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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.
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I am considering a debt relief company and have picked one.

Customer Question

I am considering a debt relief company and have picked one. The Better Business Bureau has zero complaints. Their methods are different than most and really fit my thoughts on the issue, But if it sounds too good to be true------. Could you please listen to their short explanation at http://www.integritydebtreliefgroup.com/students.html?gclid=CMqhivKxspcCFQKJxgodsnLNjA    and tell me if this would actually work
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
I could not get the link to work. Would you like to explain what their claims are?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This is a transcript of the audio. It appears to be the same as the audio. The representative is Integrity Debt Option and The Company is Court Mediation Service of Phenix City, Alabama

Please excuse the use of apostrophes throughout this Email. They are in
place to prevent sp'am filters from mistaking this email as unsol'icited
sp'am.

CMS Explanation (Court Mediation Services) - This is a transcript of the
recorded explanation call (XXX-XXX-XXXX). There is additional information at
the bottom of the email.

Hello, and welcome to the overview for our Debt Relief plan. We are excited
to offer what we believe is the safest and most effective debt relief
process available today. In the last seven years, we have helped people to
offset thousands of accounts, to the tune of millions of dollars. And just
so we are clear, we work for YOU! We do not work for your creditors, your
bank or your credit card company. This is not bankruptcy, debt
consolidation, debt reduction, refinancing or some payment plan that can
drag on for years and years. These other processes can easily last from
7-10 years, leaving you with a scarred credit rating for just as long.

What we do is simple, yet very effective. We actually assume the debt, so it
is no longer your debt - it is ours, and we deal with the whole thing. You
just hand it off to us and we do the rest. Any unsecured debt can go into
the process: major credit cards, signature loans, store/gas cards,
business/personal, even student loans!

After you pay your fee and submit your paperwork, you provide us with enough
money to make one more minimum payment on each account that is still with
the original creditor, plus $43 dollars per account that we are doing for
you. These are one time payments. If you are current on your payments, you
just provide us with the minimum payment you would have sent to your
creditor, plus the $43. If a minimum payment is less than $50 you need to
bump it up to $50 so we can show a substantial payment, but if you are
behind on payments and the creditor is asking for double or triple the
normal minimum, you don't have to provide the whole thing - we only need 2%
of the balance, which will put it back down to about what the minimum used
to be. So for an example, if you have a balance of $10,000 on an account,
you would need to provide roughly $200 for a minimum payment plus $43, for a
total of about $243. Again, this is a one time payment. We will use the
minimum payment to assume the account, and use the $43 for consideration
payments for 3-5 months past that. These minimum payments need to be sent to
us within two months of filling out your paperwork and sending the process
fee. If an account is with a collection agency and no longer with the
original creditor, you don't need to provide the minimum payment or the $43.
We will still work on the account and offset the debt, but we use slightly
different methods that don't require those payments.

We focus mainly on Contract Law. Here's how it happens: You're probably
already aware that in the contract you have with your credit cards, there is
a clause that says they can basically change the terms and conditions
whenever they want to - right? Well, what's good for the goose is good for
the gander. What we'll do is assume the debt with their permission, and
change the terms and conditions so they're good for us, rather than being
good for the credit card.

After you have paid your fee and filled out the paperwork, when you get a
credit card statement, let's say it's from XYZ Bank, take out any ads, but
leave in the whole statement and the return envelope. Instead of making out
a check to XYZ Bank for the minimum payment, you make it out to us for the
minimum payment + $43. Slip that into the letter they sent you, then put the
whole thing in a bigger envelope and send it to us. When we get it, we'll
deposit your check made out to us, and we'll write one of our own checks to
XYZ Bank for the minimum payment. In that payment envelope, we also include
a brand new set of terms and conditions, and on the check for the minimum
payment, we put a note that says that if they cash this check, they agree to
the new terms and conditions. And they ALWAYS cash the check - we've done
this for years with literally thousands and thousands of accounts, and we
have never had a national or regional bank send the check back to us. I'm
sure at one time or another you've gotten a check in the mail, probably out
of the blue, for $10 or $20, that on the back where you endorse it there's
fine print that says if you cash this check then you are agreeing to enroll
in that company's credit repair program or credit protection program or
whatever their service is? This is exactly same thing, except we're doing it
to them instead of them doing it to us. Once they cash the check, they have
accepted the new terms and conditions.

Those terms and conditions, that new contract, is what does the job. That is
how we assume the debt. You will also fill out an official form that is
notarized and signed by both parties that says we are assuming the debt, so
you have something in your hand, but the new contract is what actually
switches the debt to us. They'll now start contacting us instead of you. The
statements will start coming to us as well. That way you don't have to deal
with it. The contract now says that they are not allowed to charge ANY
interest rate. It says that the minimum monthly payment is now $10 a month.
It says that they are not allowed to charge any late fees, that they are not
allowed to put any negatives on your credit report, and that if they ever
HAVE put any negatives on your credit report, they have to take them off. So
there is term after term that's now in our favor rather than theirs. The new
contract also says that if they BREAK any of the terms, they agree to a
financial penalty of anywhere from $500 - $2500 per occurrence. You know how
right now if you send a payment late to your credit card company, then
they'll charge you a late fee? You're paying a financial penalty because you
broke the terms of the contract. Again, this is exactly the same thing
except we are giving them a taste of their own medicine. The whole purpose
of this procedure is to offset the debt. Because even though they accept the
new contract and perform on it, they're going to act as if they are still
under the old contract. That first month that we send in the minimum
payment, we intentionally send it late. And even though they accept the new
contract by cashing the check, when the next statement comes out, it will
show that they are asking for more than $10 minimum payment, that they
charged a late fee, and they are asking for more than 0% interest. According
to the new contract, they just broke the new terms three times on that one
statement, and so we are able to apply three penalty fees. For the next
several months, we will use that $43 you provided to send them payments of
$10 - $15 per month. And I can tell you, every time they send out a new
statement, there will be 3 or 4 term violations on there, so those penalty
fees are applied over and over. Please understand that when we take over the
account, we are willing and able to pay off the entire debt. You're simply
paying us to assume your debt for you. We will continue to make payments
month after month, as long as there is a balance. And again, the credit card
company agrees to this. But they simply don't follow the contract. When we
take over the account, even though it may have a balance of $10,000, after
4-6 months, because they keep breaking the terms of the new contract, they
will owe us several thousand dollars. We could go after them for that
amount, and who knows - in the future we may, but as of now we don't. That
isn't the point. The point is to get rid of the debt, and we use that money
they owe us as leverage. We tell them to retire the account or we WILL come
after them for that money.

Realize that contract law boils down to the very basics. There are four
parts to contract law - the offer, the terms, the acceptance, and
performance. We've made an offer of a new contract. The terms and conditions
are spelled out right in front of them, and the acceptance is when they cash
the check. From that point on, every time they send a statement to us, and
every time they accept a payment from us, they are showing performance on
the new contract. We also show performance every time we send those minimum
payments of $10-$15/month. So we now have a contract that is spelled out,
that both parties have accepted, and that both parties have been performing
on for months now. Go to any judge or lawyer in the country and they'll tell
you that it's pretty cut and dried at that point. It's too late for either
one of the parties to come back and say "Wait, I didn't really want that
term in there".

The way we used to do this was to provide the clients with all the letters
and forms and the client would change their own terms and conditions and so
forth with our help and support. What we found was that with about 5-10% of
the accounts, the credit card company was bringing a lawsuit against the
client. They didn't really have a legal leg to stand on - it was pure
intimidation - but even though we would walk someone through what to do,
most people didn't want to deal with fighting a lawsuit, even though they
were in the right and could expect to win. That's why about four years ago
we switched to handling everything for the client and assuming the debt.
Now, if the credit card company tries to get intimidating and serve a
lawsuit, the lawsuit doesn't come against you - it comes against us! And it
doesn't intimidate us - being in court is what we do! The contract now shows
that THEY are the ones that are in violation of the contract, not us. If
they sue us with that situation, it's like saying sic'em to a bulldog - not
only will we be game for the fight, but we'll go after them for the money
they owe us. The creditors also realize this. So a lawsuit is simply not
something you should have to deal with.

Allow about 6-8 months for the debt to be offset.

If the account is with a collection agency, we use consumer protection law.
We dispute the debt, which means they are then required to give documentary
proof that they have actually loaned you money. They haven't - you've never
had an agreement with the collection agency. They've never provided you with
any goods or services, and they can't show any consideration toward
establishing a contract. So with a collection agency the method is
different, we aren't actually assuming the debt, but the result is the same
- the debt goes away.

There are two things I want you to be aware of:
1) You'll get collection calls as the accounts are being switched over to
us. That's just a part of the process. Remember, we send the first minimum
payment intentionally late to get everything started. Most people just
ignore the calls because they have caller ID, but if you want to minimize
the calls, pick up the phone and tell them "I don't handle financial matters
over the phone, send it to me in writing" and then hang up on them. Don't
talk to the collectors. They are just there to intimidate you, to scare you,
and to try to trip you up and get you to say something that they can try to
use against you, so again - don't talk to the collectors. Telling them that
statement and sending the form that we will provide usually does it. It's
unusual to still get many calls after that. If you do, log them and let us
know - we can help the calls to stop. When you get something in the mail
about one of your accounts, whether it's a statement from the creditor or a
letter from a collector, just put it in a bigger envelope and send it to us
within several days so we can address it. And again, the address on the
account is switched over to us, so you generally won't get any communication
after the first couple months. The other time you may get calls is when the
bank sells the account to a collection agency 6-7 months down the road.
Again, this is normal. Just tell the collection agency the same statement,
"I don't handle financial matters over the phone, send it to me in writing"
and hang up. They are required by law that whenever they take an account,
they have to send a letter to let you know within 10 days. When you get a
letter like that, just forward it over to us, and within a couple of weeks,
you shouldn't hear from them again. So again, your role is simply to send
to us anything you get in the mail - statements, letters - anything.

2) Expect some negatives on your credit report. Now remember that putting
negatives on your report is against the terms of the contract, but also
remember that the whole reason we can do this in the first place is because
they don't follow the new contract. They will still act as if they are still
under the original contract, and we let them do so until the penalties have
offset the original debt. So after you have sent us your last credit card
statement with the minimum payment and $43, go forward on your calendar
about 7 months and put an 'X' there. When that day comes, pull a separate
credit report on yourself from all three of the agencies and send them to
us, so we can determine that the accounts are offset and apply the rest of
the penalty fees. As for getting the negatives corrected, if you can show
that something on your credit report is a mistake, it's against the law for
the credit reporting agencies to leave it there - it has to be removed. We
will give you the documentation and instructions you'll need to show the
credit reporting agencies. You can do it yourself, or we can refer you to
another company that can do it for you. So allow about 6-8 months for the
debt to offset, then another 6-8 months to get the negatives corrected. At
the end of that time, about 12-18 months from when you get started, the debt
will be gone and your credit report corrected.

That's pretty much it. Get back to the agent that referred you to this call.
They'll be able to tell you the process cost for your situation and answer
any questions you have. Thank you.

Additional Information:

The cost of the process depends on the amount of de.bt you have and how many
accounts you have. For anything zero up to $100,000 in unsecured de.bt, with
a maximum allowed of 10 accounts, the cost is a straight $2995. Additional
amounts can be done for additional fees. If you have available cre.dit on
your cre.dit card account, most people use that to pay for all or at least
as much of the process as possible. That way you can do it with little or no
out-of-pocket expense, and remember, they will be repaid completely as long
as they abide by the contract.

Accounts need to be at least six months old to enter the CMS program; one
year is better, but they need to be at least six months old, with a balance
of at least $500. If a large amount has been charged to an account
immediately before entering the program (like if you just did a balance
transfer), you may want to continue to make minimum payments on that account
while CMS proceeds with the other accounts entered into the program. If this
applies to you, then ask for guidelines.

Check out Court Mediation Services with the Better Business Bureau. At
bbb.com, go to USA site, then go to Check Out A Business. Enter Court
Mediation Services in Alabama. You will find that they have been collecting
data since early 2004 (when there was first an inquiry about the company).
They have a satisfactory rating and there have been zero complaints. This
should speak for itself as to the success of our program.

I hope this inf'ormation helps. I will be in touch with you by ph'one to
answer any ad'ditional ques'tions you may have.

Terry Yarham, De.bt Specialist
XXX-XXX-XXXX
1-XXX-XXX-XXXX XXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Office Hours:
Mon, Wed, Thu: 10am - 10pm CST
Tue, Fri: 9am - 3pm CST

Providing a Broad Range of Financial Services, Asset Protection, De'bt
Relief, Tax Minimization, and Investment Opportunites.

Get out of the red.
Use this link to see how:
http://www.IntegrityDebtOptionGroup.com
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
That is kind of what I figured it would be about. Most of us agree that the first portion of their arrangement doesn't work the eay the say it will work if the creditor chooses to challenge it. The main reason is that in order for a new contract to be formed there must be a "meeting of the minds" and no "mistake". The original contract you signed allows them to change the terms but not you, so there is a mistake in the legal premise this company is relying on.

The second part of their service works if they do it right, but you can do it just as easily as they can although most people don't wnat to spend the time or effort to clear the negative stuff off of their credit reports. These type of companies got started back before the internet and the rapid exchange of electronic information, and they worked okay back then because the creditors couldn't make timely responses. That all changed with the advent of efficient computer systems, but the company is still likely to get some of the negative information erased from your report simply because some companies just won't respond.

Thank you for allowing me to assist you. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Please remember that we can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information and no attorney client relationship has been formed. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR TEXAS ATTY” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27227
Experience: Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.
Dwayne B. and 6 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have never missed or been late on any payments. But since I retired my son has defaulted on his student loan that I am co-signed on and the credit card companies have started changing the terms to extremely high interest rates. I travel since I retired and have not received those notices that they say I had to respond to to keep this from happening. Being on a fixed income these increases are making it impossible to increase the payments to what they are wanting and I know that any small disaster, health expenses car repairs etc are going to cause me to default on one or all of my payments. It appears to just be a a matter of time. before I am in default. Can they assume my debt as they claim? What would the consequences be if I tried their service compared to being forced to default at a later date?

I am Accepting your answer and including a bonus.   
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
There really isn't a down side to their "assuming" your loan other than the fact that they may now own it and you are paying them for something that isn't likely to work. In addition, it is even less likely to work on the student loan since it is federally insured/guaranteed.

You may want to consider going to a non-profit debt/credit counseling service first and seeing if they can help by getting the interest rates lowered back down. A threat of bankruptcy could cause the credit card companies to work with you and you are more likely to get the results you want with one of the credit counseling services as opposed to a gimmicky company.

Thank you for allowing me to assist you. I believe I have answered all of the questions you asked so I would request that you please click the ACCEPT button so I receive credit for my work and leave feedback if you have a chance. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected. Please remember that we can only base our answers on the information you provide and sometimes a misunderstanding as to what you are looking for or already know occurs so feel free to ask additional questions. Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information and no attorney client relationship has been formed. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.

Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR TEXAS ATTY” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Okay I accepted and added a bonus. I received a processing error and was returned to the answer. It says my accept was processed. Am I missing something? There should be a $30.00 bonus attached too.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I think the payment for accepting is resolved. Thank you very much for your reply It is very helpful and allows me to make a better decision. THANK YOU!!
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
Good luck to you. I wish you the best. Thanks for the ACCEPT and the BONUS.

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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
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27227 Satisfied Customers
Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.