The business is called American Legal Plans, but it also seems to be known as Noteworld.
Unfortunately, my father is ill and does not speak English well. My father is not able to work, has no income, and, until recently when his home was foreclosed, he had a difficult time making mortgage payments.
In October of 2011, my father heard about American Legal Plans and they told him that they would help him fight to keep his house, as they specialized in foreclosures. So he signed a contract with them and, per their instructions, he set up a monthly, automatic deduction of $595 from his bank account to pay them. His expectation was that American Legal Plans would help him work out something with the bank for his mortgage so he could keep his house. Since he signed with American Legal Plans in October, he paid them a total of $2,380, which he had to borrow from friends and family.
Despite these payments and their contractual obligations, American Legal Plans seems to have done very little for my father. And whatever work they did do was totally insufficient. In fact, only at the last possible minute did they take any really noticeable action. It turned out that my fathers house was going to be auctioned by the bank on Tuesday, January 3rd. On December 30th in the afternoon, literally just days before the house was auctioned (and the day before New Years eve weekend), they sent him an email advising him to file for bankruptcy immediately -- on his own! It is my understanding that American Legal Plans was aware of my fathers house auction, yet they made no substantive prior attempts to help my
father protect himself. We found out later that American Legal Plans was closed on January 1st and 2nd.
Since my father hired American Legal Plans months earlier and paid them faithfully through automatic deductions at the beginning of each month, why did the company wait until just days before the auction to suggest that my father file for bankruptcy? This was not fair and seems a complete abrogation of the responsibilities American Legal Plans had by receiving payment from my father. Even a person who was healthy and spoke English well would still need more than a one day notice, especially before a national holiday weekend, to do research and take action to file for bankruptcy.
?Additionally, during the time that my father made monthly payments to American Legal Plans, he made numerous attempts to reach out to them and their point of contact at the American Legal Plans assigned law firm to seek advice and find out the status of his situation. They failed to give him any useful information and mostly just told him that they were working on it. From what I can tell, neither they nor American Legal Plans have provided any statements of work, status updates, billable hours, or any kind of invoice or other documentation that would demonstrate any real work on their part.
My father lived with terrible anxiety during those months, and the day he heard that his home was being auctioned off he called me in distress and asked for my help. I immediately called American Legal Plans to find out what happened. I also demanded that they cancel the monthly automatic payment deduction they were taking from my fathers bank account since it was obvious to me that they had not done the work they were obligated to do. When I spoke with a representation, the person asked me why I wanted to cancel, so I explained the situation and they said not to worry and that if the funds for
January were taken, they would refund they money. My father contacted his bank and they said the payment deduction had already been made that day (January 3rd). We called American Legal Plans back and they transferred us to a manager,
to whom we requested a refund. The manager said he would look into it and get back to us. At that point we just wanted to get a refund for Januarys payment of $595 since we cancelled the account and they seemed to have stopped working
for him with the ridiculous December 30th email. When another manager called my father, he was rude and said they would not refund any money and that there is nothing else they could do for him. My father was already upset because he had
lost his home that morning and was going to become homeless. He called me and said the manager called but he couldnt understand what he said, which I believe was because my father couldnt understand why he would be treated the
way he was by American Legal Plans. So I called the manager back and left a number of messages for him. By my fourth try, I got a representative on the line and requested Januarys refund and they said they would email me a form to
fill out and refund the $595.
When I did not receive the email, I tried again and got another representative who said the same thing and requested that my father fill out the form and list how he wanted the funds transferred back, by check or electronically. I waited again and didnt receive the form. After calling yet again, the next representative said he would inform the manager and have
him call me. Another day passed and I never received a call back. So I tried calling the manager again and finally got transferred to him, a Mr. Errol Wilson. When he answered, he was instantly rude and said he wouldnt refund my
fathers January payment. I mentioned that his representative had said we would get a form to fill out and get the $595 refunded. He said that his representative had been wrong. I told the manager that I spoke to different representative who all said the same thing, but the manager said that he did not care and that was final. The manager was not willing to explain anything else, and when I asked him for his company website and mailing address he would not provide them to me. I told him that my father was ill and a senior and he said that it was not their problem and that my father understood everything
that was explained to him. I was shocked that this manager was not willing to research the situation and instead made false assumption over the phone, in addition to his aggressive and nasty behavior.
It is very disturbing to see that American Legal Plans took advantage of my father, who was in a vulnerable situation. I can only imagine that American Legal Plans continues to act unethically ?towards others in similar situations. I have tried to find out if American Legal Plans is licensed to work in California and I do not believe they are licensed here.
My fathers bank statements show the $595 deductions were from Noteworld--SrvCtr PA, which makes me concerned that American Legal Plans is a scam of some sort.