Reader mail: how to get payments back?

A reader wrote to me today:

Hi I’m [redacted]. I was wondering if I have a case on this matter. I signed a contract with Federal Debt Relief System based in California, created by Mark Cella The person I worked with is Gina Adams but I know know she was Mark Cella’s assistant. I sent them 16 payments totaling $4,327.50 for the debt relief we had contracted.

I only had 2 more payments to make before the program was finished. But I stopped the payments due to the financial institutions I hired FDRS to settle my debt with said they were not nor ever been in contact with FDRS and were pursuing further collection action against me.

I then tried multiple times to contact FDRS to no prevail. I am out all
that money now and have multiple judgments out on me due to FDRS. How can I get that money I rightfully paid to FDRS?

Did you read the pages here?

My complaint and correspondence with then CA AG Jerry Brown (now governor) as well as my legal analysis is posted.

Personally, I was not defrauded by Mark Cella,  but I wasted HUNDREDS of hours creating the first FDRS blog at and then starting the new blog here.  I tried to get the victims to take action during the 2010 California elections as that was the time to FORCE Jerry Brown to freeze whatever assets were left and to throw Mark Cella in jail.

That nobody took the time to contact journalists and to post at online newspapers articles about Jerry Brown was truly a life altering event for me. Not a single victim did a thing. Nothing. NADA!!!

I came to the realization that the victims got what they deserved.  Yes, I know, they had no money, debt collectors and their lives sucked, but that is NO excuse for failing to take these entirely free actions.

It wouldn’t have cost the victims one penny to ensure that the public knows the truth about Jerry Brown and quite likely they would have gotten some cash and Cella would be in jail now.

TO DATE, I am still being harassed and I have to unplug my phone every night.  That started when FDRS closed shop due to my blogs.

I will NEVER put another scammer out of business again unless I get paid.

A scam might be featured in a post, maybe even two posts, but I’m not going to spend days writing complaints and maintaining blogs for a cause that has nothing to do with me.

Of course I still publish regulatory complaints on behalf of PAYING clients, such as at Debt Buyer Asset Acceptance Incorrect Credit Reporting and Collection Inquiry.   While I don’t charge for the regulatory complaints, I got paid for the credit analysis and then for attempting to resolve the issues with Asset directly.  When that didn’t work, we resorted to published complaints and I do that as a public service at no additional charge.

Not only did we get the desired results for my client, but Asset now reports the account type correctly to Experian for all its accounts.

One thing I did not do with FDRS is file a complaint with the district attorney, as I’m not one of the victims.

So you might want to file a complaint with the district attorney where the fraud took place, Hollywood, California.

Another option is to get reimbursement from the government by ensuring that you get every dollar you are entitled to for food stamps and to stop being a wage slave.

If you make good money, you can CHOOSE to earn less and to pay a lot less in taxes.   It works great for me that I do just enough business to get by.   I live way out in the desert and spend much of my time in our greenhouse and hoophouse growing organic non GMO food.   I don’t need a lot of cash to survive.

I have no mortgage, no home owners insurance, no health insurance …

I DO have an unfinished house and a gazillion projects.    I do so many different jobs and not a day goes by when I don’t learn something.  I love it!

We all have choices.

I chose to pursue FDRS and Mark Cella because I was so appalled by this fraud.  At the time my business went way down due to the financial crisis (few people needed to improve their FICO scores to by a house) and I ended up defaulting on all my credit cards.

I’ve been sued countless times (4 times by Capital One and all suits were dismissed) and Acarta was the first debt buyer to get a judgment against me.  While I’m judgment-proof (there’s nothing they can take from me), I decided to appeal as a public service and to post the filings:

Debt buyer Acarta lawsuit in Arizona court of appeals

My opening brief discusses some of the states that made it practically impossible for debt buyers to get judgments because they don’t have ADMISSIBLE evidence.

Arizona is the Wild West for debt buyers and there is absolutely no regulation.  I hope to change that — if OTHERS are willing to work on this too.

It’s up to YOU to put up a fight.

If you don’t want to fight, file for bankruptcy or become judgment-proof.   STATE law applies to rules for bankruptcy and garnishment.  If you are rolling in dough, hire a COMPETENT consumer attorney to defend you if they sue you.  Settle when you have to.

EVERYBODY’S situation is different.

No matter what your situation is, YOU choose what to do!

You can submit comments again, but …

Please keep in mind that unless someone either sues Mark Cella and management OR you can get the district attorney to investigate, you won’t get any refunds.

More important, if you are being SUED by creditors or more likely, debt buyers, you need to DEFEND yourself.  Debt buyer Acarta prevailed in court, but I decided to appeal to the Arizona court of appeals.  I posted the filings from superior court and the appeal briefs and hopefully many others will start to fight back.

I’ve been sued by 6 or 7 debt buyers and several times by Capital One, but Acarta was the first to actually get a judgment against me and I’ll take that to the supreme court if necessary as debt  buyers don’t have admissible evidence.

Often they sue for debt with expired statute of limitations and you actually have to research your state law AND read the contract (if they provide it.)

For many people bankruptcy might be the best option, but if you are fairly literate, you might want to adapt my ARIZONA filings to YOUR state and put up a fight.

Or file criminal fraud charges with your district attorney.


Comments are now disabled

I just got 100 notifications of comments, all SPAM (I think).

So I have no choice but to disable comments as I don’t want to trash a REAL comment because I sure don’t have the time to go through all these comments.

I know there are still many people who get sued for debts they THOUGHT were settled by Mark Cella and FDRS and they’d like to submit their damage reports, but I can’t afford to hire someone to deal with all this spam due to the very few donations and I don’t have the time to do it myself.


UPDATE:  There was a problem with the spam protection software and I fixed it, so you can post comments again.

Another heart breaking damage report

I decided to repost this comment from “Submit your DAMAGES” because there are a few things I have to say:

I hope this web site can help some of us recoup our losses from FDRS. I enrolled in their debt consolidation program in February 2008. I had 5 credit cards listed with them for a payoff plan.

$713.60 was deducted from my pay each month for 18 months. FDRS must have sent some of them letters, or maybe it was just pure luck, but I didn’t have any repercussions from my creditors until the 18 months was up & the payments to FDRS stopped in August 2009.

Then the lawyers and credit card companies came after me with a vengeance! Lawsuits, court filings, my name ALL over the local, small town newspaper showing where I was being sued. I had paid FDRS $12,845.00 for nothing!

I am a Registered Nurse and had been trying to get a job at the V.A. hospital for 5 years, but when they ran a background check & credit report in July 2009, it showed “UNFAVORABLE PAYMENT RECORD.”

My wages were garnished at my place of employment by 1 of the 5 credit card company’s lawyers. Because of that, I couldn’t make my house payments, so my home was foreclosed on.

With no house to live in my wife filed for divorce.

I finally had to hire a bankruptcy lawyer and file Chapter 13 to protect what little I did have remaining.

Letters, faxes, emails, and calls to FDRS were ignored. So, what did FDRS do for me? I given them $12,845.00 to do nothing, I have lost my house, my wife, paid a bankruptcy attorney $2,700.00 to file my Chapter 13, my credit is shot, and $820.00 a month is now taken out of my check each month for the next 7 YEARS to pay off the debt FDRS claimed they were paying and would take care of.

I am embarrassed, ashamed, and don’t go out of my little 1 room apartment much because everyone in my small town knows I lost my house & have filed chapter 13.

I feel like such an idiot trusting these people and falling for this scheme. Can ANYONE please tell me if there is a chance we might recover some of our loses? What do we do next, or is it just “too late–live and learn?”

This post is unfortunately SO typical.  Many people don’t have the time to research who they give their money to (I initially exposed this fraud in 1/08) because they are too busy WORKING.  And then there is this TRUST in our government.  Most people would never think that our “regulators” such as former California AG Jerry Brown (now governor) would ACTIVELY CONDONE such an incredible fraud.

It really is all water under the bridge now EXCEPT that the victims have to get their lives back together.

If I had to pay $820/month in a Ch. 13, I would simply quit my job and become judgment proof. 

There is NO WAY that I would go to work to live in a 1 br apartment in a town where I have to feel embarrassed to go out because I was defrauded and I lost everything.

Obviously, this poster’s income was too high to qualify for a Ch. 7 discharge.

I would quit my job.

I would MOVE.

I would visit “intentional communities” and ENJOY LIFE again.

There’s nothing to lift my spirits like traveling and meeting new people.  Anyone working as nurse is a hard worker and would be greatly appreciated in many communities.

And after a while of joblessness or much lower income, I might look into converting to a Ch. 7.  Or maybe I’d just stay out of this corrupt system, run by CROOKS like Jerry Brown and Ben Bernanke.

It probably sounds scary to people who are used to paychecks, benefits, etc.  But in my neighborhood are MANY people who haven’t paid a cent in income tax in many years because their income is so low and they focus on SPENDING LESS.

We’ve been so busy with our gardens, greenhouse and hoophouse, I don’t have much time to post here or at our PERMACULTURE site.  Can’t say that we’re completely self sufficient, but we grow lots of GREAT food, we’re off the grid and it sure beats financing corrupt bankers and politicians as a wage slave.

An inspirational posting

This is a post from March 2011:

Approved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!! Amazing!!!!! $3,500 limit!!!! O percent APR for the first 12 months. 20 percent APR after that. Should receive my card in th next 7-10 business days.

I did not get an instant approval online. So I called an application status phone number I found on the Internet. I was able to talk to an analyst immediately. She grilled me with questions. First she asked about my employment history and my income. I have been working with the same company since college with a decent income so I don’t mind those questions. I think she may have looked it up on the Internet or something because she asked me which office location I worked in. I wish the questions had stopped there.

Then she asked about my wells Fargo and chase accounts and why they were seriously past due. I told her I was previously involved in a credit consolidation program and I was told that the accounts would be removed from my account when the program was finished. I told her that I had completed the program in 2009 and that I did not know why those accounts were still showing up on my credit report. I told her I learned from my experiance with credit consolidation companies and I now believe they are an unscrupulous industry and I will never use them again.

She asked me to hold for a moment. At this point I thought I was going to be denied because of my delinquent accounts. Then she came back on the phone and said I was approved for a 3500 dollar credit limit as long as they could verify my address. The PMB address worked. I did not tell them it was a PMB but then again they did not ask if I lived there. I guess they just assumed it was my home address. Then they wanted me to verify my previous address. The only address they had on file was an address I had not lived at since 2008. Then he asked me to verify the side streets. Luckily I was able to think of a few on short notice but that was a long time ago.

Thank you sooooooo much Christine. I seriously can’t believe it! The light at of the end of the tunnel keeps getting brighter and brighter thanks to you. With all the credit scams and never ending unscrupulous credit industries out there it is refreshing to know that there is someone who is actually there to help.

People with good credit have no idea about all of the scams out there. I learned the hard way by first getting conned by FDRS then getting scammed by credit repair companies.

Then getting turned down for secured cards. I could not even get a card secured by my own money. I was willing to give 1000 dollars of my own money just to open a tradeline where I would pay interest on my own money and all I got was hard inquiries with a denial letter.

Then getting complaints filed against me by corrupt lawyers. Then not being able to find a lawyer to represent me. Then finally finding your website and finally working my way out of this crit mess. Now approved for a premium credit card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woooooohooooooo!!!!!!!!!

It is so inspiring to see posts like this one.  Of course it doesn’t always work out so well and sometimes I wonder why I even bother.  Many of the people who get scammed by unscrupulous debt settlement companies (there are MANY!) are too stressed, have medical problems, are unemployed, etc. and/or don’t have the SKILLS and RESOURCES to send out factual disputes. I’ve worked with people who didn’t have a printer and many are on prescription meds impairing their ability to comprehend and follow through with tasks such as sending disputes.  I sure wish I could help everybody, but then there is reality.

Obviously the long term employment helped a lot with the BofA application.  And not EVERYBODY should get new credit cards and run up new debt.  Some people can handle credit cards, others just charge stuff they don’t need and can’t afford OR charge food, gasoline or medical bills because they don’t have the cash.   What are people supposed to do if unemployment benefits barely pay the rent or mortgage?

It sure is great to see that occasionally the system works as it should and in the end all is well.

How do avoid getting judgments against you for FDRS enrolled debts

A Liars & Cheats EXPOSED member (and CreditFactors subscriber) just sent me a Discover pre-approval and he wondered whether it was a good deal.  With 15 months at 0% interest, I’d say so!

Last year he signed up because Palisades (infamous debt buyer) had sued him after he had wasted thousands of dollars on FDRS.  He had received notice of the lawsuit from their attorney, advising that he would be served unless he settled the account.  I drafted a FACTUAL dispute for him, advising that his debts had been enrolled in the FDRS debt elimination program, and he sent it to the attorney and to Palisades.

To our surprise, Palisades immediately DELETED the account from his credit reports.  And he has yet to hear from the attorney again and he was NOT served.

One of his credit reports is now looking very good and he got preapprovals for PRIME credit cards instead of the crappy 1st Premier or other subprime credit cards.

This just goes to show that it pays to submit your factual disputes EARLY on.  If you wait until litigation is in progress, chances of success are much lower because the attorney already spent time on the case and wants to recover his “investment.”

NEVER ignore collection notices from attorneys.

While there is no guarantee that they will back off, isn’t it worth a few dollars to try to avoid a judgment and/or being forced into bankruptcy?

YOU decide.

PS:  Debt buyers RARELY have admissible evidence to substantiate their claims in court, but it’s a lot harder to write motions for the court and to conduct discovery than to send a simple dispute directly to the debt buyer and their attorney and AVOID the hassle and possibly expense for an attorney.

FDRS still in business or back in business?

A client recently gave me this link:

All the links go to

What’s up with this?  Has anyone submitted their info?  What happened?

Update:  Apparently that’s just an OLD website.



Mark Cella’s right hand Joel R. Edwards, Karen and Casablanca Express?

A reader submitted this comment with the “DAMAGE REPORTS”, please post only in appropriate topics.  So here it is:

Does anybody here would like to meet and catch JOEL R. EDWARDS and KAREN? They’re both are Mark Cella’s right hand especially Joel who is also smoking crack while he’s working and truly knows where Mark is hiding. You can find them both working as of today Feb 2011 at 3345 Wilshire Blvd suite 907 Los Angeles, CA 90010. Working for Shaun Melville who knew about the case but didn’t care anyway to report them to authorities because he is a scammer himself who own a satelite office working for Casablanca Express and let his employee told their previous clients it’s a FREE TRIP to Vegas but they actually had to pay. Karen has a dark short hair and Joel brought her to work there . Please catch them FAST!!!

I don’t quite understand what this is about.  What is Casablanca Express?

Maybe somebody could submit more info.  And to “catch” them, someone first needs to file a report with the authorities for illegal activities.

FDRS owner Mark Cella “most handsome man alive?”

A reader sent me this link a few months ago, but I’ve been too busy to go through the site and to do my “due diligence” before posting:

The reader who sent me the link wrote that it definitely is “our” Mark Cella and I now confirmed it.


… All of the magazines agree he is the most handsome man alive. This was proven recently when every publication wanted to feature him on their cover for being the most handsome, the greatest musician, the greatest man and so on. This was both very flattering and very upsetting to Mark Cella all at once. …

The most handsome man alive?

The ONLY picture of Mark Cella at the site:

Unofficial Fan Site of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived - Cameo

The picture from his video:
Read more…

US Postal Inspection Service is investigating FDRS – submit your complaint

Apparently in response to his 8/4/10 Letter to AG Brown regarding the number of complaints received a reader received this letter from the USPIS today:

Here’s the attached complaint form to be completed and returned: Read more…