I was once completely ignorant to SEO. In my ignorance, I hired a black hat "SEO expert" prior to the Panda Penguin update. Once Google rolled out these changes, my site got destroyed because of the 30-40k bad backlinks built over 3 months.
We had a manual action taken against us for impact links. This is far from the most severe Google manual action, but it was an action nonetheless. When this action was lifted through disavowing links and contacting webmasters, my site rankings actually went down further.
In my search to recover from this situation, I have identified that the disavow tool is a "strong suggestion" and does not get rid of bad backlinks. My attempts to get these links manually removed by hundreds of webmasters has been futile, at best.
Researching more, I've learned that changing domain names and doing a 301 redirect for the entire site could help with our issues. However, I really don't want to change my domain name. It's perfect for our business. Additionally, there is plenty of good quality links to the site as well.
Without progress in the SERPs, I am facing the end of my business because of the actions of this one bad SEO guy. It just seems wrong there isn't a better way to take corrective action than to change the domain name.