them for a service not provided. I was hustled out of money I didn't have. Despicable. Everything they promise to do for you can be done pro se with the legal system for a few dollars. Lizzy A.

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