Consumer Complaints and Reviews
F.I.R.E. International is STILL owned by Gary Smith and still practicing under the same name...except now they are targeting people in trouble of foreclosure instead of people needing debt settlement. Here's a help wanted ad I saw in today's newspaper (in Panama). Please call Mr. Sarkis ** (new manager) and give him a piece of your mind!!
HERE'S THE HELP WANTED AD IN LA PRENSA: Professional mortgage brokers or finance agents (Panama City) F.I.R.E Int. Wanted professionals skilled in mortgage knowledge, or have financial backgrounds dealing with customers and banks must have great phone skills, must have good English. Working hours: Monday through Friday 9 AM - 6 PM. PS...write me back and tell me where I can post this info to help people know NOT to trust this company with their mortgage issue!! I PRAY no one else gets ROBBED and SWINDLED by this company!!!
It was in 2009 I think I got involved with fire which was in Florida just known as fire. With all payments I made to them was over $9,000.00. I still have the bank statements showing the amount I paid them and all the papers I signed for fire. The next thing I found out was they moved. I think I contacted fair trade commission regard to fire at that time. I was also handed over to other collection agencies.
F.I.R.E. International is trying to weasel out of their way out of a fraudulent negotiation they handled for me. I am out $1,177.00 - a settlement payment to a $4,500 credit card that has never been settled/paid. 5 months after payment sent to a fraudulent company they instructed me to send it to. Now they won't talk to me. Keep promising to call me back but no one does. A Kazu, supposedly a supervisor, said he would handle but now is nowhere to be found. Isn't there anybody regulating these fraudulent abusive companies????
Fire International took over 3000 dollars claiming they were a debt collections agency but it was a big scam. They would not pay any of my creditors.
This debt settlement company is a call center operation run by a scam artist, con man named GARY SMITH. He is ripping off millions of dollars from people all across the U.S. and he runs his operation in Panama city, Panama. He hires Panamanian workers and pays them a measly salary ($600.00) A MONTH and actually pretends to have operations and offices in New York and the state of Florida, which is totally false. He pretends to be a debt settlement company that will reduce your debt balance with your creditors and starts milking you out of money. When you attempt to contact them, they always put you on hold and they inform you later that they are working on your case, but that eventually they will be back with you and you never hear from them.
They hired 23 workers and they actually do nothing to solve your debt or try to settle it with banks or creditors. It's nothing more than a big scam. And IF YOU WANT to find this guy GARY SMITH, HE IS LOCATED IN PANAMA CITY AND IS LISTED UNDER FIRE INTERNATIONAL. If you need more info contact Luis ** at area code ** and he will supply you with all the details how this rotten operation is run from inside. He is actually a worker at this call center.
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We contracted FIRE International in early January of 2010. Our credit card debt had exceeded $40,000 and we had decided to enlist a group that advertised eliminating a large percentage of my debt through debt settlement. After being told by a man by the name of Danny that an Estimated Payment Confirmation Schedule (EPCS) would be drawn up so as to reduce my debt from the amount mentioned earlier to something near $13,000 in just a few years. In the meantime, the instructions were not to communicate with my creditors and definitely stop payments immediately. We were also told that there would be a multitude of phone calls but be polite and refer them to FIRE's 800 number.
Debt settlement was to cost $4,867.24 and to start the process, two downpayments of $892 equaling $1,784 was paid at separate intervals. Thus, for the next several months, $256.88 was debited from my ACH Debit. During that interim period, two accounts were settled; one comprised paying by bank check in the amount of $2,900 for a debt of $7,000. The other being settled for $2,400 for a debt of $4,600. These accomplishments were noteworthy but not at all as Danny ** had convinced me regarding his speech per telephone back in January of 2010. Besides, only two accounts were settled. This left about eight remaining. My frustrations grew worse. The multitude of harassing phone calls and threatening letters from creditors ensued. Still no communication from FIRE and their website was not accessible any longer!
Now, at least 19 months have passed and communications have become almost non-existent. Phone calls don't get through to people that have been servicing my account. Emails are unanswered and I am told there are problems with the computers for the second time. The infrequent communications are now showing a touch of reluctance and poor behavior. Nothing seems to be as promised, and after complaining to the Better Business Bureau with little satisfaction, money is being debited via ACH to date. My next action is to stop the ACH Debit payments to this fraudulent group at FIRE International and hopefully initiate some legal action towards the likes of Danny, Alfred, Betty, and Vladimir, et. al.
Now, I am getting phone calls and email from Edwin ** after just filing a report today. I read that Fire International is under investigation. I feel at risk of identity theft.
They took all my personal information so I immediately renewed my security alerts to the credit bureaus. George ** and Edwin ** told me I did not qualify (maybe the fact that I work for a law enforcement agency helped). A third party; Teresa at extension: 6501 called me asking for my info after I asked the 1st two that my information not be shared and shredded. I asked if there was a location in Florida; 2152 Tequesta Drive, West Palm Beach, phone no. 1-561-207-7145, and the unknown man from NY answered from what sounded like a cell phone and did not know the address to his office.
Fire International has ruined me. I'm so much further indebted than when I started this with them 1 year ago. They have taken money from my credit cards and put them with over the limit. They have not called as they said they would. There has been no contact for months. Yet, they were taking money out of my account every month (I put a stop payment on this account). I tried calling them nothing. There has been no call backs, no e-mails, nothing. They are a scam and they are now trying to take money under another name. Sorry I don't remember what it was. Anyway, my bank stopped it too. What do I do now? It seems like what I was reading on the others complaints is the same thing that happened to me.
I have no idea how they got my cell phone number. They keep calling from different area codes. I've told them to stop calling and I’ve filed a complaint with the "National Do Not Call List".
I called them July 28th thinking they were affiliated with another company I was dealing with. I filled out all their paperwork and at the end I told them I did not want to enroll and so instead of completing their automated process at the end they just hung up. I tried to send an email requesting my account be canceled but that wasn't good enough. So after a few miscues I was able to send the information in a letter they would accept. This was in the space of about 3 - 4 weeks.
I now got a call from their rep Stanley stating that since I was enrolled that I owed them a cancellation fee that based on my debt was $11,000. He then told me that he knew I couldn't afford that much but if I could pay $500 he wouldn't turn the $11, 00 over to debt collectors. This sounds like intimidation and a scam. I never even used their services and their representatives that signed me up never mentioned a cancellation fee or how to cancel.
I do not know how this company attained my personal information, they have harassed me for several weeks. At first, I just ignored their calls. Then on 7/28, I answered and asked them to stop calling me. They were more than persistent and then I became very angry. They said they would call me every minute of every hour and said they knew where I live and read off my address. They proceeded to call like they said for about a half hour. I am a single mother of three and was very distraught and furious. I spoke to a New York state trooper about this at 11 that evening. I want to pursue this as far as I can. I don't care where they are in New York city or wherever. I will not have my family or I be threatened or intimidated like this ever. If they do know where I live, you can be sure they will never make through my door.
I never gave my number to this company nor am I interested in their services. They have been calling me for four weeks non-stop. I have asked them not to call me but they persistently keep harassing me. When I tried to explain to them that I don't want their help, they argued with me and then hung up. With the level of customer service they have, I am worried this might be some kind of scam.
I even called the number listed on the website to file a complaint. The first person that answered the phone claimed to be a supervisor, so I informed him I was never interested in their services and to please remove my number from their system. After a sales pitch, he reassured me that he would look into it and they would no longer call me. It has been two weeks and they have still called me everyday. They have also pointed out that they have all my information ready to go, all they need is my go signal. I never ever gave them any information. I am extremely concerned this is a scam. Please look into this for me!
I retained their services in December '09. In short: I was lied to by multiple employees about how the program would work, how and when they would contact my creditors as well as contacting me on a monthly basis. My calls and emails were not returned in timely periods. As others have experienced, their "servers" went down in February 2010 and my information was not available for months. Apparently, they have server issues every years it seems. I talked to multiple employees over the past six months, each one having little or no information about what the other one was doing on my account. While I was able to settle one account, they refused to contact a creditor that I wanted to settle with. I terminated my contract and now they are threatening to sue me for all the funds and if I use another company to force me to pay them as well. They also attempted to withdraw money from my account even though our agreement was canceled and they received such notice. Based upon my experience, do not use this company.
In August of 2009, I saw a program on TV about Media Mogul, a member of the Secure Rights Network, which helps with Credit Card debts. I called them and received an email on 9/7/09 to expect a call from Fire International within 48 hours and they did. I signed a contract with Fire International and was told that they would help me fix my credit. Fire International fees were $4,468.94. My debt was $31,093 and they said they would speak to my creditors and bring my debt down to $12,437.24. They told me to stop paying the creditors. I gave them a down payment of $1,300 that they debited from my Visa card on 9/9/09. In the months of September and October 2009, they debited $272.81 from my checking account and $264.84 monthly from November 2009 till February 2010.
I was to call them any time I received a letter from any of the creditors and also to fax the paperwork. Starting in November 2009, whenever I called to speak to a Customer Service Representative, they would tell me their system was down and for me to call back on a Wednesday. When I called on a Wednesday, they would tell me again, "Unfortunately, Madam, our system is down now and we can't look into your account. Just call back again the next Wednesday." I always spoke to three people, Alex, Alfred and Betty. I asked them if they contacted my creditors and they say they couldn't tell me because their system was still down.
In December 2009, I called numerous times and was told they were installing me systems so they couldn't look into my account still. I was told by a representative to just continue making my monthly payments. I make sure the funds were available on the 25th of each month to be debited from my checking account.
I called again in February and was told by representative to start looking for money to pay my creditors. I told the representative that so far I had paid Fire International the total amount of $2,640.26. She said there was no way of her verifying that because their system was still down. She told me to start saving money to pay my creditors and I asked her what they were doing to the monthly money being debited from my account since last year and she said, "Madam, when you have substantial amount of money, maybe your tax refund, then we'll talk." She spoke to me like I was a fool and a child and she said, "I'm hanging up on you now." After she hung up on me, I must have called Fire International 100 times in early March 2010. There was no response.
Alfred told me he was the supervisor. I told him to email me my balance, i.e., how much I owed them and the amount I paid them so far. Alfred said their system was down still so he would give me that information now. That same day, I received an email from Alfred asking me to send him a copy of estimated payment confirmation schedule that they emailed me back in September 2009 because their system was still down and he couldn't look into my account. That same day, March 23rd, 20010, I went to my Bank to stop Fire International from ever trying to debit money from my checking account.
Fire International is a scam and I was ripped off. They used intimation tactics each time I got to speak to them. They never gave me a chance to speak and wouldn't let you finish a sentence. They just kept pocketing my money and refused to do anything for me. I would like for you help look into my complaint so that I can cancel my contract with them and also see if I can get at least some of my money back to pay my creditors.
FIRE International Company Profile
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- FIRE International