Debt Settlement of America

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

The company settled with me for a larger amount and is discontinuing my case. The matter is resolved, and up to now, I would recommend them.

Original Review

After deciding upon Pacific Debt Management, and getting a "Welcome" phone call, they set up electronic debits from my bank account. After making 4 payments of 2500 each, my business collapsed, and I am now forced to file bankruptcy. They hadn't even begun to negotiate with a creditor, and they advised me that their fees amounted to 8500!!! They offered 2500 in total and complete settlement of my account. Complete thieves. Beware. Do not use.

The company resolved 2 debt issues, but I still have 1 more. I had already told the negotiator I found his attitude offensive and he responded, "What is there to think about? This is what you have to do. There is nothing to think about." He told me that at this point (meaning once the debt has gone to a collection agency), no reduced settlement could be negotiated and the debt must be repaid in full. At a relative's urging, I called the collection agency and they told me they "usually settle for 75%". Two days later, I received a phone call from the negotiator spewing what was no less than verbal abuse. He flatly denied telling me that the remaining debt was non-negotiable and accusing me of "going behind his back" and saying "hears what wants to hear". After listening to as much as I could tolerate of his vicious verbal attack I asked for a different negotiator and he told me, "I'll talk to my manager, but I assure you, the people around here don't respond favorably when you switch." I am appalled that this intimidating offensive behavior is tolerated within this company and disappointed that after having paid my service fee in full, I was lied to.

Debt Settlement USA (DSUSA) was supposed to negotiate on my behalf with the creditor(s) to lower my debt, get rid of late fees, and high interest rate. DSUSA charged me $220.32 each month for their services. I did not receive any services. DSUSA could not even stop the collection calls from creditor(s).

Debt Settlement USA, is selling dreams to poor people, DSU promised me to: 1- Stop phone calls...never happened 2-Contact creditors and start negotiation..never happened and I start receiving summons from collectors 6 months later because nobody contacted them. 3- Get a settlement for all creditors in 30 months (was 32 and changed to 30) starting Sep 25th 2006...we are in Apr 2008 and never received a single settlement offer 4-To save approx 60% from the debt--this never happened and will never happen

Here is a copy of the deal from last email 08/17/06 (part of it) from the in charge person who deals with me, and before I enroll with DSUSA:

I am basing the following on $33,646 Estimated Settlement Amount (40%) $13,458 Total Payment $17,496 Savings $16,150 Payment $547 for 32 months. Why it will never happen? The amount was approx. $33000 in 2006 now the amount is approx. $40000 and by the end of the 30 months the amount will reach $50000--DSUSA never talked to me about bank interest (proof--previous paragraph).

I understand that this is an estimated calculation, which could be +/- 5% or 10% but not + 50%-70%. The estimate amount offered by DSUSA ( $17,496) is including their fees--which means that approx $13,000 will cover all creditors of $50,000 after 30 months. THIS IS THE DREAM 5- To collect a fee of 12% for the first 10 months, from the payment show above. Perfectly done

Conclusion: I didn't get what I paid DSU for DSUSA promised for something they cannot do it. First contact after enrollment was 6 months later. I didn't get any settlement offer since Sep 2006. 2 cases from Citibank against me finished by a overcharge payment agreement because DSUSA couldn't reach any settlement agreement with Citibank. I received a Judgment on FEB 6th 2008, because I didn't show up at the court date as advised by the DSU representative. You don't need to assist the court date since you have a stipulation agreement. NO REPLY FROM DSU FOR OVER A MONTH

I asked DSUSA for a full refund for the amount of $4,037.60 (detucted from my bank account starting Sep 25th 2006 - $403.76 x 10 months) ...and no response. and 3 months later they sent me a letter to accept an amount of $807 and to cancel the service. Please help to get my money back ASAP. I received a Judgment on FEB 6th 2008, because I didn't show up at the court date as advised by the DSUSA representative "You don't need to assist the court date since you have a stipulation agreement"

DSA was unable to settle one of my accounts, and now my husband has a court date in June '08 for the account that DSA couldn't handle. We paid so much money upfront to DSA, and now all my accounts went from bad to worse with all the late fees. We now have higher balances. Just recently we received an offer letter directly from one of our creditors to settle the account. DSA had nothing to do with this settlement.

These companies that ask for their money upfront will not help you, and the best thing to do is to talk to your creditors directly because they will work out a payment plan for you in order for them to get their money back. YOU DON'T NEED DSA OR ANY OTHER DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANY TO DO THE WORK THAT YOU CAN DO YOURSELF.

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The gentleman referred to as Rick of Kalamazoo? was a DSA client. Since he originally signed up for our program over 7 months ago, we attempted to contact him 36 times using various means including phone calls, e-mail and mail. Our goal here at DSA is to get our clients successfully through the program and on the road to a fresh financial start. We are only able to do this with adequate communication. We even had a settlement offer for him, but never heard back from him. Rick? could have used our Quality Assurance Board process to come to an agreeable resolution. We would have been happy to work with him. Again, with ongoing client communication we have been able to help hundreds of families who have dealt with financial hardships start on a path towards financial stability.

The gentleman referred to as Jamie in Rome NY? is actually a DSA client who successfully completed our program. He enrolled 3 accounts and we were able to settle these accounts for an average of 42%. DSA does not have access to initiate payments out of our clients accounts. All of our settlements are approved by our clients before we even accept a settlement offer. Through our quality assurance process, we made numerous attempts to discuss this with Jamie.? Again 2-way communication is crucial to the success of our clients and our company. DSA is a respected leader in the debt settlement industry and is fighting for consumers rights to choose reputable debt settlement companies as an option. Getting our clients successfully through our program and remaining client centered is our top priority.

June of last year I signed up for their service. I had about $16,500 of debt that they were going to help me with. They set up a 36 month plan to get out of debt.

The first 4 months they took $347.15 from my checking account, through month 16 they took a total of $90.92 for their fees. Next week I will have the $1200 that I should have saved.

I just had judgement for $1106.20 for one of the accounts they should have been handling. The account was for $770.44.

If they garnish my wages, I will loose my job. My credit rating can not get any lower and I may just end up filing for bankruptcy.

DSA was unable to handle any of my accounts in an organized, professional, or business-like manner. I have paid all of my accounts, but I have never been furnished with documents that prove I've paid my accounts as agreed - even after many requests. Also, and probably most worrisome, DSA once made a payment out of my account in the amount of $5000 that I did NOT authorize. To this date I have made 9 email inquiries and 6 phone calls concerning this issue and I have neither received an explanation nor refund. Additionally, although DSA claims to negotiate on your behalf, they do not. They simply accept the offer that the creditor gives them and pass it on to you. I had to make specific instructions to my negotiator to ask for lower payoffs. When I asked her to document who she spoke with and what the outcome of the negotiations was, she was unable to supply answers.

The economic consequences are quite clear. I've paid a large amount of money to a service that may or may not have done what they advertised and they used money out of my account that was not authorized by me. Also, all told, I ended up using almost as much money as if I had just paid off the credit cards myself. DSA did NOT stop fees and fines from accumulating on my accounts and tried to blame it on me by saying that I hadn't reported my accounts properly. This after I've paid them somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 for services and they can't even be bothered to look at the details of my accounts.

My husband and I have been going Debt Settlement America since Jan,06. We have not been pleased with the results. They have not done the things they said they would do. We have paid all the money they requested except the last payment and we are in a lot worse shape now than we were when we started. Instead of being close to being out of debt our credit card debts are now almost doubled. I am trying to get my money back, but they are refusing.

We are now in so much debt and being sued by 3 of the 4 credit cards and they told us it would be only paper and it would sit on someone's desk.

We have consulted an attorney and we could loose our property and everything we worked for. We are both disabled now and we were trying to do the right thing, but because of DSA we had to file bankruptsy to try to keep our home that is not a guarantee. So we are in a financial crisis because of DSA.

My husband and I have been in the program since January,2006. They have taken all of their fees except the last one. That amount comes to over
$4600.00. They refuse to refund our money because they have called us with one offer that they received from one of the four different credit card accounts that they are supposed to be trying to settle and told us not to take that offer because it would go lower. Now we are in far worse shape financially than we were when started 18 months ago with Debt Settlement America. We now have 3 pending lawsuits and they told us if they got judgments against us they would go no where. They would just sit there. They failed to tell us they could get a lein on our property and loose it. I have requested my money back and they refuse because they had they one offer and we did not take. Even though we are about to have to go to court about the other three credit cards. I would like to keep anyone else from going through what we have gone through with.

Our credit has gone from bad to worse. We have been sued three times by three different credit card companies. We could be facing loosing our property we have worked so hard for. My husband and I are disabled and can not start all over again. We both have a lot of health problems and I am having to see my heart specialist because of so much stress.

I have signed up with Debt Settlement America to settle my credit card debts. It was not properly explain to me in which it actually put me into more debts and got subphoena by the credit card companies. When I sign up they told me that I should save $134 per months to pay off my debt and I also have to pay them $160.00 per month. They have also ask me to pay them first in the amount of $324.00 every month for the first 3 months and $160.00 per month once I agree for them to represent me. I did that thinking that they will really help me. They have also inform me that I should stop paying the credit card companies in which I did and save $160.00 per month and that savings will be use to pay the debts I have. But few months later on the credit card companies file a case in court against me for not paying. I have sent this subphoena to Debt Settlement America and ask for help but instead of helping me they said that they dont contact the credit card companies until I am ready to settle the bill. I thought once I am paying them they will contact this creditors and start negotiate with them but they did not. I have ask to cancel my contract and to return my money but they dont want to. I have file a complaint to Better Business Bureau case number 91024069. Better Business Bureau sent them a letter of Inquiry. After that Mr. John Bilbay have asked me to sign a waiver form to show to Better Business Bureau that I already have settled the case with Debt Settlement America but never promised anything to refund my money. I have forwarded that letter to Better Business Buraeu telling them that Debt Settlement America is tricking me again to sign the letter but never promise any refund. Better Business Bureau forward my email but John Bilbay tells lies to them and told the Better Business Buraeu that we agree and they are going to refund me in the amount of $300.00 but I did not. The total amount I have paid to them is almost $1,900.00. With this amount instead of I have pay it to my credit card but it went to them instead. I have told Better Business Bureau I will only agree if they would return at least half of my money but not $300.00. Better Business Bureau sent me a letter saying it will take months before they could make a decision on this case. Until now never heard anything from them anymore. So what I did is to settle this. I just finally decided to file bankruptcy chapter 13 to settle this debt and to avoid court subphoena.

My credit was destroyed. The credit card companies filed a case against me. And I end up filing bankruptcy.

We enrolled in the program and have followed their instructions exactly. Despite our overwhelming amount of debt, all of our accts were up-to-date. Per their instructions, we stopped making payments and they began what they said would be the beginning stages of negotiating. Fourteen months later and well over $4,000 that we have paid to them, they have settled two accts, saving us very little money to this point. The remaining 3 accts all now have law suits filed against us by the creditors, one of which is in 2-1/2 weeks. The offers they have from our creditors now over a year later are still nothing close to what we were told they would be, and even some are higher than the original amounts when we turned the accts over to them for negotiating since we have been accruing late fees and over limit fees!!! Be VERY leery of this company! They constantly are asking for more money for us to put into our acct. Even after trying to borrow money from a family member to do this, they yet have been able to settle these accts!!!!

We are facing 3 law suits against us and a bewildering amount of debt. Our only option at this point may be to try to sell our house, otherwise it will be to file bankruptcy thanks to this company failing to do as we were promised!

I saw DSA on the internet February, 2006.It was advertising lowering of interest on credit cards and lowering credit card payments. I inquired about the program. It was suggested that I don't pay my credit cards but that is part of getting the interest and credit debt lowered. I was skeptical but signed up on March 05, 2006. $1,400. 00 to DSA since March, and I now have 1 judgment and 2 pending judgments against me and was served by a process server at my home.

I first spoke to a Sheldon Mallory who signed me up. I than received a phone call from Kathleen Young welcoming me and all of the support I would receive, blah blah blah. (I received no support by the way) I was assigned to Ricki Johnson (WHO DID NOTHING FOR ME!) I called him when I received notices and he told me to fax. I would follow up with him (He called me maybe twice). I received notices from debt collectors he told me that is what we want. In the meantime he would ask me how much I had saved up so he could negotiate a settlement. When I signed up with DSA I was $16,000.00 in debt now with compounded interest for not paying my credit card bills I am in debt for 421,500.00 When I called the collector for Bank of America she told me called DSA many times and was told they would get back to her. They never returned her phone calls. My finances are a mess. I moved in with my mother to pay my debts I can't afford the $1,000.00 per month I was paying in rent.
I am getting married October, 2007 and will not be able to co-sign on anything with my husband to be.
My health is a mess. I am looking for a better paying job to pay my debt.
I complained to the Attorney General in Texas and the Better Business Bureau in Dallas Texas. They replied and I will be sending them all of the paper work to back up my complaint.

I contacted DSA to complain they agreed to paying some of the money back if I did not follow through with my complaints to the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau. When I found out that BofA was trying to contact them and they did not respond, I asked for a full refund of my $1,400.00 I have not heard from them since that phone call.

I enrolled in the DSA program in July of 2005. They were suppose to be talking with the creditors on a monthly basis. I was told to sign for anything that came to the house so that I would know which companies our accts had been sold to. Everytime a notice came I faxed it to DSA and asked them to advise of the situation. Each time, I had to contact them and ask them the status. We had 3 different people to whom our acct was given to within 6 months. DSA also enrolled an acct that we asked them not to handle, and therefore had an escalating interest rate due to this fact and couldn't even access our own acct to make payments or to speak with anyone about removing the cease and desist from that acct. The notices that were mailed to our house also included Arbitration language, which stripped us of our rights and forced arbitration. I was told that when we received these letters that there should have been a letter sent back to the company sending us the notice, informing them that we don't agree with the Arbitration clause and reject it, this was not ever done on any of our accts. When Arbitration letters were sent to me, I called DSA and talked to our rep, she called the company and they didn't even have our paperwork on file!! Now how can they be dealing with these companies monthly and them not have any paperwork?!?!? Honestly!!! We were also NEVER once told that the credit collectors could freeze our bank acct. In addition we were also coerced, by this I mean that we were told that DSA had more buying power for debt,than an attorney, because they handled so many accts and that is why they could get guarantee settlement. We should have gone with an attorney, however did not because DSA said that they dealt with more creditors and had so many accts that they had an advantage. DSA also told me that there was no reason to hire an attorney because they had all the forms that the attorneys have and that we were already paying for this service through DSA. Why pay twice? I was told that we could settle our accts for just less than 1/2 of what we owed and our savings plan was set out over 4 years. Of course all of DSA payments are up front and are paid first, then you start saving money.
Well what an awful experience it has been. Being a pretty intelligent person, I can't believe I was SO dooped! There were things that I didn't like, because they sounded to good to be true, so I asked questions that were answered and made sense at the time. We are currently being sued by one cc and the other 2 cards have been awarded by arbitration. I had to hire an attorney to handle the suit, which cost me MORE money. I am frightened that our bank acct will be frozen and DSA told me to move everything from our only acct to another bank. The bank I have is the only bank acct that I've had since I was 18!! When we received the arbitration awards I panicked and DSA asked me if I had any way of getting any funds? So I took a loan, which is something that they do not encourage, yet here they are talking to me about getting a loan!!! Half of my 401k to pay off these creditors before the payment plan had ended. They also told me that I would need $10000 more than what they had originally told me it would take to settle!!

Consequences, where do I begin? Law suit and money out of my 401k that I didn't want to have to do. Now I have payments to the 401k and will likely have to make payments to the credit card companies too since the debt can't be negotiated at what I was told it would be. I have suffered loss of sleep, the inability to think at work and constant worrying about how I am going to get out of this debt nightmare. What seemed like an answer to get out of debt turned into a nightmare. Not only did I have to pay DSA $6000 to settle our accts, which they didn't, I had to pay an attorney ($3000) to fix the debt that DSA said they could handle. I believe that DSA does not handle the acct like they say they do. They take your money and when it comes down to the bottom line, law suit, arbitration, you are left empty handed. That $6000 I could have used to pay off some of the debt. They deceive people into thinking that they are handling your case and then you get slammed with a lawsuit or arbitration award. Someone needs to do something about how they are practicing!!

Debt Settlement America will promise they can reduce your debt by 60-40%. Dont believe it. I too have had 2 judgements put in motion against me and had to contact creditors myself to resolve. When speaking with my creditors and 3rd parties they informed me they have never spoke to DSA. I then requested all future updates from this company issued to me in writting so I can see when they are contacting my accoutns and the current status. They would not provide this to me. I am paying them $330 a month and have nothing to show for it. I would not recommend this company. If you think these folks are a answer to your high debt problems think again. They make it 10 times worse.

I am; now stuck paying DSA ( for now) $330 a month and trying to work out a payment plan on my own with my creditors to avoid future judgements.

I procured DSA's services in December 2005 to assist me in settling some credit card accounts. They claimed they would negotiate with my creditors and that they could them to settle at 40%-60% of the balances. However, as of July 2006, seven months later, DSA has NOT negotiated any settlements with any creditors on my behalf. In fact, I have been notified by two of my creditors that I am being sued. Now, my balances are outrageously out of my reach, especially since I had to pay upfront for DSA's services in addition to their monthly fee. It looks like I am now out of nearly $1,800 (money that could have gone toward my debt), and am getting sued. I might have to file bankruptcy now, which is what I was trying to avoid. I am contacting a lawyer right away. Please do not EVER use this company.

Working with Debt Settlement America for 4 months now.

The company misrepresented the facts about their services.

I payed 386.00 a month to them and they did nothing for their services. I got sued for 2 out of 4 credit cards so far. Now my paycheck may be garnished and a lien may be put against my house .

Debt Settlement of America Company Profile

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Debt Settlement of America