Since 2007 the California based law firm, Oak View Law Group, has been offering financial management services, including debt consolidation, debt management, credit repair, and bankruptcy services. Among these services, the company specializes in debt settlement helping consumers slash outstanding debt and getting them on the track to financial freedom.
Getting and staying out of debt is a practice and Oak View Law Group (OVLG) provides their clients with debt settlement services in a 5 stage process. Because they are a law group, consumers can rest assured all settlement laws will be followed by a panel of attorneys guiding their clients each step of the way.
The 5 stage process begins with clients getting set up with a financial coach who will analyze the entire financial situation to determine which option is best. Should debt settlement be the decision, the coach will then define fee structures and program details to be signed on a contractual agreement. Stage 3 provides the client with the agreement as well as access to a secure portal where they are personally able to monitor their cases. Stage 4 of this process brings a Client Relationship Analyst into the picture who opens a dedicated bank account through Bank of America where an agreed upon amount will be placed into the account on a monthly basis. Stage 5 opens the door to the negotiation process with the client’s creditors where debts are settled at usually around 40% savings. At least 30% of the total debt for one creditor must be accumulated in the dedicated account in order for an OVLG representative to negotiate settlement.
Fees for settlement are steeper than other settlement companies we have reviewed, however OVLG is not simply a settlement company; they are a law firm with practiced attorneys providing complete legal assistance with each case. Outlined on their website is a list of 10 qualities their attorneys possess to get their clients out of debt, including knowing all collection laws by heart and how to flawlessly execute the plan and manage the collectors.
Unsecured debt may be enrolled into the program, such as credit cards, those outrageous payday loans, collection accounts, and medical bills.
Some additional pros to this company include:
- Money-back guarantee – including any fees
- 6 month to 4 year debt free settlement program
- Free consultation – several hours of operation
- Detailed information – transparency every step of the way
- Several areas of practice – from settlement to bankruptcy; wills to trusts
- Guides and tools – debt calculators to blogs and newsletters, and infographics
With only 4 complaints filed and closed in 2015, this seems it should render a higher grade, as the complaint volume is low. Many of the complaints are those of clients and/or consumers who did not fully understand the contract and the fee scheduling.
IAPDA is an important certification process for debt specialist to undergo. It covers the debt laws and debt relief legislation. Although these are attorneys at law, it seems not all employees are IAPDA certified, such as their analysts or other personnel.
Things to consider:
- Credit score may drop
- Clients will pay taxes on settled debt of more than $600
- Secured debt such as mortgages and federal student loans do not qualify for settlement
Price varies depending on the plan you choose. According to the phone agent, for credit card consolidation, each account is levied a fee of $50 per month. Monthly fees are charged depending upon type of program and debt amount, requesting a consultation is the best way to get the most accurate picture of charges. There are no monthly fees charged for debt settlement and the cost was 25% of the amount saved out of the original outstanding balance.
For debt consolidation services, you will be charged the monthly fee the first month so there is an up-front fee. Amounts depend on the program you’re involved in and the amount of debt you have. No fees are charged up front for settlements services.
Yes. There is a free consultation available to let you know whether you have qualified for one of their programs and which program will be the best solution for your specific situation.
Time In Business
OVLG opened their doors in 2007. They’ve been in business for 8 years.
Debt calculators and sample creditor letters are provided online. Also online is their “transparent”client page. Customers are given a log-in to their own account showing the status of payments made, creditors and payoff amounts. There’s a unique feature called “infographics” that visually represents pathways and choices depending upon the debt situation.
Money Back Guarantee
The website states they provide a 100% money back guarantee. However, in further research and in speaking with the phone agent, strict conditions are indicated that must be met before a consumer can expect total cost reimbursement. The 100% guarantee was also confirmed during the live chat: “first you see your debts getting paid off, then you pay us our fee”. Money-back guarantee is not available for all services. Some fees are non-refundable.
Unsecured vs. Secured Loans
Unsecured debt only.
OVLG offers a mobile friendly website.
No charges are made for any cancellations other than what has already been paid, and fees owed on the account. You must send notice via email.
Live chat is available on their website.
- For any complaints: [email protected]
- For customer service: [email protected]
- For all other questions: [email protected]
They promise on their site to reply to emails within 24 working hours.
8421 Auburn Blvd Ste 145
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
1200 Emerson St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Open seven days a week.
8 am to 9 pm West Coast
9 am to 9 pm East Coast
This is a law firm, so they do offer multiple other services, but in terms of debt relief, these services are available: Debt settlement, debt consolidation, credit repair, bankruptcy, automatic stays of collection and more. Although on the website it mentions that they offer debt management services, we were informed via live chat that Oak View recently discontinued this option.
Minimum Debt Accepted
Minimum debt accepted is $500. During live chat, we were told it is $800. Both are considerably lower than other debt relief operations.
An online dashboard is available to Oak View Law Group members. In the account, users can view signed creditor paperwork, edit personal information, view their credit analysis, submit support requests, add notes to the account, and more.
Since Oak View Law Group is a law office that does debt settlement, their employees are not CPFC certified. However, all work is done under the supervision of a certified attorney.
Oak View Law Group is a law office and is not ISO certified.
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