• Report: #484237
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Sun, August 23, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, August 24, 2009

  • Reported By: anonymous — Utah USA
1834 E Baseline Rd. Tempe, Arizona United States of America

RISE ABOVE DEBT CREDIT RELIEF Consumer Law Associates, LLC Beware of deceptive business practices, false promises, false guarentees and bait and switch techniques. Utah

* : Your contract is with CLA, not Rise Above, but let me help resolve your issues.

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This company also does business under or in association with Consumer Law Associates, LLC out of Texas.  These apparently are their negotiators that they will tell you all about in their sales pitch. The representative will boast of how great and wonderful their company is because they have only had 2 complaints in 7 years,  but look up this company above which actually does most of the work in attorney states, that is where the complaints are. 

How the program works,  You are instructed to stop paying your creditors and within 180 days or so, the creditors will send you to an outside collection agency and/or sue you.  During this time, they are taking money from your account and putting it into a non-interest bearing escrow account.  They take 74% of your money for their fees and you are only left with a small amount after each month to work for you within the program.   Once you have accumulated enough money in the account, which may be over a year, they will start to negotiate with your creditors for a reduced settlement amount.    Problem is, during this time, you have to deal with all of the phone calls, harassing letters, people showing up on your doorsteps giving you summons, destroying your credit further than it already has become.    If they are unable to negotiate a settlement, you are left with the debt which has been magnified with late fees, interest, collection fees, etc.  You are worst off then when you started.

A bit about my experience.

When you contact this company, they will go through a nice presentation on their web site with you which on the surface sounds wonderful and makes logical sense until you start to peel away the covers.   Here are only a few of the representations that they will tell you.

1.  They will tell you that if they are unable to settle any of your dept, they offer a $25,00 guarantee if you stick with the program which can be as long as 38 months.    What they do not tell you is that the contract you sign absolves them of all guarantees and actually clearly states that you understand that everything that you were told during the sales pitch is the opinion of their representatives only and they are not bound by anything said or promised.   In all other regulated financial industries this is illegal and all representations made by an agent must be documented and become binding and in most part must be part of the contract.

2. They will tell you that they have attorneys working for you and that you may be sued 4% of the time, if you are sued, you are instructed to send them the information and they will take care of it.  This is false,  they will take care of it for a fee which starts at $65 for a phone consult and possibly a letter to the creditor.  If more is needed, they will then charge you for standard attorney fees which you have no idea what these fees are and how much.  They also are very clear that they do not and will not represent you in court. 

3. They claim that your credit will only be affected temporarily.   Although the damage will not be as severe as bankruptcy you have no control of how the creditors will list the settlement.   If the creditor shows it as a charge off and/or settled less than owed, you will have a difficult time obtaining future credit and/or other services like car/home insurance.   Also, since they do not offer credit repair services, they will not go back and make sure that the companies have lived up to their part of the agreement and remove negative items from the credit history.  You will need to hire another company to do this.

4. You are told that you can withdraw at any time during the program and any money will be refunded to you.   This is only partially true.   What they will keep is the set-up fee and all of the money they have collected as part of their "fee" which could be as high as 10% of your total debt. On top of this, they will charge you a termination fee as high as $199. What you may get back is money that is in your escrow account which as you recall is only a fraction of what you put in each month, but it could take months to get it back. 

Before using this company and or any other debt company, please do your homework.  Ask them for a written Guarantee, ask them for copies of all contracts you will be asked to sign.  If they are unwilling to give this to you.  Move on.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/23/2009 11:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/rise-above-debt-credit-relief/tempe-arizona-85283/rise-above-debt-credit-relief-consumer-law-associates-llc-beware-of-deceptive-business-pr-484237. 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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Your contract is with CLA, not Rise Above, but let me help resolve your issues.


Hi anonymous, I will be happy to assist you with your issue, so please call me at 480-699-9108.  Even though you signed an agreement for debt negotiation with CLA, not Rise Above, I may be able to help you with this matter.

Unfortunately, your state of Utah in trying to protect your interests, forces us to refer you out to a law firm so that they can handle your negotiations.  CLA is a good company of lawyers and settles massive amounts of debt daily, and I'm sorry your experience wasn't as expected.  I know they have been adding staff to field the rush of clients that our government regulations is forcing upon them.  

Our government won't let honest and ethical companies like ours operate in certain states, as they are trying to protect you.  But then sometimes, the other option might not be as good, but we referred you to the best option we found available, besides the bk option.

Within our company, we can control so many more factors such as customer service, summons resolutions, defering fees to help negotiate faster, refunds, etc.  We have a whatever it takes attitude, and we've never had a client fail, ever.  We do give you a $25,000 guarantee of success like no other company in our industry, and we've even given that same guarantee to people who use CLA, to show our confidence that they perform well also.  We just have to draft a separate document, but we're happy to do it even though we have no control of the law firms.

CLA also has never had a client fail who made payments as outlined, as far as we've been told, but if you elect to quit the program, then your plan can't work for you as contracted.  Initially, it seems that most of the money is going to the attorneys, but you know they don't work for free, and instead of getting it all up front, they spread it out until paid, which is usually 9-18 months depending on the debt amount.  After that, you only have the monthly fee, and the majority of your payment goes towards settlements.

I wish there was another way for them to collect, but you wouldn't work for free, and they can't defer their fees either, so they collect the majority of it in the first year while the accounts go into collections, and then when it is time for settlements, all your fees are paid and your money is going towards the lump sum settlements.

But if you feel like you were misled, I want to help.  We put together the online presentation to ensure that all our counselors were informing you of not only the positives of debt settlement, but also the negatives.  With the online presentation, it is designed to ensure complete coverage of what is to be expected in our negotiation program or the Attorney's program, which are basically the same.

As far as the seeing the contract first, by all means, we would never sign anyone up without going over the contract line by line, and detailing where every penny will go.  But with CLA, they send a link to the contract to you, as we don't have access to it, but it is done online and you have access to the contract details 24/7.

But please call me if you feel you should get a refund from CLA, let me be your advocate.  The last thing we are trying to do with our company is make the situation worse for Americans.  Our number one goal is to help you get out of debt for 50-60 cents on the dollar, fees included.  But you have to stick to the plan, it is not magic or always easy, but you must follow the plan, or jump right back on it when you fall off.  If you don't follow your program, then you fail.  If you give up 1 year into a 3 year plan, then you didn't allow enough time to see the guaranteed results.

I hope this helps, and I hope the government doesn't tighten the reigns to a point that restricts us from providing the superior customer service and results that our current clients are experiencing.  We were actually a finalist for the Stevie's Award / American Business Awards for Customer Service Department of the Year 2009. Again, please call me and let me help you find resolution so that you may report this experience as satisfactorily resolved.




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