It is nice to see regulators on several fronts stepping up the pressure on Legal Helpers and taking action against programs that I have been warning consumers about for quite a long time. Click the video player to watch to the news story and hear some of the allegations of the Illinois Attorney General.
Among other things, it is alleged that…
1. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution contracts out virtually all debt relief services to a third party operated and staffed by non-lawyers.
2. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution lures consumers through multiple marketing methods and claims its services, via a law firm, are superior to other debt settlement services.
3. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution makes numerous claims that a law firm will be handling consumers’ debt resolution but that is not true.
4. Once the consumer signs the agreement with LHDR, all debt resolution services are provided by a third party.
5. Consumers report they have no contact with a lawyer after enrolling.
6. This advance fee structure makes it difficult for consumers to save funds for anticipated settlement offers.
7. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution rarely, if ever, negotiates settlements with all consumer’s creditors.
8. In numerous instances consumer’s are sued by one or more of their creditors or by one or more debt collection agencies.
9. Many consumers drop out of the program after they have paid most or all of their fees to defendant, but before defendant, or more accurately, the third parties they have agreements with, performs any debt settlement or debt mediation services.
10. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution charges extraordinary “Up Front Fees.”
11. Participation in the Legal Helpers Debt Resolution program does not produce the positive results that consumers expected at the time they enrolled.
There are several other important allegations including Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices, such as: LHDR represents to consumers that it has “special expertise in “debt settlement” or “debt negotiation,” when in fact the defendant’s program has no special expertise, and consumers are just as likely to obtain reduced settlements with creditors through their own efforts;”
You can read the full complaint against Legal Helpers Debt Resolution.
I hope several other states will follow the Illinois AG and start taking a closer look at the results, or lack thereof, that Legal Helpers Debt Resolution is obtaining for consumers in their respective States.