• Report: #423917

Complaint Review: Topaz Financial Services

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  • Submitted: Fri, February 13, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, January 13, 2010

  • Reported By:San Antonio Texas
Topaz Financial Services
Northwest Center 7550 IH 10 West, Suite 100 San Antonio , Texas 78229 San Antonio,Houston, Austin, Texas U.S.A.

Topaz Financial Services, Swift Rock, Mesa Rock Rip Off, treats employees like numbers, RUN! San Antonio,Houston, Austin Texas

*UPDATE Employee: Please contact me if you have a complaint

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Derrin Scott, The owner of Topaz Financial Services, Mesa Rock, and Swift Rock cheats his employees and is a wolf in sheeps clothings

*UPDATE Employee: Topaz Financial Services charges excessives fees and cheats employees

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Buyer Beware of Topaz Financial Services, Swift Rock Financial Services, and Mesa Rock Financial

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Topaz, Swift Rock, Mesa Rock, CY Debt (all the same company!)....all looney...stay away!

*Consumer Comment: RE:

*Author of original report: Topaz Financial Services!

*UPDATE Employee: Nice try Abby........

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Why Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement Is Better
Than Hiring a Settlement Company Topaz Financial Services

If you are leaning toward debt settlement as your preferred strategy, the next decision is whether to use the do-it-yourself approach or hire a third-party professional settlement company to handle the negotiations for you. In this two-part article, I'll discuss some important reasons why the do-it-yourself approach makes a lot more sense for most consumers than using a third-party settlement company.

FEES

The first big reason why DIY debt settlement is better than using a third-party company is the FEES involved. With a professional company, you can expect to pay steep fees under one of two pricing systems that are used in the industry. In the following paragraphs, I will describe these two systems and give an example of how the fees would work under each system.

Contingency Fee Structure

1. Administrative fee (3% to 6% of debt enrolled)
2. Monthly service fee ($30 to $80 per month)
3. Negotiation fee (25% of savings on each account settled)

Example 1: You have $30,000 of debt. You hire a settlement company that charges 4% of the debt as an administrative fee, plus $40 per month, plus 25% of whatever they save you in the negotiation. You agree to a monthly payment into the program of $600. Assume the company manages to settle all your debts for an average of 40 cents on the dollar. At $600 per month, it will take 32 months to complete the program. Your total payout to the creditors will be $12,000. Your three different fees will add up to $6,980 ($1,200 administrative, $1,280 in monthly fees, plus $4,500 in negotiation fees). So your total payout will be $18,980 ($12,000 to the creditors, plus $6,980 in fees).

Front-Loaded Fee Structure

1. Flat percentage of enrolled debt (12% to 16%)
2. Fee paid over 10 to 18-month period
3. Monthly service fee ($30 to $80 per month)

Example 2:You have $30,000 of debt. You hire a settlement company that charges 15% of the debt on the flat fee method, plus $40 per month. You agree to a monthly payment into the program of $600. Assume the company manages to settle all your debts for an average of 40 cents on the dollar. At $600 per month, it will take 30 months to complete the program. Your total payout to the creditors will be $12,000. Your three different fees will add up to $5,700 ($4,500 flat fee, plus $1,200 in monthly fees). So your total payout will be $17,700 ($12,000 to the creditors, plus $5,700 in fees).

To be sure, the above examples over-simplify the whole process, mainly because the debt level will not remain static at $30,000, but will inflate with interest and fees for at least the first six months (assuming you were current or near-current at the time of enrollment).

At first glance, the fee structure in Example 2 might look better, because the total fees are $1,280 less than the fees in Example 1 for the same amount of debt. However, there are two very serious problems with this second fee structure.

First, with the negotiation fees set at a flat 15% of the enrolled debt, the settlement company makes exactly the same amount on your case if they obtain 50% settlements as they do if they obtain 25% settlements across the board. Either way, in our Example 2, they collect $5,700 in fees. So where is the incentive to grind it out with the creditors to get you the lower percentage deals? At least with the contingency-based fee structure, the company makes a percentage of what they save you, so they have a built-in incentive to obtain lower settlements.

Second, under the Example 2 fee structure, the fees are "front-loaded," meaning they are collected during the first 10-18 months of a 30 month (or longer) program. So during the first year or more, most of the money you are paying into the program is absorbed by fees, and very little is left over to actually pay settlements. If you do decide to use a third-party professional settlement company, use one that charges a percentage of the savings, with low administrative and monthly fees. That way, more of your money will go toward settling your accounts rather than paying fees.

With the DO-IT-YOURSELF approach, there are no administrative fees, monthly fees, and negotiation fees (either front-loaded or based on percentage of savings) to worry about. So even if you don't do quite so well as a professional firm at getting low percentage settlements, you'll still save a pile of money in fees. And there is more than money to be saved. There is also TIME to be saved by getting out of debt much faster on your own. Using the first example above, with $6,980 in fees, at $600 per month funding level, that means an EXTRA YEAR IN THE PROGRAM!

Conclusion: You'll get out of debt FASTER by doing it yourself, and you'll save $1,000s in the process.

LOSS of FLEXIBILITY

One of the most attractive features of the debt settlement approach is its tremendous flexibility. Under virtually every other type of debt relief program, you are required to make a fixed monthly payment into the program. This is true of debt consolidation, credit counseling, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In the past, it was NOT true of debt settlement. In other words, let's say you've agreed to $600 per month into the program as your monthly goal or "target" payment, with the aim of settling $30,000 of debt in less than 3 years. In prior years, it used to be possible for you to call the settlement company and say, "Look, the car needs new tires. I'm going to need to skip my payment this month." The result was simply adding a month to the program, and this flexibility was very important to people. In fact, it was often quoted by customers as the number one thing they liked about debt settlement.

Nowadays, however, the third-party settlement companies have moved more and more toward fixed monthly payment requirements. Why? Because that is how the fees are collected! If you are not making a monthly payment, then they cannot automatically deduct their fee. This is even more so under the "front-loaded" fee structure discussed above, but it also exists under the first example, because that's how the monthly fees and negotiation fees are collected. So what started out as a way to provide increased flexibility and give consumers more options and more control has evolved into a more restrictive program with less flexibility. To be fair, some settlement companies will still allow occasional missed payments, but if it happens too frequently, you will be dropped from the program.

With DIY debt negotiation and settlement, the original concept of total flexibility is restored. Since you are in the driver's seat, you are completely in control over your monthly funding level. You control the cash, and no one can cancel you if you need to skip a payment here or there!

Conclusion: The DIY approach to debt settlement restores the all-important flexibility that struggling debtors need in order to get back on their feet financially.

In the second part of this article, we'll look at some additional reasons why doing it yourself is safer than using a third-party debt company to settle your debts.

Karomiry
San Antonio, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/13/2009 05:22 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Topaz-Financial-Services/San-AntonioHouston-Austin-Texas-78240/Topaz-Financial-Services-Swift-Rock-Mesa-Rock-Rip-Off-treats-employees-like-numbers-RU-423917. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Please contact me if you have a complaint

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

My name is Steve Speed and as the Director of Compliance for the companies mentioned in this thread I will just say that we take great pride in negotiating and settling millions of dollars of debt on behalf of our clients each month. We have thousands of clients and though we attempt to service them all without undue conflict, sometimes that is not possible or even a realistic expectation. Occasionally our clients chafe under creditor harassment, which may include litigation or threats of litigation. Sometimes
they may lose their jobs or their patience.

When our clients have concerns our staff seeks to resolve them quickly and to the clients satisfaction. Unfortunately most of the issues raised on this thread are not from actual clients. Many of these complaints have been fabricated by unscrupulous competitors or collectors looking to disparage us.

Unfortunately, some former employees who may have been

disgruntled with their commission plans have also chosen to post negative comments. While we wish that these individuals would address their issues in an appropriate forum that could allow for resolution of their grievance, we do understand that the internet and message boards like this one offer a place for such misunderstandings to be aired. In the past we have attempted to react to such postings with an immediate response.


In the future, we would request that anyone who may have a concern that needs to be addressed contact me directly at 512-539-4713. This is my direct line and I answer it myself. I look forward to assisting you with any issues you may have.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Derrin Scott, The owner of Topaz Financial Services, Mesa Rock, and Swift Rock cheats his employees and is a wolf in sheeps clothings

AUTHOR: Rj - (U.S.A.)

The owner of Topaz Financial Services, Mesa Rock Financial Services, And Swift Rock Financial service is deceitful, shady, misleads, and cheats employees. If you are a Consumer thinking about doing business with these companies or an employee considering working for any of the aforementioned companies don't get involved with these companies.  For of all, the Owner Darrin Scott is an absolute fraud.  He professess to be a Christian and run a Christian based company yet he has cheated hundreds of ex-employees. The managers of the company lie to potential employess by saying they can make alot of money, yet people are rarely paid the commissions they earned.  They lie and say that the compensation is hourly plus commission yet the hourly wage is $7/hr and a draw against commission.  They don't give you a statement of the deals they pay you for (which is required by law) and have once you mention it to them they fire you.  They are a revolving door and once they owe somebody commission they just fire them and re-hire new poeple.  The Owner Derrin Scott wears gaudy loud suites and make huge promises about the amount of money you can make but is an absolute fraud.  He rarely comes to the san antonio office becuase he hides in another office because he know he is decieving people. When he does come to the san antonio office he quickly leaves and is accompanied by a few other managers (bodyguards).  Would somebody reputable have to travel in this manner.  He instructs managers to fire employees on the spot if they question there commission.  I worked there for 3 months and they still owe me $5000.  At the christmas party we wore a gaudy suite and liberace like jewel and lied to employees about how much money they could make their.  It is typical for a con artist to dress flashes to paint an illussion of opportunity.  Mr Scott uses the Christian Faith to decieve consumers and cheat people.  Only one or two people at that office exactly got paid there rightful commission and they are just testimonials to decieve the recruits.  The Company operates under a few names: Topaz Financial Services, Mesa Rock Financial Services, Swift Rock Financial Services, and Cy debt.  These are just the name I know of but have been told they operated under different names but changed the name becuase of a horrible reputation. Derrin Scott is the proverbial wolf in sheeps clothing depicted in the bible.  That name would cheat his own Grandmother.  While I worked there, we were encouraged not the disclose the fact that clients could be served paper or sued if they defualted on their credit card debt.  Yet while I was employed there several clients told me they were served paper.  Please consider the information in this article before you elect to work for and use the serices of the aforementioned companies or Mr Derrin Scott.  They have cheated over 100 ex employees in San Antonio, 50 ex employees in Houston, and 100 in Austin.  These are the only people I new and I only worked there for a few months.  Consider yourself warned.  Stay away from these conartist.

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#3 UPDATE Employee

Topaz Financial Services charges excessives fees and cheats employees

AUTHOR: Rj - (U.S.A.)

For the person who commented on this complaint and named the ex-employee, you are a complete babbling idiot. First of all, the ex-employee never said she wrote the article as you contend and any moron with half a brain could tell she cited an experts opinion on the viability of debt settlement. Secondly, using slang terminology such as "sister" is so unbecoming of a manager of Topaz Financial Services. This is further testament of this company being ran by incompetent, unintelligent, unorganized, and deceitful noephites. But be that as it way, the reason why your are attacking this ex-employee for their comments is because that article is absolutely correct. After you take into account Topaz Financial Services fee of 15% of the clients debt load and the extremely high monthly charge of $74.95 (which is $3600 on a 48 month term) Topaz Financial Services is settling the clients debt for roughly 65%. You and I Know that the credit card companies in most cases will settle for 40-50% of the cleints outstanding credit card balance, which is way less the the 65% that Topaz will settle the debt when you take into account the astromonically high fees Topaz Financial Services charges. So the reality is that Topaz Financial Services is charging clients for something they can do on their on, therefore, you are selling a useless services. Additionally, you are telling clients to default on their credit cards and not letting them know that THERE IS A GREAT CHANCE THEY WILL BE SERVED PAPERS, HAVE THEIR WAGES GARNISHED, AND HAVE LIENS PLACED ON THEM. The fact remains that by virtue of a client working with a debt settlement company that DOESNT AND WILL NOT protect them from being served papers and having their wages garnished. But I guess you have been brainwashed by the looney leadership of Topaz Financial services and their used car saleman tactics. When you couple the fact that the client would be better off settling the debt by themselves with the fact the Topaz Financial Services has cheated numerous ex-employees with the commission they earned, this should send one message to the American Consumer avoid doing business with Topaz Financial Services, Mesa Rock Financial Services, and Swift Rock Financial Services. The consumer would be better off settling the debt themselves. The ex-employees of Topaz will expose Topaz for the way they have cheated ex-employees and sell a service the client can do themselves. As for you Topaz Manager that speaks in slang, you know Topaz Financial Services is losing employees quicker then you can imagine (40-60 people in 2009 alone and you only have approx. 20 people working there) , you know your business is struggling becuase consumers are getting smarter, and you know that when all the truth is releaved your office will be shut down. The only difference is that everybody else has networked and will help each other out. But when you, Caleb Johnson, or Brian look for a job in San Antonio you know you will be black balled. So you might as well pack up and leave San Antonio just like Topaz Financial Services will have to do once they are exposed!!!!!!!!
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Buyer Beware of Topaz Financial Services, Swift Rock Financial Services, and Mesa Rock Financial

AUTHOR: Rj - (U.S.A.)

I worked at Topaz Financial Services and that company is the most badly run company I've ever worked for. The owner Derrin Scott says that Topaz Financial Service is a Christian Company yet they don't pay employees their commission. He owns four different companies is the same industry all under different names. Topaz Financial Services in San Antonio Tx, Swift Rock Financial Services in Austin Tx, Mesa Rock Financial Services in Houston, tx and Clear Youd debt. They try to hide and conceal their identity and for obvious reasons. That is a joke and definately a wolfe in sheeps clothing. Additionally, Jordan Lane the minority owner is like a used car salesman. He makes huge promises to employees so they can sale more deals then he doesn't come through on his promises (like sales bonuses that took him months to pay). Almost ever word out of that mans teeth is a lie. He stood infront of the whole sales floor and told all the sales rep that they weren't on a draw anymore-- big lie because it turns out they are on a draw. The Director of the Topaz Financial Service is Caleb Johnson and he is the most unorganized manager I've ever met. He is the most incompetent person I've ever met-- he has no control over his own life so how the heck can he manage an entire office. He is a complete follower and allows Mr Lane to yell and scream at him and treat him like a red headed step child (funny thing he actually has red hair). Yet he is loyal to Topaz and Jordan eventhough he is paid a very low salary. All the employees that have stuck around are all followers and are brain washed by Topaz Financial Services and Jordan Lane's lies. He promises them they can make $8,000 to $10,000 a month and only one person probably has done that (and she is their testimonial) so all the other idiots will think it is possible. Bottom line Topaz Financial Service is a revolving door and about 60 smart people have either been fired or quit because they weren't paid their commission, got fired because they complained about being shorted on their commission, or were lied to about their compensation (ie hourly draw vs hourly plus commission). I worked at Topaz Financial Services for three months and it took them 2 months to pay me the $2400 I earned in commission and they still owe me $3100 that I will never see. Everytime, I would talk to that idiot Caleb Johnson he would come up with some lame reason why my commission was short. He did this for a few months and I never got my money. When I would approach him to go over my commission he would avoid me and he would forget about our previous conversations (he would either selectively forget or he has ADD). Additionally, Topaz Financial Services in San Antonio Tx, Mesa Rock Financial Services in Houston Tx, Swift Rock Financial Service in Austin Tx, and Clear Your debt are all owed by the same owner but all operate under seperate names. They do that to conceal thier identity and hide under different companies names. To any consumer considering using the aforementioned companies ask yourself a few questions. Would you to business with a company that lies and cheats its employees? Would you do business with a company whos management lies and cheats its employees?
Don't you think that the same company operating under four different names is shady? Would a legitimate company like IBM do that? Do you feel comfortable sending your money to a company who's accounting system is like enrons? Do you feel comfortable sending your money to an office run by a complete moron like Caleb Johnson? He same idiot who would laugh behind employees back that Topaz Financial Services shorted on their commission and would make fun of them becuase they were upset. Then he would fire them for complaining about not being paid for money THEY EARNED. When he would fire someone he would call the police to escort the employee out becuase he was scared someone would kick his pencil neck dorky red head self up becuase he cheated them. Then he would say horrible things about the ex employee behind their back in front of the whole office. To all consumer consider yourself warned. I would never have these idiots manage one penny from me!!!!!!!!!!
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Topaz, Swift Rock, Mesa Rock, CY Debt (all the same company!)....all looney...stay away!

AUTHOR: Dissux - (U.S.A.)

I am a former employee of Topaz FS that did the smart thing and ran away as soon as the opportunity arose! Every day at Topaz was an adventure to say the least. This company (or companies ..all the same) is strange! First and foremost they have so many names to hide their shady reputation both to new recruits and potential clients. This place is a revolving door! A meat factory! They bring in recruits by the dozens passing themselves off as a reputable company offering a stable enviroment, unlimited earning potential, and the opportunity to help someone while making an honest living. This place is anything but the opposite! They bring in smart qualified people from all fields and offer them a job that sounds like the wave of the future with the only catch is you have to "sacrifice" at first with a meager hourly wage that you will quickly overcome with tremendous commissions! What they don't tell you is that they have a cumbersome accounting department that tracks your commission like Enron. In addition when it comes time to pay you they are always off by a few hundred! Then when you question the "system" they fire you to avoid paying you commissions! I saw this happen to many individuals while I was there. It's a clever way of maximizing each individual's talent and getting rid of them before they have to pay. The employment agreement is set up so that they keep all commissions on pending contracts at time of severance. When you go around the office less than ten percent of employees are getting commissions.

As per the individual mentioned above, I can personally say that they did her wrong! Although a little strange herself she always spoke highly of the company and had her client's best interests in mind. Not to mention she was one of their top performers. She got fired because she was starting to become "unprofitable" and was questioning her earnings!

As for the clients. Runaway folks! This place shoots from the hip and has only $$$ in mind. You think used car salesmen are shady? The district manager is one of them! Although incredibly smart and articulate, he chooses to manage with the whip! Every meeting is about how clients have to be slammed and slapped over the phone to help them overcome their "addiction to debt". If you decide not to deal with this company, good luck getting your phone off the list! Expect double digit calls everyday as lists are reproduced and given to multiple new recruits to "hone their skills". Infact the motto for new recruits upon calling is "..some will, some won't, so what ....who cares!" It's actually written at the top of the training material! I still remember the entire office laghing as phones were put on speaker phone with clients screaming at the recruit to get their names off the call list. I have to admit it, I laughed too! It was comical. Luckily I found a better opportunity somewhere else before I became "unprofitable"

Whether you are considering working there or doing business with this company under any name (Topaz FS, Swift Rock , Mesa Rock , CY debt) do as you see fit. However befor you exprience it the hard way remember you heard it here first.

Good Luck!
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#6 Consumer Comment

RE:

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Lost in all this discussion is that there is a REAL risk of being sued in ANY debt settlement program...from this or any debt settlement firm you hire.

Deliberately defaulting on cards to negotiate/force settlements is a risky proposition....not all creditors will play this game...they'll serve you papers and take you to court. No debt settlement firm you hire can stop this action.....
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#7 Author of original report

Topaz Financial Services!

AUTHOR: Karomiry - (U.S.A.)

Well, Yes it is Abby and I never, ever CLAIMED that to be my writing! It says right on there whose it is.... STUPID! Oh and the whole CANCER ISSUE! Well I was a clean, Hard working, Productive cell when I started @ Topaz and then the cancer ridden Body as a whole, gave me the cancer. There is a huge list of about 10-15 people that are filing formal complaints on Topaz. I'm NOT one of them. But however when you screw with People's lives and play GOD and fire ALL your top producers, except your pet. It is bound to create a backlash! I was EXTREMELY loyal to that company. Oh and your right I did BEG for my job back. But as soon as Jordan Lane said that it was Caleb The Director that wanted me fired, I knew right then and there that Jordan Lane was a BIG Fat Liar! I wouldn't go back to that company, after The VP would throw his Director under the bus like that? NO WAY! Now don't get me wrong. I have NEVER spoken a bad word against Topaz, as far as the Client's are concerned, just the employees. And if your employees aren't happy, then YOU as MANAGEMENT SUCK! Now the decline of Topaz started when Topaz hired a New HR Director named Dorcas Holden, Yes that's her name Dorcas. She was the ultimate factor that brought down the morale in the office and the whole...I am excited to be here. She Talked about other employees with other Employee's about personal things, and those Employees are going to be testifying to that matter.

Also, The cops that you had escort me out, because Dorcas LOVES DRAMA, laughed and told to calm down , cause I was devastated, and said they would give me a ride home. they also inquired as to why EVERY TIME they fired people the cops had to be called. He stated they must really piss off their employee's and are afraid of what they might do!

WOW! How awesome, an outsider figured it out! I have a new job! I get paid on what I do weekly! I don't get cheated out of my money, if someone else contacts my customer, we share the Commission. Well....I am sorry that you after ONLY being there for two months feel the need to BELIEVE that I am the cancer! I LOVED THAT JOB! Caleb IS THE GENIUS AS TO WHY THAT COMPANY OUT DID AUSTIN! Until the Cancer did arrive!
Good Luck Topaz Financial Services
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Nice try Abby........

AUTHOR: Jacobsm84 - (U.S.A.)

Abby,

Seriously, you were fired get over it. And I think the public would like to see the article the you "wrote" is completely plagiarized.

(((Redacted)))

Any thoughts of your own? Or is that what you do, you search the internet, find an article that NO ONE believes you were capable of writing, and claim it as your own? Pretty weak sister, pretty weak indeed. I worked down the aisle from you for 2 months, and couldn't WAIT to see you go. You were a cancer, and I wish you the best, but not with Topaz.

-untitled

P.S. If you think that this is such a bad company, why did you BEG for your job back????

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