ED Magedson – Founder
Freedom Financial Management1901 East Alton Avenue, Suite 240 Santa Ana, California United States of America
My husband and I signed up with Freedom Financial Management about 14 months ago to help us get out from under our credit card debt. This company claims that they will settle your debts for less money then you owe and will stop the harassing phone calls from your credit card companies. They supposedly sent out letters to all of our debtors and we were told if they called to refer them to a special phone number we were given. We were paying them $218.00 a month that was directly debited out of our checking account. What we didn't realize was that for the first 3 months, the entire payment went into their pockets, then from month 4 -13, $109.00 of it went to them and the rest went into a "Savings Account" that they held for you to settle your debts. According to the contract we signed with them they are not to settle any debts without first contacting you and getting your approval on the amount of the settlement offer. In the 14 months that we were with them, they settled only (1) one of our debts and unfortunately, they did not bother to have it settled as paid in full good standing, so even though it is paid off, it is still a negative on our credit reports.
On August 19, 2010, I called them to see how much money we had in our "Savings Account" and where we stood with paying off more of our debts. This is when I found out that after paying them $218.00 a month for 14 months, we only had $448.00 in our account, not including the payment that was just made to them on the 17th of the month. So on August 20th, I faxed them a letter cancelling our account with them and in the letter told them to cease and decease with any further actions on our behalf with our creditors and to send us back all monies in our "Savings Account" with them. Of course they called me and tried to convince me to stay with them, I refused and demanded that they return the money they had "SAVED" for us. I was told that our account was cancelled and I should recieve a refund within 30 days.
Today, I recieved a call from a "Representative" for the company named Shay Garrity, who told me that they had "Settled" on another debt on August 23, 2010, even though they no longer represented us, and NEVER called me to get approval to settle the debt. I lost it!!! I told the representative that as of August 20, 2010, they no longer represented me and had NO RIGHT to settle ANY debts on my behalf and that what they did was Fraud and Theft since I cancelled my contract with them as of August 20, 2010. He agreed and said that he had looked into this issue before calling me, that he had spoken to his supervisor and that the company was going to refund me what was in my "Savings Account" as well as the additional money they settled the other debt for. He said that I would get all of my money back and that since "THEY" made the mistake of settling the debt without approval, that I got a debt paid off for free.. I told him "Not Really" since they had already scammed us out of over $2,000.00!!!
Two hours later he called me back to let me know that the company was NOT going to refund me the money for the debt that was settled AFTER I had cancelled my contract. I told him that was UNACCEPTABLE, and asked to speak to whoever was in charge. After 20 minutes of trying to placate me I finally got him to transfer me to the Director of Operations, Carmen Viramontes, who is "In Charge" just under the CEO of the company. After explaining to her that what they did was Illegal since they no longer represented me after August 20, 2010, and they had NO RIGHT to settle a debt for me without my permission on August 23, 2010, she gave me a line of BS and said that they would only refund me what remained in my "Savings Account" and they would also refund me the additional FEE they charge when they SETTLE a debt. I told her I would be seeking legal representation since they defrauded me and stole money from me and she HUNG UP ON ME!!!
I called back and asked to speak to her boss, and was told that was the CEO and he was not available but I could leave him a voice mail. After 20 minutes on hold waiting to be transferred to his voice mail, I hung up and called back. I asked the person who answeered the phone what the name of the CEO of the company was, and she told me that "She was not allowed to share that information". When I asked her why, she said it was because the company was going through some changes and she could not give me his name, but offered to personally give him a message (SURE!!!). I gave her my name, account number ad phone number and asked her to write the message to him that if I did not hear from him within two (2) days, I would be looking into filing a suit against them for Fraud and Theft. She repeated the message and promptly hung up on me!!!
This company is a SCAM!!!!! They take your money, they do NOT settle your debts, and if they do. they do not do it properly, they will steal your money and defruad you and your credit card companies as well. BEWARE!!!
I would LOVE to start a Class Action Lawsuit against them, and am looking into how to do this.
BEWARE... BEWARE.. BEWARE... FREEDOM FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IS A SCAM!!!!!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/01/2010 05:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/freedom-financial-management/santa-ana-california-92705/freedom-financial-management-fraud-theft-beware-santa-ana-california-636622. 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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