Debt Free Associates

Irvine, CA

Out of Business

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

Satisfaction Rating

I enrolled at Debt Free Associates over 2 years ago. I was told to review their settlement sheet on their website. It has a list of all the banks and how much Debt Free helped their customers. It showed customers from Debt Free only ended up paying $50 to $80 less than what they owed. I was told that the longer I wait, the less I will pay. That was not so. I was threatened to be sued by two collection agencies and I had to borrow money to pay them almost double or several thousand dollars more than original amount. Otherwise, I had to pay for lawyer's fees and court fees and everything else. It was only last year that the clerk from Debt Free told me that all we will get is only 40 percent off the original amount.

On one of my Debt Free accounts worker negotiated a settlement with the collection agency only two times and got only $1,000 off the settlement and said that is all she can do for me. I called the collection agency myself and got over $2,000 off. The collection agency was calling my husband's job and asking for payroll information and kept calling his company, but Debt Free did nothing even when they told me it was illegal. I had to talk to the collection agency myself to pay them off. I found out from a friend that after 3 years, we do not have to pay credit cards companies since this is not a collateral loan like a house or car according to the law of forgiven debt. My friend said she went to her debt-free company and told them about this government law and they admitted this is the law and it is true, so she was able to cancel the program for her daughter and ended up not having to pay credit card companies. It was for her daughter and she was unemployed and currently in jail.

That is why Debt Free kept asking me if I have more money to make more payments when I kept telling them that I have no money and I only have huge debts! All of a sudden three credit card companies wanted me to pay them off in a one-year pay off program, each wanting over $500 a month! It is because they knew after three years that I do not have to pay them according to the law. That is why they were in a hurry to sue anyone. It wouldn't do any good to tell collection agencies that I enrolled Debt Free’s program and making payments and they will get their money. Enrolling in a 48-month program is no good when the law of forgiven debt says after not paying credit cards for 36 months, our debts are forgiven. I think they should be honest and should tell us about this law. Instead, on the third year with Debt Free, I had three collection agencies wanting their money at the same time and I thought I had to become homeless in order to pay them!

They charge so much fee plus $75 monthly fee and that is why I couldn't pay off my second credit card debt in a timely matter and ended up paying several more thousands of dollars in order to avoid a lawsuit. I was only a few months of paying them off. I found out all my money in my trust account was being drained in their fees of so many thousands of dollars and Debt Free collects that money within one year and a half plus they charge a monthly fee of $75. It costs a fortune and my credit card companies were offering settlement for a lot less money. I think people should go with offers from their credit card companies because they offer lower settlement and they do not charge $7,000 or more fees like these debt-free companies.

I just feel like they don't work hard enough to really help you and charge too much. They should tell people about the law of forgiven debt and let people decide what they want to do. I was told being sued by collection companies are very rare and it is not true. Collection agencies want their money before 3 years is up and will sue to get their money. The 4-year plan is a scam. It should be 2-1/2 years of less. According to the government's forgiven debt, we are forgiven our credit card debt after three years of not making payments. So by the time we enroll our debt, we already missed like 6 months to one year of credit card payment. Credit card companies are offering lower settlement than through Debt Free and I think people should go with their credit card company offers so they do not have to pay over $7,000 of fees Debt Free Associates charges. I think that is way too much.

Satisfaction Rating

I am writing to complain about how Debt Free mismanaged my funds. I entered into an agreement with them back in September 2009. They asked me to enroll all my credit cards but was told verbally that I can remove them from enrollment anytime I want. Total was $50K.

During the first 6 months, they got money from me, but most of it was allocated to their 12% commission and monthly fee of $75. In 2010, we entered into a settlement offer for my 2 Citibank cards. They deducted the money from my checking account every month to pay this card over an 11-month period.

In May 2011, I wrote a letter, saying that after my Citibank card is settled, I will end my contract with them and will settle the remaining cards on my own since I get all the negotiation offers from the bank directly. After the Citibank settlement is complete, they would have only negotiated less than $30K (if we don't include the card that missed the last payment and still pending, it would only be $15K). My email was even acknowledged by an automated letter which said my request was received.

When I was about to file my income tax this year, I called Moore Law to get a proof of the debt settlement. I was informed by Moore Law that the last payment was not made. When I first called Debt Free about this, I was informed that the check was sent to Moore Law but that it has not cleared. I was informed that they will be contacting Moore Law to find out why it has not cleared.

I called Moore Law, and they said they contacted Debt Free back in May; but no one returned their call. I tried to follow up several times with Debt Free. After 2 weeks, they called informing me that there was a shortage of fund in May and that's why the last payment was not made. I was not informed about this. No calls were made to me to inform me about the shortage of fund. My email in May 2011 clearly indicated I had every intent to honor the agreement with Moore Law and trusted them to manage my money and make the payments on my behalf for the Citibank settlement. But unfortunately, that did not happen.

My complaint is they are really managing the payment as well as they promised as part of your service, and for which, they are getting the 12% commission on top of the monthly fee of $75. How come no one called me from May to February about this? How come I had to discover this issue on my own when I called Moore Law. This clearly is an oversight on their end and a mismanagement of my account. Now they are telling me they cannot do anything and Moore law is asking me to pay the remaining balance of the full debt.

This will me make me incur more cost as Debt Free had already taken 12% commission of the full debt plus the monthly fee when they have not really settled it yet. How come they still charged 12% commission to debts they didn't settle?

The only thing I'm asking is for them to acknowledge their mistake and negotiate with Moore law that this was a mismanagement on their end. I am willing to pay the difference of the shortage of fund (less than $200) just to have this settled. I believe it is unfair for me to pay the remaining balance of $8K to Moore law just because the last payment was mot made due to their inefficiency.

Ive been calling and sending emails, but they are ignoring me. I want to file a legal complaint against them. What's the best thing to do? Who can I call to stop these abuses of companies like this? They took almost $6K in commission, excluding monthly fee. But technically, they only negotiated about $15K. Please help.

Satisfaction Rating

I also came to apply for this hardship grant paid $40 and was assured by the liars working with the head liar that this was legit and i would be hearing something from the gov. Well, to this date ive heard nothing they are no longer in the location and i dont have any working numbers for them. I called myself call theBBB to see if they were legit before i even went and they were ok. All I can say is alot of people lost money and hopes for much needed assistance and they should be responsible for repaying us our money!!


First, like many other people listed here, I received a letter from them. I called and inquired about the program. I spoke to Marc for like 30 minutes getting the information about this program. I was told that the program will get you out of debt in two years. There will be a trust account set up with $700 a month and it will go toward your settlement once you have accumulated enough. In addition, there will be a $199 processing fee. I inquired about other fees but was never told about the outrageous fees.

Anyhow, during the following four months, I continue to contact them about the offer letter received from my creditors but never heard from them. I called several times and was told to wait until I receive a letter from a third party. Finally, the fourth month, I got an offer from Citibank for 30% and I want to use the money to pay for this. During our conversation, I learned that I had only $400+ in my savings out of $2800. To make the matter worst, they did absolutely nothing. On the day my offer end, I called them for an update and their representative had no clue what was going on, passing me around and waiting to find the answer. I requested for a cancellation and handle the matter myself. I am still waiting for the refund check but it sounded like I will not get anything back.


I signed up with Debt Free Associates on 12-29-09. They are a debt settlement company which are suppose to settle my credit card balances. I have 4 creditors that I owe from. They told me not to pay them and have no contact with them. I spoke to Kaitin **, Senior Debt Analyst, she assured me I would not be sued. As of today, 2 of my creditors are suing me. None of my creditors have spoken to Debt Free regarding my balances. As of today, I have paid them around $4,200.00, my savings only has $89.00. They stole my money and did absolutely nothing for me.

I am willing to pay for any services I get. Yet this program is a scam which gave me false information and did nothing but lie to me throughout the 6 1/2 months I was with them. They deserve no payment for services. I have emails from Debt Free conversations telling me everything will be okay. Just relax and do nothing, and they we will do all negotiations for you. Again, all they did was put me in a deeper hole and took my money. I don't see how a company can lie and get away with so much of consumer money. How can they take advantage of people who are on the brink of financial ruin?

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In July of 09, we enrolled with Debt Free to try to consolidate our bills and possibly have the balances negotiated lower on our behalf by Debt Free. Our house was going into foreclosure and we were relocating to take care of elderly parents, so we had explained that our situation was pretty dire and that we were taking a huge loss in income on top of everything else to do all this. Austin assured us that they would handle contacting our creditors and work with them to take that stress off us.

So we enrolled and Debt Free took $300.00 monthly out of our bank account to put into an account to either make monthly payments to our our creditors or pay one lump sum if there were enough funds. Ten months later nothing had been resolved. They told me that it was my job to contact the creditors or if I received letters from them, that I was to send them to them. Essentially I had to do their job for them. I withdrew from the program and asked for a refund of the money they had taken. They had taken a total of $3,038.66.

I expected them to take out a processing fee of $199.00 but instead they kept $1,792.85. They only gave us back $1,245.81. I called and asked why they kept so much and I was told that I could fax a letter and have my case reviewed and ask for the $1,792.85 back since they did absolutely nothing on my behalf but I never heard from the company. They are supposed to be trying to help people in financial trouble and instead, they just make the situation worse by being dishonest, lying about their services and taking your money as well. We have had illness in our family and had a lot of medical expenses because of that and could really use that money to pay some of the medical bills owed.


I received notices by email on personal computer after Citibank closed my line of credit on my credit cards. I wonder how they would be contacting me or why. When I called Citibank, they said they could not tell me why they were declining my cards. I had to get my credit report and see it myself. Credit report from Experian, so much junk in it, but the person I spoke with said she did not understand why. The credit report rating wasn't that bad. DFA kept sending emails, Citibank raised my percentage rates. I could not afford higher payments. So, I filled out questionnaire from DFA. Mr. ** contacted me. We discussed giving them the credit cards, two with Citibank, and LD reduced my balance and pay off quick.

Long story short, the minimal fee turned out to be total of $175.00 of the $300.00 monthly fee. I called and Mr. ** said they were working hard for the fees, and should have enough in my "account" soon to pay off one of the cards balance.

I accessed the Global Client Services that collects the fees, and don't ask me what they are supposed to be doing. I tell Mr. ** I am not happy with what I am seeing with the financial fees, and I want to know what and when they are working on this account, what conversation is with Citibank, to verify they are working this to assist me. He says they don't provide that. I tell him I better see some response soon. I will not pay these high fees and not have the money go to Citibank as I thought. They also told me not to talk to creditors. When bills come in, or credit bureaus/attorneys, send collection notices I was to send to them. I faxed several documents to Mr. ** and still no information or response from him. Last weekend I am served with a lawsuit from an attorney for Citibank. I cannot believe these people can get away with this scam! I'm very disappointed. This is such a mess. I should have just talked to Citi personally! I will never use a credit card again, or such a debt relief agency! It's a rip-off!

My stress level is off the wall. I am severely depressed. I have considered just giving up on life. I am 56, too old to have to keep struggling with this issue and not have resolution. I have been a Citibank customer for 15 years and never a late payment until I started paying the Debt Free Associates that fee. I still cannot believe Citibank did this in view of my payment history! I have proof of these, at least most of them, for years and can be reviewed for accuracy. They also changed their website payment software to not accept any payments early. This was in June of 2009. I quit using that website and used my online banking because they did that.


I signed up with this company in June 2009. I have been paying them in June $477.39, July & Aug $353.39 and thereafter $305.00 per month. I was told not to pay 3 credit cards, that in about 30 months, I should be out of debt. I am still paying this now and my account has very little money in it and now I am being sued by Discover. They are telling me they can't help till I get served by the Sheriff Dept. Is this a scam and am I going to loose everything? Please please help.

Debt Free Associates Company Profile

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Debt Free Associates