The Hess Kennedy “Legal Debt Center” scheme

According to a lawsuit filed by Chase, two Coral Springs attorneys are scamming their clients by promising to eliminate their debts, and then diverting debt payments for legal fees to file meritless lawsuits challenging credit card debts. The attorneys general of Florida, North Carolina, and West Virginia are also involved, and the Florida bar has moved to suspend the license of Laura Hess. “Defendants’ ulterior goals are to extract fees from card members who should be paying the money to Chase to satisfy their debts and to maliciously harass Chase in an improper (albeit unsuccessful) attempt to coerce the elimination of their clients’ legitimate debts.” (Bud Newman, “Chase Bank Accuses Florida Law Firms of Running Debt-Relief Scam”, Daily Business Review, Mar. 6).

Update: See also Mar. 6 Business Week; on-line at the self-reported Rip-Off Report; and WATE (Tennessee), Apr. 2. “‘The programs typically require financially strapped consumers to pay fees up front, so they make money whether or not any useful services are performed,’ says Philip Lehman, an assistant attorney general in North Carolina.”


  • I like it. For all the real issues in credit card billing (and they are many), we don’t need fake issues being created by con-men. I’m glad to see a creditor protecting itself. By the same token, however, if Chase is caught doing something wrong on a large scale, it shouldn’t cry if it faces a class action.

  • This is nonsense. I’ve been a client of the Hess Kennedy Law Firm for a few years and my credit reports are stating “paid in full.” They also helped get over zealous debt collectors off my back. My debts are being negotatiated down and paid off as promised. I owe many thanks to the firm for getting me out of my horrible debt situation. “Ted Frank” apparantly must work for some other debt agency. Why don’t you write about Chase’s 30% interest rate hikes for no reason? Or write about the 100,000+ successful debt reductions the Kennedy Law Firm has accomplished? There is always two sides of the story Frank.

  • […] our previous story, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Florida Bar has taken action against the law firm […]