Frequently Asked Questions | Debt Counsel for Seniors and the Disabled
Jerome S. Lamet, Supervising Attorney: Founder
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. This program is too good to be true. Is DCSD really a legitimate and reputable law firm?
With so many scams targeted towards Seniors and Disabled individuals, it can be difficult to sort out which services are not legitimate. DCSD is a legitimate and reputable law firm because:
Since 1998, DCSD has protected the rights of over 14,000 seniors and disabled debtors.
DCSD attorneys and their network of co-counsels are licensed to practice law by their various state ethics boards.
DCSD is has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. BBB accredits businesses that meet the BBB standards for trust.
DCSD receives many referrals from state and city departments of senior services as well as financial institutions.
2. Is DCSD a bankruptcy?
DCSD is not a bankruptcy. It is a law firm that exclusively represents seniors and disabled individuals whose only income is from exempt sources such as Social Security. DCSD has a similar effect as a bankruptcy in that the client ceases paying his debts and, in turn, DCSD protects clients from illegal harassment and illegal garnishment.
Whenever a debtor stops paying their debts, whether under a DCSD legal service model or by filing bankruptcy, there is a negative effect on a debtor’s credit score. However, a bankruptcy notation must remain on a debtor’s credit report for 10 years. But, negative entries outside of a bankruptcy only have to be on a credit report for up to 7 years. Furthermore, bankruptcy filings fees must be paid at the time of filing. With DCSD there is a small application or ONE-TIME PROCESSING FEE ($100-200, depending on circumstances) and a very low monthly fee (most of our clients pay $20-30 per month).
3. Does DCSD pay my bills?
No. DCSD is not a debt consolidation program or a debt settlement firm. We are a law firm that protects elderly and/or disabled individuals from illegal harassment or garnishment. The monthly retainer fee does not go towards paying down the debtor’s debt.
4. How soon can you contact my creditors?
Once we receive your application and ONE-TIME PROCESSING FEE and you have been approved to become a client, the creditors will be notified immediately.
5. Is my home protected?
This question is best answered during the intake discussion with the attorney. Each situation is different and each state has different laws that pertain to this issue. However, in a bankruptcy, a debtor who has significant equity would likely be forced to sell the home to satisfy the creditors.
6. How much does it cost?
There is a ONE-TIME PROCESSING FEE ($100-200 depending on circumstances). There is also a very low monthly fee that is dependant upon the number of accounts serviced for continued legal representation by the DCSD attorneys. In essence, you will be hiring an attorney for a small monthly fee to represent and protect your rights pursuant to federal law. DCSD attorneys will not represent you in court on state matters, but if a creditor decides to sue you, we will provide them with the information and proof that your sole income is from exempt sources.
7. Will I sign legal documents?
Every DCSD client signs a Lawyer-Client Agreement that fully disclosed the relationship between the debtor and the DCSD attorneys.
You will also sign a limited power of attorney that only covers the debts you ask us to handle for you.
A limited power of attorney allows us to discus your account with your creditors.
You will also sign a Cease and Desist Order.
If you ask us to handle medical bills, we will need a signed HIPAA form that allows the creditors to discuss with us only the medical bills you have requested us to handle for you.
8. Will the program affect my credit report?
Yes, just like a bankruptcy, creditors report any customers who have stopped paying their bills to the credit bureaus. All negative notations drastically affect a person’s credit report. However, unlike a bankruptcy notation that must remain on a person’s credit report for 10 years, any negative notations on our clients’ credit reports must be removed after 7 years.
9. What kinds of debt do you handle?
Unsecured loans, such as signature loans or line of credit.
This would include the following:
- Credit Card debt
- Medical Bills
- Unsecured loans, such as signature loans
- Deficiency balances after a mortgage foreclosure or vehicle repossession
- Some payday loans
- Some private-backed Student Loans
10. Can I still use my credit cards?
No, because you will no longer be making payments on them and the accounts should be closed.
11. What if I continue to receive phone calls and collection letters?
Most collection activity will cease upon receipt of our notice of representation. However, original creditors may continue to contact you until such time as they assign your account to a third party collector (collection agency, attorney or junk debt buyer). When you account is assigned to a third party collector, we will send them a letter of representation and a cease and desist order signed by you. If you continue to receive phone calls or letters, contact DCSD immediately and we will take all appropriate legal action. You should be free of all harassment within a very short period of time.
12. Can DCSD stop my creditors from suing me?
DCSD cannot prevent or stop the collection process. This means that there is a possibility that any of your creditors may file a lawsuit and obtain a judgment against you. If this happens, then the judgment creditor may be able to place a lien against your personal and real property. However, if your personal or real property is exempt, then you have nothing to worry about. Also, if your income is exempt from garnishment, we protect these monies from any attempts to illegally garnish your accounts.
13. Can I go to jail?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! You can never be put in jail for owing an unsecured debt, no matter how many lawsuits are filed against you. However, if you are subpoenaed to court, DCSD attorneys will be there to tell you if the court appearance is mandatory. If your appearance is legally required, DCSD attorneys can help you anticipate what will be required of you. However, if you are subpoenaed to court, DCSD attorneys will advise you if the court appearance is mandatory.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Furthermore, the information on this website is for general purposes only and should not be interpreted to indicate a certain result will occur in your specific legal situation.