phone_ctc2

Hello world! Please change me in Site Preferences -> This Category/Section -> Lower Description Bar

06

Mar 2016

Global Client Solutions Pays Us $1500.

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy /

Global Client Solutions got $61.50 from C H and pays up $1500.

C H, like many of my bankruptcy clients, tried to “settle” her debts before talking to a bankruptcy lawyer. She paid $1,133.48 to Global Client Solutions as part of a debt settlement plan, before she realized NONE of the money was going to settle her debts.

Global Client Solutions handled the “dedicated settlement account” Credit Advocates Law Firm set up for C H. Global, in fact, handles the settlement accounts for more than 400! different debt settlement operations.

Global Client Solutions logo

The CFPB says Global Client Solutions handles the “dedicated settlement accounts” for more than 400 debt settlement outfits. According to the FTC, if the debt settlement outfits are charging illegal fees, Global can’t help but notice.

We sued Global for $3400.44–three times the money she lost, under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Global replied they had only gotten $61.50 out of that $1,133.48–claiming “the remaining $1,071.98 was assessed by Credit Advocates Law Firm.”  (We’re suing Credit Advocates, too.)  

I pointed out that the Federal Trade Commission telemarketing rule says these debt settlement “law firms” cannot charge ANY fee until they have actually settled some debts. (The fact that they do is one reason these debt settlements rarely work. So much money goes to fees, there’s no money to pay the creditors, even if they want to settle.  Which they often don’t.)

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has gone after Global, saying that since their business is handling these debt settlement accounts, and their own records show they are paying “law firms” fees that are not yet earned, they are equally guilty in violating that law.  (You can read more about that, here.)

I repeated what the CFPB said, back to Global’s legal department.  (I also pointed out that we had sued them twice before.)

Then Global came back with a check for $1500. I got $750 of that, and C H got $750.  So C H has not quite gotten all her money back. Yet.

We are suing five other outfits who had their finger prints on this deal. I hope C H will end up getting back three times what she lost–that’s what Virginia law says she should get.

PS  So who else are we suing for C H?

Credit Advocates Law Firm, LLC is the name of the outfit that was taking money out of the Global account.  Their website is gone.  (I found them, though, on the Wayback machine, here.)

Credit Advocates said they were also the Law Firm of Adela Estopinan.  Adela Estopinan seems to be licensed as a lawyer in Florida.  

The people who put C H in touch with Credit Advocates used two names.  They called themselves Cornerstone Legal; and they also called themselves Fast Track Debt Relief.  Both of those still have active websites; and Cornerstone either copied or just took over the Credit Advocates website.  (See here, the SEO title for Cornerstone is Credit Advocates?!)

Referring people from one outfit to another seems to be standard in the debt settlement world.  I guessing because they each want to claim, like Global tried, that somebody else actually got the money.

They are all due to make their first court appearance in Fairfax on April 12, 2016.  I’ll let you know who shows up.

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

07

Apr 2014

Recovery Services at 855-633-3603 Scams Ana

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy, Blog / No comments yet

Before she came to talk to me about bankruptcy, Ana was scammed out of $200 by Recovery Services.

“Recovery Services” called Ana from 855-633-3603 in January and told her she was in trouble for non-payment of a “check” in connection with a pay day loan.  The sheriff would bring her papers day after tomorrow unless she made payment arrangements.

They sent her to an internet site where she signed a payment agreement and made three payments.  (She paid them through Paypal.)

I had Ana call them from my office today to say she was not sending any more payments, and she needed to confirm their address to include them in the bankruptcy.  (I wanted to see what they would say.)

ic3-200x100

Report scammers who use the internet to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center

A very authoritative-sounding lady told her that she could not file bankruptcy on them because she has a “sworn recorded phone call” and since she was breaking the agreement she could expect service of court papers between 8:00 and 3:00 on Wednesday.

All this is B.S. of course, but very convincing.  If I wasn’t right there with her, Ana might have caved in and sent another payment.

Instead, Ana is filing a complaint with the Internet Crimes Complaint Center.

By the time you read this, these people will be using a different phone number and a different name.  But if you get something like this, don’t be scammed!

 

 

 

 

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

25

Jan 2014

Before bankruptcy: Getting your tax account transcripts

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy /

Most income taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, but some can.

To find out whether yours can, your lawyer will need your tax account transcript.  The IRS makes these available now on line.  You can download yours here.

tax account transcript

To find out whether your Federal income taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy, your lawyer will need to see your tax account transcript.

Why do you need that?  Your lawyer can use your account transcript to see if your taxes were filed, if they were filed close to on time, and if there was a recent assessment.

Here’s why:  The general rule is this:  You can discharge your Federal and state income taxes if:

1.  They were due more than three years ago.  (Example, the 2010 Federal taxes were due  for most people April 15, 2011–if you didn’t get an extension.  So April 16 2014 is more than three years after the 2010 Federal taxes were due.)

2.  You have filed them at least two years ago and close to on time.  (What does “close to on time” mean?  I’m not answering that here.  I’m NOT an expert on that.)

3.  Your taxes have to have been assessed at least 240 days ago.  Usually the taxes are assessed around the time you filed.  But if there was a recent audit or correction to your tax forms, you have to watch out for this rule.

Do you want to know more about this rule?  Nolo has several posts on this topic.  Here’s an article in the Journal of Accountancy.  Here’s some info from Fox Business.

WHATEVER you do, do not take legal action–like filing your own bankruptcy–based on what I say here.  The purpose of this blog is ONLY to tell you where to go to get your transcript.  You can get your tax account transcript from the IRS here.

If you are getting your transcript for this purpose, be careful to get the tax account transcript and NOT the tax return transcript.  The tax return transcript does NOT give the info you need.  The tax account transcript does.

 

 

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

NORTHERN VIRGINIA BANKRUPTCY LAW OFFICES