4 Pillars Consulting Group is a company that claims they will reduce their client's financial debt. They claim they specialize in eliminating large portions of their client's debts through financial restructuring.
When I walked into their office the first week of October 2007, I was looking for some help with my 2006 taxes owing, as I was in arrears by 6 months. I had a great credit rating of R1. My creditors were happy with me. It was only the taxes owing.
I walked into their office and I met with Maury. He told me that he could reduce my debts by almost half. I was skeptical, but he assured me not to worry. It wasn't my intention to get out of paying my bills, as I'm responsible for them. I expressed this to him, and showed him my credit rating that was in good standing with my creditors and that it was just the taxes I needed help with. He looked over what I owed verses my income and told me that I had no cash flow and that I qualify for their services and that I need to reduce my debt and to be able to have some cash flow again. He told me not to worry about my creditors as they write these debts off. He told me that I should include my 2007 taxes also. So we did.
He charged me $3, 000.00 which I could only afford to pay $1, 000. per month over the next three months. My proposal could not be completed and ready to go to the trustee until my last payment was made. He asked me to stop paying my creditors in October. I found that very hard to do, but I eventually stopped paying my creditors in December when I made the last payment to Maury.
My last payment was made near the end of December and my proposal SHOULD HAVE BEEN ready for the trustee in early January. It wasn't! They had 3 months to get it prepared. February came and I'm getting anxious as my creditors are calling me and leaving messages wanting to know why the payments had stopped, and I'm sitting in the dark as to why 4 Pillars hasn't completed my proposal yet. I'm now emailing 4 Pillars wanting to know what's the delay?
Finally they're ready to meet me in early March. Instead of a meeting with Maury to go over my proposal, I meet with a different consultant, Scott, whom I have never met before. I have 10 minutes to look the proposal over as the trustee is waiting in the other room for me to sign it.
I'm told by the trustee that my payments on 4 Pillar's proposal will be $320. per month. That is the amount 4 Pillars put on the proposal. I wasn't asked about it, as I would have made this amount around 500 - 600 dollars per month. I just assumed 4 Pillars and the trustee came to this amount via their calculations. I didn't ask any questions as they're the experts, NOT ME!
Now the proposal has to be accepted by the creditors. Again, at each meeting with Maury, he told me not to worry as my debt load would be decreased. They have an excellent track record of negotiating successful settlement proposals on behalf of their clients.
Two months later (May)I receive a letter from the trustee saying my proposal was filed on March 14, 2008 and I'm to meet in his office on May 16th, 2008. I met with the trustee and he told me the creditors have an amended proposal for me to sign. The creditors want $900 per month for 5 years. I was told that if I don't accept this proposal and if I decide to go bankrupt, then they will come at me wanting around $1, 500. per month, so I'd better accept this proposal.
Driving home from that meeting I was in total shock. Not only did I pay 4 Pillars $3, 000 dollars to help reduce my debts as per their claim. But now I had to pay thousands of dollars more, than what I owed at the time of walking into 4 Pillars office in the first place. Not to mention that my credit rating is now R7!! And I have to wait 5-6 years to be able to get an R1 credit rating again. There was no one looking out for my best interest!
After that meeting with the trustee, I called 4 Pillars and asked to meet with Maury and Scott to find out what happened. Maury didn't show up. Scott said the creditors wouldn't budge. Mostly it was the Canada Revenue Agency taking a hard stand. Scott tried lying to me about my figures and that they didn't include the 2007 taxes. I told him I have an email from Maury stating that he did include my 2007 taxes.
I asked if 4 Pillars would refund me my money as they didn't decrease my debt. They INCREASED MY DEBT!! They made me R7!! They took too long completing my proposal which made my creditors unhappy, which is why they probably took a hard stand against me. Then they lie to me. So yes, I feel the least they could do, is to reimbursed me my money for their terrible service. I was told by scott that 4 Pillars doesn't guarantee that the creditors will accept their proposal.
Again, each meeting I had with Maury, he assured me not to worry!! Not once did he say to me that my proposal could go the opposite way and I could pay more money to my creditors than what I started with. I wouldn't have taken this route. All I needed was some help with my 2006 taxes.
Here I am, on my own, now owing more money then what I originally owed when I walked into 4 Pillar's office! My R1 credit rating is gone and can't be repaired for 5-6 years! I'm now R7! My chances of getting any credit, or buying a house in the near future is very slim! 4 Pillars has washed their hands of me. They left me high and dry! They took my money, gave me terrible service, and they didn't do what they claimed they would do for me! They feel their job is done and that they did nothing wrong! They haven't apologized to me or accepted responsibility for their actions. I trusted them to look out for my best interest.
If anyone can help me, I'd greatly appreciate it.
New Dundee, Ontario