Saturday, April 17, 2010

Debt Settlement Industry Infringing on Intellectual Property of Patent Pending Self Help Debt Settlement Technology?

B-EZ Enterprises Developed a patent pending Method of Internet Debt Settlement in May of 2009 because the inventor was tired of seeing consumers being deceived by debt settlement companies. Now, it seems that the debt settlement is attempting to utilize a very similar technology to in an attempt to mislead consumers.

Earlier this month B-EZ Enterprises noticed a press release from a Florida based marketing company offering self help debt settlement software. After researching the software being offered, their method seemed to infringe on the intellectual property contained in our patent pending method of internet debt settlement. The software once purchased, basically creates a website that’s features all of the embodiments of our provisional patent. The inventor of our patent pending process had several fruitless conversations with one of the principles of the software company. After providing the principle of the company a copy of the provisional patent filed on May 4, 2009, the inventor was referred to the software company’s intellectual property attorney.

After attempting to reach the Florida based software companies attorney without response, the inventor of our patent pending method of internet debt settlement retained legal counsel to assist in in this matter. After retaining one of Arizona’s most experienced Intellectual property law firms the inventor did finally receive a phone call from the software company’s attorney. The conversation with the attorney was very brief and was as well not fruitful in attempting to resolve any infringement matters.

Over the last several years the debt settlement industry has experienced expansion beyond belief. During the current economic downturn the industry has become very savvy in marketing of consumers with clever advertisement. The majority of this advertisement is designed to prey on the fears of financially burdened consumers. Because of this and growing consumer complaints debt settlement industry has also attracted the attention of numerous State Attorney Generals and the Federal Trade Commission. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, Alabama Attorney General Troy King, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and other State Attorney General’s as well as the Federal Trade Commission have been cracking down on the debt settlement industry to protect consumers.

We believe this is good news for consumers, however, imagine a scenario where a debt settlement companies start doing business as a “Self Help Debt Settlement” or “DIY Debt Settlement” website. These companies already pay extremely high fees for their marketing leads. These leads come from consumers interested in solutions to their financial problems. Consumers see advertisements on television, hear advertisements on radio or fill out forms on the internet. From these leads, one or several debt settlement companies contact the consumer in an attempt to enroll them in their program. The problem we see with this is, after several years a company could have hundreds of thousands of leads including: the consumers name, address phone number as well as email addresses. These leads could be used by an existing company to deceive consumers into believing they are not dealing with an organization they already decided not to do business with, or worse, a company that was shut down could just start a new website and market with these leads and be right back in business.

The website was designed to truly help consumers negotiate directly with their creditors at the first sign of financial hardship. The website was designed to be a clear choice for consumers to avoid being ripped off by this industry. This Patent Pending Method of Internet Debt Settlement allows a consumer a low cost option to these companies. Once a consumer enrolls for this self help debt settlement website they can enter creditors, make debt reduction or settlement offers to their creditors, generate letters to their creditors and allows creditors to make counter offers via the internet. Once a consumer enrolls they can be assured that their personal information is secure by state of the art encryption to avoid disclosure to anyone but the consumer.
Consumers beware: if you are offered enrollment to a self help debt settlement website that is not ours, you could be dealing with a debt settlement company without your knowledge.

Here are seven ways can a consumer spot these websites?

1. These websites will have you fill out a form for more information just like most industry websites.

2. These websites at present do not disclose the cost of enrollment just like most industry websites.

3. These websites all utilizes the same type of verbiage and spotlight the same software.

4. These websites will all have different sales pitches, however, if you are quoted a tiered or excessive fee for enrollment be suspicious.

5. If you are speaking with a live person after providing information from a contact form this should be your biggest clue. It’s probably not a self help website.

6. If the website states that they are a member of a National organization of industry professionals; stay away!

7. Finally ask the company if they have licensed the utilized for internet debt settlement from B-EZ Enterprises. If they advise you they have, ask for proof.

Visit our website for more information about our services!