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TMCNet:  The Paynter Law Firm Files Class Action against Meracord, LLC, Linda Remsberg, and Lloyd Ward & Associates

[July 27, 2012]

The Paynter Law Firm Files Class Action against Meracord, LLC, Linda Remsberg, and Lloyd Ward & Associates

TACOMA, Wash. --(Business Wire)--

On July 24, 2012, The Paynter Law Firm filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against Meracord, LLC (formerly known as "NoteWorld, LLC"), a major player in the debt settlement industry. The suit also names as defendants Meracord CEO Linda Remsberg personally; Lloyd Ward & Associates, a Texas law firm (and various associated entities); and the law firm's principal attorney, Lloyd E. Ward.

The debt settlement industry purports to help indebted consumers "negotiate" with their creditors to lower their debts, but has been criticized in recent years by many consumer advocates, as well as the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC (News - Alert)") and the Government Accountability Office ("GAO"), for widespread allegations of fraud and abuse.

The lawsuit, filed by three consumers from Pennsylvania and Illinois, alleges that Meracord violated the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") by conspiring, along with scores-if not hundreds-of "front-end" debt settlement ompanies to defraud indebted consumers by falsely representing their services, the fees they would charge, and other important facts.

The complaint also alleges that Meracord's actions violated Washington State law by, among other things, charging illegal fees and failing to disclose important information to consumers.

According to the complaint, the three plaintiffs each lost thousands of dollars in unearned fees paid to Meracord and to their front-end debt settlement companies, including Lloyd Ward & Associates. Nor were the plaintiffs alone-the lawsuit seeks to represent all consumers who have established Meracord accounts related to any debt settlement program. The complaint alleges that Plaintiffs and class members received little or no actual debt settlement services in return for these exorbitant fees.

This suit follows a similar suit filed by the firm against Meracord last year: Rajagopalan v. NoteWorld, LLC. In that case, Meracord attempted to force the consumer to arbitrate his claims rather than go to court. After losing at the trial court on the arbitration issue, Meracord appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where the case is currently pending.

The lead attorneys on the case for the firm are Stuart Paynter and Celeste H.G. Boyd, and firm is co-counsel in the action with the law firm of Hagens, Berman Sobol & Shapiro LLP.

About the Paynter Law Firm:

The Paynter Law Firm represents consumers in complex commercial litigation, including antitrust, securities law and consumer protection litigation. More about the law firm can be found at www.smplegal.com


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