[sticky post]Debt Reduction Law Firms The Truth is Reviled

The truth is finally out about companies who claim to be a law firm and offer debt relief services to people desperate for help. On Monday July 9th the Illinois Attorney General along with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced its settlement with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC. According to the suit brought against the law firm by Lisa Madigan, which was filed in March 2011, the law firm unlawfully charged its clients upfront fees to provide debt settlement services with promises to rid them of their debt.

As a part of this settlement, LHDR will provide over two million dollars in restitutions which will go toward the Illinois residents who pair the firm for their debt resolution services but failed to receive the services they were promised. In addition the firm has agreed not to take on any new clients in Illinois.

The truth is, this company, like many others out there, gave the appearance that their clients were receiving legal services when in fact what they were offering had nothing to do with the practice of law. According to the Attorney General, “The Company’s primary purpose was to squeeze thousands of dollars in illegal upfront fees from struggling families for supposed debt relief that never materialized”

Unfortunately, ever since the Federal Trade Commission published their regulations regarding debt settlement and the matter of charging upfront fees in October 2010, many debt relief companies looked to find other ways to get around this ruling. This resulted in companies partnering with so called law firms to offer what they called “legal services” and charging their clients monthly upfront fees for these services.

This recent court settlement goes to prove that these companies are not providing the legal services that they make their clients believe.  As the suit alleges, the use of attorney’s was nothing more than an attempt to circumvent laws that ban companies from charging upfront fees. It’s goal was to use the attorney to act as a front for the company in the hopes it would fall under the exception clause in the resolution.

If you are in need of debt relief, make sure you do your research and know the facts. Ask the company if they charge their fees upfront. A reputable company will not only charge their fees once a settlement has been reached, but will go a step further and base their fees on their performance. If a company if claiming to offer legal services or legal protection, ask exactly what they cover. Ensure you ask if they will represent you in court at no extra charge, and if they will protect your rights under the FDCPA with no out of pocket expenses to you.

You will find most if not all of the law firm based companies will not actually represent you or provide any legal services except to “assist” you in writing a response. This means you are paying typically a large retainer and monthly service fees for something you could find on the internet for free.

The Pay as you settle program, or PAYS, has been operating under one simple idea for several years. Provide debt reduction services not promises. Since its inception, it has, as the saying goes, “put its money where its mouth is” by not charging any of its fees until the settlement has been reached, and basing that fee on the savings.  This means you get exactly what you pay for and the company has an incentive to do the very best for you. 

Law suits versus attorneys providing credit card debt solutions
Lately there has been a great deal of scuttle about the debt negotiation industry, and for the most part rightfully so. The industry within the past has been marred with scam businesses whose only desire was creating a fortune fast, off the backs of individuals desperately seeking aid.

Seeing this, the Federal Trade Commission came up with a set of rules and regulations that came into effect October 2010, regulating how a debt settlement company could operate. Their final rule which amongst other things, prohibits any debt relief organization from collecting upfront fees. It is important to note that the rule covers attorneys who offer debt relief programs. They noted that it was critical to maintain the rule covering law firms also as firms who partner with attorneys.

Want happened next is to be expected. A flood of companies searching to be able to continue to charge advance fees joined with law firms to act as a front for the debt settlement firm. They then devised a loop hole to have the ability to continue to fleece their buyers of cash. Rather than charging their settlement fees upfront, they instead charged a hefty retainer and then a monthly legal service fee. This is all on top of the percentage they charge for truly settling the debt.

You will find some fundamental problems with this practice and let me explain. Very first of all, anybody who truly takes the time to read the enrollment documents will see that these law firms aren't truly representing you for anything much more than negotiating your debt. Well heck it doesn't require a law degree to negotiate debt and by no stretch of the imagination is it a legal matter.

Secondly, not only are they only representing you for negotiating your debt, but in reality they will not represent you in the courtroom what so ever, unless you choose to pay them far more money. Many will claim that they give letters of representation to all of your debt collectors and that will stop the collection calls. Let me tell you that this just isn't accurate. Not only is it the original creditor’s legal right to contact you, but sending them a legal notice like that will typically force them to take you out of collections and immediately place you to their legal division for a possible law suit. Due to this, smart settlement businesses do not send these letters to all of the collectors or else you'd see law suits left and right.

An additional strategy they use to convince individuals into singing up with them is to say that going with a law practice is the only way to protect you once the creditor sues. Let me first point out that despite the fact that it is feasible for a creditor to sue you, it can be more of the exception than the rule as this method costs them cash and time and frequently gives them absolutely nothing in turn. When there's absolutely nothing for them to go after then what is the purpose. The second thing is, having a lawyer settling your credit card debt under no circumstances lessens the potential risk of being sued and might, when they send out letters of representation, increase those possibilities. Don't forget what I talked about before that in the event you're sued they will in no way represent you so you’re essentially left holding the bag. The truth is when a creditor attempts to sue you, it isn't the end of the world. Any debt consolidation company can still work together with the creditor and arrange a settlement prior to the suit reaches the court.

Consider that the motive a creditor sues is typically to pressure you into contacting them and working out an arrangement. Having you pay back a portion of the debt is typically in their best interest instead of dragging the matter though the court system, where they're not certain to obtain any money.

One more huge false impression is that your case is being handled by attorneys. Many of these debt settlement lawyers will give you the belief that your case is being evaluated by and lawyer and that those lawyers will be calling your creditors to work out the negotiations. Some might even convince you attorneys could get greater settlements for you than debt relief companies.

The reality is that in many circumstances, your file has in no way even been looked over by a lawyer. They farm out their services to a debt settlement company who deals with the whole back end. In many if not all instances the client never once spoke to an attorney regarding their case. This basically indicates you are spending money on legal services that you are not in fact obtaining.

In a present class action law suit towards one of the largest of these debt settlement law firms, A consumer claims that they did get s summons from a collector and right after sending it over to the law firm they in fact obtained a response stating the client hadn't paid the lawyer to reply to a law suit but rather to just manage and negotiate debts. In this instance the client claims that not only did the lawyer not help with responding to the suit, but in no way contacted the creditor to set up for a settlement or payment program.

The issue is now to the point where many State Attorney Generals are now actively suing debt settlement law firms who are taking fees upfront after receiving many complaints to the offices. The Illinois State attorney states in a law suit that debt settlement law firms claim that a national law firm’s debt settlement program is much better than debt settlement with a non-law firm, without having any basis for such statement.

If you’re struggling with unsecured credit card debt and you're trying to find debt consolidation programs to assist you to deal with the situation, be sure you're working with a company that does not charge their fees until they settle. It is even far better to find a organization that bases their fees off of the quantity of debt they help save, not your total debt amount. This will give them the encouragement to settle for the smallest amount.
It is also critical to have the company review all of your possibilities to ensure that you've a clear comprehension of what's available and how each one of those options will impact you. Debt negotiation is not for everybody and is regarded as a hardship and you must explore all available options before arriving at a conclusion.

Visit our link for additional info about the numerous debt consolidation programs or to speak to a debt analyst that can assist you with finding the proper option for you.

Do you have to have a lawyer to perform debt settlement these days?
Recently I have been listening to companies which are informing people who are searching for debt consolidation programs, that now use a law office to manage your case. They say that it's now illegal for organizations which are not law firms to do debt settlement.

This isn't really accurate. The problem is that with companies, such as these law firms, that ask for advance fees for their services. Most all law firms will charge their clients up to a thousand dollars as a retainer. In addition they normally also charge as much as eighty dollars monthly for their legal services.

Let’s take a look at this. You are retaining the services of an attorney. That sounds excellent! Now what precisely are you retaining them to do? Well if you study their legal agreements you're retaining them for the purposes of negotiating your credit card debt. Last time I looked there wasn't any legal paperwork necessary to do that, no courtroom appearances. In fact there's no requirement for a law firm or even a paralegal what so ever to simply negotiate your credit card debt.

Second like I said previously, you're also having to pay a monthly legal fee. What's that for? Well they will tell you they're contacting your creditors telling them that they're representing you. Well what they're doing is just mailing them a power of attorney letter. This mind you most collection organizations file inside the big circular file cabinet. Mailing this notice won't stop collection phone calls. Additionally, they do not tell you this, but they do not deliver this letter to all of your creditors. The reason behind this is that several creditors will promptly send your file over to their legal division for a possible law suit when they receive any such correspondence.

The only real approach to get the telephone calls to totally cease will be to send them a cease and desist letter telling them that you don't intend to pay them the debt and that they're to stop all communications. You can envision what this type of notice will result in. In the event you cut off all potential ways the creditor has to collect the money from you, it'll almost certainly cause them to make use of the court system to recoup some of their debts.
Also, most of these settlement lawyers aren't even doing the work for you. You will find many pending law suits against these law firms proclaiming that every facet of the settlement work is getting carried out by non lawyer for profit companies. Which means you're paying for services of an attorney but an attorney isn't actually supplying you those services.

Now let’s look at how they charge their negotiation fees. Most law firms will charge a flat fee of fifteen to twenty percent of your total debt amount. This payment is spread out within the initial year or two monthly payments you make. Meaning you are paying the law firm for services that they have not really completed. In addition if you are paying them a set amount, where's their motivator to negotiate for the lowest total amount?

Now according to the Federal Trade Commission’s ruling established October 27th an attorney can't charge any upfront fees except if the customer has a in person meeting with the attorney that would be handling the case. This doesn't imply that you walk into an office building, shake hands with a lawyer, then have a paralegal hand you paperwork to sign. This meant that the actual lawyer that you talked with, would go over the important points of the program along with you at that time. And that attorney will be the individual who will be dealing with your case. This is just not how these settlement law firms operate.

As for the statement that only a law firm can offer debt consolidation programs . Well that is not exactly accurate. What the Ftc ruling says is that a business offering credit card debt help can’t charge advance fees for their services. It also says that they must base their fees upon their performance. What this means is they have to charge based on just how much they're able to help you save.

Not only is this much better for the consumer, it also gives that firm a motivation to do the very best they can for you. The more money they are able to save you the more cash they are able to earn. That's beneficial to each party. Incorporate that with the reality that you don't pay for the services before the settlement has been achieved. This means that you are going to truly be able to save up more cash at a quicker rate and get the debts paid off faster.

I recommend you speak to a debt analyst who can review with you all your options to see which one is truly best within your scenario.

Effective Siberian Husky training strategies for their owners.
Siberian Huskies may wind up being exceptional pets to keep, but there are various issues you really want to keep in mind before you go about deciding on and purchasing one.


To begin, this is not your common dog. Siberian Huskies use a special disposition, making it necessary to train them differently in comparison with several other dogs. So, if you intent to acquiring a husky you must be required to learn proper Siberian Husky training tactics.


Primarily trained to become sled dogs, huskies are familiar with being instructed with a self-confident and strong-willed master. Therefore, you need to set up your role as "lead dog" as soon as possible so you won't end up having obedience issues with your pet in the course of training.


You have to help make your dog sense that you are in management of every circumstance and you can handle keeping your pet free from difficulties. This is simply not to express for one to bully the pup, as that might actually be counterproductive. Siberian Husky training a firm, but adoring tactic as these puppies are amiable by nature.


Another important reminder would be to begin training when your doggy remains a young pup that allows you to build your leadership as soon as possible.


Siberian huskies normally absolutely love the outside, this means you should never have any hassle training them to urinate and defecate outside of the house. What you sometimes have a trouble with is precisely how to train the animal to never run away out of your home. One important thing that huskies love to do most is to run free, and that means you will need to identify an effective way to make your dog understand the restrictions of exactly where he can run. Along with running away, another hazard resulting from a husky's love for running is that he might end up going after your neighbour's pet or other animals inside the area.


You should teach your husky to fight this instinctive want to run and give chase. Siberian husky training hence requires the effective use of strong fences to keep your dog within limits. Take your pet dog to the fenced location and enable him or her to run around for around an hour or so daily. This should be sufficient for him or her to receive the necessary physical exercise and tire out his excess energy. As well, the confined area will teach your dog that there are boundaries to where he is able to go.


The good thing is that this breed of dogs is incredibly intelligent, a trait which may surely make Siberian husky training simpler. Nevertheless, as mentioned previously, a unique set of techniques will have to be utilised in training this sort of dog. Below are great tips to get a more effective Siberian husky training :


* Always put yourself first. For example, any time you bring your family dog out for his or her daily exercise, make sure to step through the door first. Do the same when you are getting back inside the house. You need to eat first before feeding your pet dog. Anything you do, do it for yourself first so your puppy understands that YOU come first.

* Always repeat the pup's name just before giving an order so that he'll know that this is his name. Continually be assured in giving orders so that your pet dog knows that you're a trusted leader.

* Always create eye contact when admonishing or correcting your pet dog to make sure that he / she knows just what they did incorrect and why you are punishing him.


These are simply a few suggestions to assist you while you begin your Siberian husky training program. You could browse on the web or talk to an expert for more information on training huskies .


Writer's Block: Pet central
Some animal rights activists are fighting to replace the term 'owner' with 'guardian' to convey a more balanced relationship between a person and her or his pet. Do you agree or disagree with the importance of this mission?

I think that symantics of a term will not do a thing to make people care more for their pets. People dump their pets on a daily basis most reciently because of our failing economy and calling them their guardian will not change that.

Sled dogs could hold key to diabetes question

Siberian Huskies are used in the Iditarod because they are some of the most energy efficient dogs out there Even after running hundreds of miles on a day to day basis, they barley show any signs of fatigue

Could their proficiency for burning fat be the key to treating obesity in type 2 diabetes?

On the road to discover this is Michael Davis who as a professor, has studied exercise physiology in Siberian Huskies. Davis recently concluded the initial research phase of examining how dogs training for the punishing Iditarod, become "insulin-sensitive" and effortlessly transform fat into energy.

"If we can figure out what exercise is doing to start the process, then we may be able to find how it can be applied to everyone, whether or not they are physically able to exercise," he says.

Approximately twenty million Americans have diabetes. It is widely believed that by exercising and eating a healthy diet, a person can help prevent the beginning of type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation has contributed one-third of the $30,000 research grant. Oklahoma State University is bankrolling the remainder.

Insulin, a hormone created in the pancreas, typically helps the cells in the body extract glucose from the blood stream and turns it into energy. People with type 2 diabetes often have problems absorbing glucose.

In January, Davis picked sixteen huskies in Iditarod that were in excellent shape from the kennel of one of the recent racers and had the dogs run for twenty-two miles at a quick speed of eight mph. Half the dogs were anesthetized for five minutes while researchers took small muscle biopsies from their legs; the other half were measured for insulin sensitivity using catheters.

Davis hopes to be able to understand how cells are reacting under various physical conditions by calculating the same dog’s metabolic stress on their muscles again after the summer, when they are no longer in shape.

The research he is doing has drawn the attention of at least one animal rights group who does not approve of experimentation.

Answering their statements, Davis mentions that compares to smaller animals such as mice and rats, dogs share more DNA with humans. "There is a greater likelihood that something you discover in dogs will be directly relevant to humans," he says.

Dog food lawsuit files against Canidae

This is a warning going out those those people who feed their pets Canidae brand products. The sales people may not be telling their potential clients that they have modified their original formula. This new formula is no longer free of gluten because they added barley. If you know your dog is intolerant of gluten, you are going to want to start looking around for another brand dog food.

The changes in their formula may also affect dogs that do not necessarily have issues with gluten. They have added ingredients such as rice bran and peas which have been known to contribute to intestinal gas and may upset the digestive system in some dogs. Not all dogs will have a problem with the changes in the formula. For some dogs it may take a few days to adjust to the changes. If your dog has a delicate digestion system, then they may no longer be able to stomach the food.

The company may also be replacing �herring meal� with a generic �ocean fish meal�. This opens the possibility for the company to use a variety of fish from one batch of food to another without the need for modifying their ingredient listing on the packaging.

The statement that has been heard from Canidae is that they are "diversifying" their ingredients. Some people may feel this statement seems positive, but please keep in mind that not all dogs do well with the ingredients that they are including in their product.

As a result from these changes, a class action lawsuit has been filed January 26th 2009 against the creators of Canidae dog food. This suit was filed on behalf of dog owners nationwide and seeks payment for vet bills alleged to be a direct result of dogs taking ill after consuming the dog food between last summer and present. They hope to have the court order Canidae and Diamond Pet Foods, to begin a corrective informational campaign.

Aligations from complaints posted on various internet platforms state that dogs affected by the food have experienced loose and bloody stools, lethargy, rectal bleeding and even death.

The company states that these changes were intended as an improvement, but it seems that many feel it is the primary cause of many ailing dogs. With the economy as it is and many people finding it hard as it is to juggle bills and family expenses, it is no wonder many people are forced to enter debt reduction programs to cope with these mounting vet bills. It is no wonder they are looking to recoup these costs by joining the pending lawsuit.

If you would like more information about the lawsuit please visit www.dogfoodclassaction.com.

Fido needs food

Having a pet in the house is diffrent now then it was just a few years ago. Gone are the Britney Spears of the world entering a LA pet shop and dropping $3000 on a Yorkie. Do something like that now and suffer the ire of PETA. Even our new president is being affected by the recent developments in the economy. He has realized that you cannot simply enter a pet store and 30 minutes later walk out with a new family member. The president has said that trying to find a new dog for his children is tougher than finding a Commerce secretary. He has been trying to model what a responsible new potential pet owner should be like during a recession, or any other time for that matter. During these times we must consider the needs of all the family members and wait until the household is settled before inviting a new family member. He is also showing setting a good example by getting a pet from a shelter or rescue group.

Although the president's choice of a new family pet, and whether it will be a labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound has been all over the media, the top story is the bleek future of pets in a time when many are struggling to pay for utility bills.In our nation's hayday, it was common to see stories that made us to giggle and shake our heads about how people would spend exorbitant amounts of money on their pets. They believed that their dogs actually appreciated the posh bottled water that was served to them in a crystal doggie glass. Stories of million dollar doggie trust funds, thousand dollar doggie hotels, pearl necklaces, and other examples doggie decadence covered the papers daily.

Ever since economy has spiraled down, stories of pets have evolved and are now much more daunting and saddening. The media all across our country have been reporting about local animal shelters becoming filled far beyond their capacity, often times being forced to euthanize a greater number of otherwise healthy pets simply because of space constraints. Still others have abandoned their pets in foreclosed houses or chained up in back yards of abandoned properties, left to fend for themselves, often times un able to reach food and water slowly starving to death at the end of a lead. The LA times even made pets and the economy their features story of the New Year. Pets are quickly becoming the luxury that can no longer be afforded.

The current downslide follows a previous upswing seen in adoption rates of the recient past. For nearly a decade shelters and rescues have been seeing a steady rise in the rate of adoptions a starke difference from the overwhelming intake and decline in new adoption applications. There is no real way of knowing if we have seen the bottom of this staggering trend or if there is more despair to come. There is one certain thing, it is not getting any better.

Any progress made in the past of educating the public on the need to adopt from shelters instead of purchasing from a puppy store means nothing if our failing economy causes people to not be able to afford to own a pet or take care of the pets that they already have in their home. Vet costs alone have been a major factor in family's decisions to give up their beloved pets. With the average vet visit costing in the range of $200 a visit, people often have to decide whether they can spend this month's credit card payment and unless they find a way to reduce their credit card debt, they often have little choice but to give up their pet.

Another sign of the rapid decline of the luxury pet market was the cancelation New York's Pet Fashion Week. With all this negative news on the pet industry it shoould be mentioned that pets have a lot of good affects. Vets across the nation have said that pets are an excellent way to lower blood pressure which helps justify spending the money spent on them.

The only way for many people to avoid having to make tough decisions such as of paying bills of buying food for Fido, is to get themselves in a position to weather the economic storm. For many people this could mean entering into a debt relief program or other ways of lowering their household expenses. The best choise is not always bankruptcy for these embattled pet owners who do not want to deal with the court system, paying attorney fees nor having the black mark on their credit for up to ten years. Often times credit card counseling, which is run by the creditors, is not a viable option since in most cases the payments are no less and sometimes more then what they are paying at the moment. Again this makes the owner struggle with pet food not to mention vet bills as mentioned earlier.

Whatever solution you may decide, should you find yourself in this same situation, ensure that you educate yourself on the differences between the programs and fully understand the pitfalls. In most cases speaking to someone who can assist you in settling your debt can be helpful and is suggested over going it alone.

The question of pets and the economy will most likely continue as long as there is an recession in our nation. The underlying issue is that we either need to deal with the debt we have and survive this crisis, or resort to what many have and abandon the family pet. Where will this trend end? Will the next crisis cause us to decide whether to feed our kids and pay for medical insurance or leave them on the side of the street to fend for themselves.

Greed driven tactics of credits cost consumers billions of dollars
In the midst of all the political turmoil there is one issue that is being quite overshadowed. And this issue is that of unsecured credit card debt and the way the credit card banks are acting towards their customers. These credit card companies have been employing a number of scandalous techniques in order to for lack of a more fitting word rob cardholders of their hard earned income.

One of the worst ploys is to activate the financially devastating universal default. Thus allowing the creditors to jack up someone’s APR if they see any history. Even if those negative remarks have not a thing to do directly with that exact creditor. In reality what might take place is someone simply falls behind just one payment on one of their creditors and then come to realize that all of their creditors have raised their interest rate. After the rates have jumped up the predicament can very easily spring out of control, typically the payments at least double and then all of the money goes right to interest. Holding the debtor stuck in debt for decades.

During recent months the creditors have been employing yet one more cruddy tactic that helps them trip off the universal default. Huge sums of creditors have been reducing a cardholder’s credit line to right above their balance, without warning the debtor at all. After they exceed their limit not only can the creditor now charge a fee but now they can launch the universal default and rise up the interest rate too.

As someone can envision this has an extreme negative impact on someone’s financial predicament. Consumers are seeing themselves stuck in such a worse spot than they were in to begin with. Credit card debt is a horror that can literally be like a cancerous growth to someone’s financial well being. For these consumers there are a couple credit debt relief procedures that are available to assist them in getting out of debt.

One of the most lucrative plans that have been enormously assisting US consumers is a debt settlement program. This is a program that helps debtors to get out of debt very fast and at the same time save them a huge sum of money in the process. Currently there is no quicker method in which to evade the swamp of bad credit card debt other than a bankruptcy hearing. With the peril of the financial system right now people should really try and focus on getting out of debt, which in turn will aide them to stay alive and survive what will turn into a full blown depression.

Siberian Husky puppy

So you have decided to get a new puppy. You look through the various breeds out there and have fallen in love with the blue eyes of a Siberian Husky Puppy. You should also be told that they do have their challenges, and do not make the ideal pet for everyone who is wants one.

Siberian Husky puppies are not  guard dogs, although those not familiar with their true nature may be frightened by their striking appearance. If you want a husky with aggressive guard-dog instincts forget it.

If you work for eight hours a day, or have room for only a single dog in your home then please don't get a husky. Although, huskies are capable of very strong affection for their family members, they are also highley friendly to strangers. So, if you want the fierce loyalty of a one-man dog don't look toward a Siberian Husky.

Siberian Huskies have a natural desire for digging many holes in backyards. If you are not perpared to have a landscap full of craters, then I highly recommend not getting a husky.

A Siberian, for his own good, needs to be kept confined or under control on a leash at all times. If you are someone  who thinks it is cruel to crate a dog you will not want to get a Siberian Husky Puppy.

If you have read this blog so far, and you have not run screaming in fear, and are your still determined to own a husky, then  take great pride  in joining the fold in the smug complacency of knowing that we own the most beautiful, the smartest, the most nearly ideal dog in the world . . .



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