SCAM ALERT - This is the story of Link & Associates.
One year ago, I received a letter from the IRS threatening to Levy my bank account. I was desperate so I answered a radio ad for tax debt settlement. The ad sounded good. I was connected by a secondary service to Link & Associates. I spoke with Tim Nelson, a well-spoken "case manager". He said that they could reduce my tax debt from 40K to 12K (plus their fee of $3,450).
They sent me a very professional looking questionnaire and papers to sign. Tim assured me that I would be protected from levy, liens and the settlement would be accepted by the IRS within a few months. Strangely enough, Tim would only contact me on the phone and not make any guarantees over e-mail. I filled out the paperwork and signed the papers (stupid me). I knew it was a risk, but I was desperate. I let them draft my bank account in the amount of $500 a month.
As the weeks went on, I would check in with Tim about my case. He would grow more and more evasive with direct questioning about my case. He also told me not to contact the IRS (warning flag). He said it might mess up the deal. I should have known then, but I am a trusting guy and he was very convincing. He assured me that everything was under control.
So six months pass and I get levied by the IRS. I was absolutely shocked and sickened! Thank God, the IRS didnt levy me a day sooner or they would have gotten everything I own. This absolutely stressed me out. Can you imagine having a good chunk of your money taken when you are promised that it wouldnt happen? I called Tim about it and he said , It was the IRS that levied you. I thought, REALLY?! Are you seriously thinking I dont know that?! I already knew that,
of course! That was the only information he had, like he was clueless. He then asked me to get him the order of levy from my bank and some other irrelevant information. He acted like he was going to try to get the funds returned, but that never happened.
I realized that they were powerless in this scenario and that scared me. It also scared me that I was being misled. Against Tims advice, I contacted the IRS to see what was going on. The IRS representative told me that Link & Associates had only contacted them one time when I signed up with them to check what my debt amount was. I was floored!!! Tim had told me that they had multiple correspondences with the IRS. So this makes the third time that things went way wrong. I was in too deep so I was hoping and praying that this would turn out good.
A few weeks pass and I contact the IRS again. They tell me that a payment agreement has been set up for me. I asked what the total balance was and they told me 40K. So basically, all they did was set up a payment plan for the original amount I owed. About this same time, my final payment to Link & Associates was withdrawn from my account. How convenient, huh? A couple of weeks later, I get a notice of Lien on my property.
This means that everything I own will have a lien attached to it. It also goes on my credit report. It was a horrible blow to me. I have been struggling to improve my credit score so I could buy a house for my family and this just blew it out of the water. I called Tim about it in disbelief. He said, This happened before I signed up with them. Not true. I had received the first notice of lien 10 months after I signed with them. I called these guys to avoid this.
So, at this point, it has been a full year, I have fully paid for their services ($3,450) and all they had done was get me levied, a lien on my property and credit report, and set up a payment plan with NO settlement. I could have done this all myself easily, working directly with the IRS and not been levied or spent the $3,450 for their services. Wow, it just blows my mind how people can take advantage of desperate, hardworking people with families.
Moral of the story:
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Of course, I checked them out online before I signed with them and they had no BBB complaints (at the time). Now they have multiple. You can see the responses to complaints are vengeful and heartless. Do not fall victim to this scam. These people are vultures in the truest sense of the word. I have lost so many nights of sleep worrying about this and the nightmare has come true. Don't let this happen to you!!!!