The Student Loan Debt Forum | The College Investor

Student Loans => Student Loan Scams => Topic started by: Kcoop156 on June 13, 2016, 02:10:51 PM

Title: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: Kcoop156 on June 13, 2016, 02:10:51 PM
Has anyone worked or heard of Kevin Mason PA out of Boca Raton Florida. They told me they could sue my private student loans for consumer compliance issues and get them dismissed or settled for a lot less. I would be responsible for 50% of what I currently owe. He is a member of the florida state bar in good standing. But i havent found much more than that. I am afraid to get into a contract with him but then it be a scam. Would love some feedback.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: TheCollegeInvestor on June 13, 2016, 08:21:13 PM
I've never heard of them, but that doesn't mean anything. There are tons of lawyers (both good and bad), out there.

Just be very careful in working with any law firm. Make sure that you ask them exactly what steps they are going to take in fighting your debt.

A lot of people get burned dealing with law firms trying to get their student loan debt dismissed.

Make sure they don't ever:
1. Ask you to stop making payments
2. Ask you to make payments to them

Both of these are big red flags that they are NOT trying to help you.

Most people don't ever need a student loan lawyer unless you're struggling to get out of default, or you are being sued by your private lender.

If neither of these apply, all good lawyer will:
1. Validate that the debts are legitimate (which you likely know to be the case)
2. Validate that they haven't violated any debt collection laws (which you could sue them for violating)

If you're making payments and have no issues, then a lawyer isn't a good option. If you did have one of the issues above, a lawyer could help.

When working with a lawyer, I prefer fee based approach for their time, versus settlement based approach. You simply pay for the lawyers time. Most won't do it, but many legitimate ones will.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: swamileoni on July 21, 2016, 11:12:32 AM
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Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: TheCollegeInvestor on July 21, 2016, 02:35:52 PM
We don't recommend you make payments to a law firm and not your students loans because it will harm your credit score dramatically by not making payments.

While we don't know any plan of action you put together with this firm and what your individual arrangement is, a typical scenario looks like this:
- You stop paying your lender and make the same payment to this law firm
- Your credit score is badly damaged and your lender starts moving your loan to collections
- After a long time (it can vary from months to years), this law firm attempts to settle your debts by telling the lender "see, this guy is broke and hasn't made a payment to you in years... why don't you just settle and get what money you can today".
- The lender can always say nope, we will sue and garnish his wages and collect our debt. There is no way for them to truly guarantee a 50% cut in the loan.

No matter what the end result is, we've typically always seen the person who did them (i.e. you) in worse shape than before you started. There are no guarantees, the process can take years, and meanwhile you've harmed your credit to a point where you're not going to be buying a house, car, or maybe even have trouble renting an apartment for a long time. 

Plus, making 5 years of payments to them versus your lender loses a lot of progress you could have actually made on your student loan debt.

Next steps going forward? I would look at your contract with them and see how you can cancel. I would tell them you are canceling. If you do think something is amiss, I would also encourage you to contact your state's attorney general, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, and even your State Bar and report the lawyer.

As for some red flags to look for based on what you wrote:
- You say this money is in an escrow account - what are the terms of the escrow agreement and is this escrow account held by a third party? That is a good indicator of whether the firm is being honest. A true escrow account will not be owned or operated by the law firm, but will be a completely third party and there will be terms about when the money can be withdrawn either to be returned to you or paid to the law firm.
- How can the law firm be late filing paperwork for you and what paperwork are they actually filing? What are you asking be done at Transunion that would require a lawyer?  Whether or not its a scam, a firm that does not meet deadlines set forth in the original agreements is never one I want to work with.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: swamileoni on July 25, 2016, 11:30:34 AM
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Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: TheCollegeInvestor on July 25, 2016, 09:42:47 PM
If you're paying by credit card I would dispute the charge and cancel the contract with them. You run the risk they would collect, but it's probably less harm to your credit than what they propose.

Second, I would report them to the CFPB and the state attorney general. The whole thing sounds wrong, unprofessional for sure.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: G434 on August 08, 2016, 07:46:05 PM
Complain to Attorney General and FL Bar. I am in same boat and will not slander as I do not want to end up in defermation law suit. I am just encouraging to use proper channels to resolve this. It seems after 1 year, those who have been involved are realizing (unfortunately a bit late) that something is really wrong.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: swamileoni on August 16, 2016, 11:40:52 PM
Hey G434,

Check your private messages.

~Swami
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: Sbarua on October 01, 2016, 02:33:08 AM
I have been paying Kevin mason with RAM paying method. I read what you had to say swami. What should I do? What suggestions and how to go by.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: swamileoni on October 03, 2016, 02:20:57 PM
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Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: bgrasso on October 05, 2016, 10:16:09 AM
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to weigh in on my experience so far with Kevin Mason law handling my private student loans with Navient (Sallie Mae).
Last September I was contacted by Joe DeVito from National Legal Staffing Support on behalf of Kevin Mason PA to sue Navient for unlawful practices. He told me Kevin Mason had been very successful with getting student loans from Navient completely dismissed. At this point I had been paying my private student loans over $700/month for about 5 years and hadn't seen even a dent made  in my principal balance (around $100k). I was desperate and Joe told me exactly what I wanted to hear, like "you can finally buy a house and start a life!", and caught me hook line and sinker. He told me to stop making payments to Navient immediately and I would start making the same monthly payments ($718/month) to the law firm but I would only make them for 5 years, versus 10 years with navient, and no interest would accrue. He told me the $ I paid them would go towards legal fees and if Navient settled for a small amount (1-2%) instead of completely dismissing my loans. He also said legal assistants would monitor my credit, as well as my father's (who co-signed my loans), to make sure Navient wasn't reporting anything negative as it is illegal for them to do so once they receive cease & desist letters from the law firm.
I honestly still can't believe I fell for any of this. A few months in I noticed they weren't doing things they said they would (like sending paperwork as another person on the forum stated). I was offered a job in NY at the beginning of this year and needed to get an apartment here. That's when I found out my credit score had gone from a 700 to a 500 and I had to pay double the amount of a deposit on an apartment just to move. I contacted my legal assistant at National Legal Staffing Support and she said there was nothing they could do besides send dispute letters to the credit bureaus which I got no actual proof of them doing and even if they did it didn't help at all. My fathers credit also dropped and he couldn't even rent a car to help me move. No one at the law firm seemed to care or even remember I was told my credit would be monitored and this wouldn't happen.
In August I received an email from them saying Navient had sent them a settlement offer (although I never got actual proof of this offer) for $41,500. I thought it was great news since I was told the money I was paying the law firm would go towards a settlement but boy was I wrong. After pretty much having to beat a real answer out of Joe he told me I would have to pay both the settlement from Navient AND the law firm, meaning it would equal around the same amount as my original loan balance and all I did was ruin my credit. They said they would keep trying to go for complete dismissal but it seemed like all they were using for dismissal were the 3 calls Navient made to me since receiving the cease & desist from the law firm. I was given no actual proof of them doing any case work and I really believe they will just use illegal calls made for dismissal.
I started doing research on Kevin Mason and NLSS and a lot of people were saying it's a scam and to contact the Attorney General of Florida so I did. I gave them the whole story and when someone contacted me back last week they asked for more information and said they were sending my complaint to Kevin Mason but all they could really do is mediate the complaint  between us. Yesterday I received a VERY angry voicemail from someone named Greg at NLSS who literally screamed at me for filing the complaint, stated they "bent over backwards for me" when I needed a 5 day payment extension ONE time, and they've "worked so hard on my case" and are going to cancel it. I'm actually terrified to call back because this person berated me so much just on a voicemail message. Has anyone else gone this far yet with them and had any sort of help from the attorney general? I have no idea what is going to happen next and I'm scared to find out.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: swamileoni on October 06, 2016, 03:03:08 PM
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Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: bgrasso on October 10, 2016, 06:12:51 PM
Hi Swamileoni,

I finally was able to get Joe DeVito (not DeSilva as you stated) to send me an email on how the debt settlement would work after he called me numerous times and I kept emailing him to tell him I wanted the information in an email and not over the phone as I feel they twist their words over the phone. When I first spoke to Joe last year about signing up for the program he told me Kevin Mason would challenge the debt with Navient by using unethical practices and classes I was charged for and didn't need but now they seem to only be concerned with having the Call Log filled out and one of the legal assistants I deal with at NLSS stated the last time I spoke to him "we're going to need these calls if we want full dismissal of the loans" which made me believe they aren't doing any real work and are just going to use the 3 illegal calls Navient has made to me since receiving the cease & desist from the "law firm". I am going to email Joe this week to ask for detailed information on all the work they've done on my case so far and will withhold any future payments to NLSS until I receive the info. And no, they did not send me an actual settlement letter from Navient, just a letter typed up by Kevin Mason stating the law firm received a settlement offer from Navient for the $41,500 so I will be asking for proof of that as well.
Have you tried disputing any payments you made to the law firm? I've paid them almost $10,000 now and I'm just going to assume I probably won't be getting any of that back. And have you already reached out to the Attorney General in Florida? Someone from the Department of Agriculture contacted me back but I don't seem to be getting anywhere with them, they just keep telling me to get a lawyer, a real lawyer.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: swamileoni on October 11, 2016, 10:24:17 AM
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Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: RobertM on October 29, 2016, 02:56:26 AM
Thanks for the info. I will be careful next time dealing with them
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: JSTUDENT on December 02, 2016, 11:37:18 AM
bgrasso...thanks for the info. Your case is identical to mine except that i have not gotten to the settlement part, and jonnestly i dont think i want to continue. Joe DeVito was handling my case at some point as well. I am 18 months into this process and all they are telling me is that they sent letters  to Sallie mae and wells fargo requestig all of my loans documents. That is what they have been telling me since day1. I want to cancel the contract, but from what i understand if i do cancel, i will still be responsible to pay them the 50% of my loans stated in the contract. Has anyone tried to cancel the contract and what was the outcome?

I also want to file a complaint with the attorney general.
bgrasso, please keep us updated on the outcome once you talk to joe DeVito again to see if he is able to send you a legit copy of the settlement directly from salie mae. Thanks again
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: ChargerRT1983 on September 20, 2017, 08:36:49 AM
 I only registered to give my input on this law firm. I looked up the company after they reached out to help me and I found this site with nothing but negative post. I usually make my own decision after I see people who are upset write foolishness and that's what I did. I decided to go with the company. Of course after a few months I began to wonder myself if this was a good idea. Then my legal helper (Justin) called me to tell me they dismissed my Capital One debt. In the beginning they told me it would take years to get the job done but they dismissed my debt within a year. That's why I don't listen to peoples OPINIONS because they only complain when things seem to not go the way they want it. I have one more debt with them and i'm definitely staying. Good luck to everybody that left them.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: Colleague on October 04, 2017, 07:56:19 AM
I have some experience with law firms, and everything I've read here sounds like National Legal Staffing Support (NLSS) et al are running a classic scam. (Everything, that is, except the post by ChargerRT1983, who sounds like an NLSS plant.) Competent law firms do not work the way the posters here say Joe DeVito and NLSS work. What's more, everything NLSS say it'll do for lots of money is stuff that you can do yourself for free with just a bit of Internet research, letter-writing, and follow-up.

I don't know Steven Hofer from Adam, but I'd trust him and his consumer-protection law firm over NLSS any day, and I hope he wins his suit against them. I can't believe NLSS can get away with this stuff, but that's the sad state of consumer protection in America these days. By and large, we 99% folks are largely defenseless against scamsters unless we can get a consumer-protection lawyer to take our case in a class-action suit, which is time-consuming and expensive.

I went to the federal court records (Public Access to Court Electronic Records: PACER) and read Steven Hofer's first amended complaint against NLSS et al. It's damning. You can read it here:
http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.innd.89966/gov.uscourts.innd.89966.21.0.pdf
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: Italipino on May 24, 2018, 05:47:12 AM
I'm in this same boat right now. Can anyone share updates? I am sick over this and don't know where to turn. I see there was a recent lawsuit against them for this.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: Hoferlawindy on May 24, 2018, 07:24:14 AM
My name is Steve Hofer, I am a consumer attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. I have received complaints about Kevin Mason, GM Law Firm, and National Legal Staffing Support LLC from people located in multiple states.  If you have information, I would love to talk with you (no charge), and I will try to refer you to a NACA consumer lawyer in your state.  My policy is that I only take clients from Indiana. 

Steven Hofer
Consumer Law Office of Steve Hofer
8888 Keystone Crossing Suite 1300
Indianapolis In 46240
(317) 662-4529
www.hoferlawindy.com

(You can Google me to find out I am legit.  For a quick response, call me on the phone or fill out the intake form on my website listed above. I can't check this message board very often, and I don't want my email address spammed. Some states might consider this to be ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL.)
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: Jeff on May 31, 2018, 08:57:30 AM
so I have been following this thread of information because I have been thinking about using GM Law Firm to help me with my debt. I have to say the information I have been reading is very hard to follow. the link a couple comments above, posted by user Colleague is very misleading as well. it directs you to a link that shows a lawsuit, "Castellanos vs GM Law Firm" however, if you actually look up the lawsuit it shows that it has ben dismissed, I have attached a copy of the pdf dismissal I downloaded. It seems as though this Attorney Hofer has some sort of personal gripe with GM Law because the case with Castellanos was dismissed, however he is back on this forum searching for potential clients again? This is all very confusing as the information i have pulled up about GM Law Firm doesn't lead me to believe they are Fraudulent or bad. It simply shows that there are a few clients that just aren't happy. I'm going to keep following this info thread for more information before i make my decision and do some further research. I hope what i have found here is helpful to others.
Title: Re: Kevin Mason Law Firm
Post by: swamileoni on November 20, 2018, 01:49:31 PM
Before anyone plans to sign a contract with GM Law / Kevin Mason / NLSS please google search ‘Kevin Mason Law Scam’.  He is currently being sued by multiple people.  Below is an affidavit of a whistle blower who worked for NLSS.  Very interesting document.

I was able to get out of my contract with them for a full 100% refund but not before Gregory Fishman and Jon Sabia left me very nasty voicemails.

I have personally spoke with Steve Hofer and he’s as genuine as it gets.  If you’re currently still under contract with these companies, please reach out to him.

https://getoutofdebt.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/86-Affidavit-of-Jehenna-Williamson_Ali-v.-Kevis-Mason-P.A.-et-al..pdf (https://getoutofdebt.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/86-Affidavit-of-Jehenna-Williamson_Ali-v.-Kevis-Mason-P.A.-et-al..pdf)
https://getoutofdebt.org/114089/affidavit-gm-law-national-legal-staffing-case-leaves-little-imagination (https://getoutofdebt.org/114089/affidavit-gm-law-national-legal-staffing-case-leaves-little-imagination)
https://getoutofdebt.org/tag/gregory-fishman (https://getoutofdebt.org/tag/gregory-fishman)