Settling Up: Debt Settlement Companies Paid Yellowstone Capital and Everest Business Funding a Half Million Dollars to End Lawsuit
A group of debt settlement companies and ISOs have entered into a settlement they’re unlikely to forget. A lawsuit that accused Corporate Bailout, Protection Legal Group, Mark Mancino, Michael Hamill and others of tortious interference with merchant cash advance contracts has led to a settlement in which the defendants agreed to pay Yellowstone Capital and Everest Business Funding $500,000. They also agreed not to offer any services to Yellowstone or Everest merchants in the future, deBanked has learned.
The original complaint alleged that ISOs had partnered with companies that purport to offer debt relief services to merchants with MCAs. In practice, the complaint said, debt relief was a code word for deceiving merchants to breach their existing agreements so that they could pay fees instead to the debt relief companies.
When asked to comment, Yellowstone Capital CEO Isaac Stern said that there were companies that offer this kind of service the right way but that was not the case here. “The way they’re going about it is really wrong,” he said.
Of note is that the bound parties were not just debt settlement companies but also ISOs and a law firm (Mark D. Guidubaldi & Associates, LLC dba Protection Legal Group).
Additional companies not named in the original complaint but nonetheless bound to the settlement are Mainstream Marketing Group and Corporate Client Services LLC. Websites for both companies say that they offer small business debt relief services.
Coast to Coast Funding LLC, who the defendants represented they had no control of, did not participate in the deal.
The settled matter is not the first of its kind. Everest and Yellowstone have been hammering debt settlement companies with lawsuits this year, according to court records examined by deBanked. In January, Everest sued MCA Helpline and Todd Fisch for tortious interference, and just last month Yellowstone filed a Petition to recover funds that were allegedly fraudulently transferred by Settle My Cash Advance.
In the latter case with Settle My Cash Advance, the defendants are alleged to have actively coached a merchant to hide his money in new bank accounts and hide the paper trail rather than pay the money owed to Yellowstone.
Speaking about no case in particular, Stern said “Imagine getting a commission on a deal [where you help a small business get funding] and then sending it to a debt settlement company. If there are ISOs that are doing that, we’re going to come after you hard.”Last modified: June 12, 2018