Debt Settlement

Should I Stop Dealing With Century Law Firm?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

Current Century Law Firm client. Signed up in 2016 and have made all my payments in full (with the exception of three partial payments agreed upon with company) to date. Four accounts have been settled and paid in full. Two accounts have been settled and payments are being made. One account left to settle.

My completion date is coming up (Oct 2020) so I contacted the company for an update. They are now trying to get me to make 17 additional payments past my completion date. They still have not settled one of the largest accounts. Do I insist they get a settlement amount on this final account before I stop dealing with them? If I push them to stick to the completion date, do I have any leverage?

Kimberly

Answer:

Dear Kimberly,

I would be very surprised if the client agreement you signed with Century Law Firm didn’t give them an out and allowed them to not make the completion date, adjustable.

Some of that “flexibility” by other companies seems to have been marketing to make a program sound shorter than it might really be. Sometimes the creditor agreements don’t work out exactly as forecast. This can be due to a number of factors like creditors change settlement terms or policies along the way. What the debt relief company may have thought would happen might change years later when it actually comes time to settle an account.

Debt relief companies don’t have any power over the creditors. They simply know how to deal with creditors and manage accounts. Ultimately the power in the creditor-client relationship comes from either a creditor offering attractive debt resolution options or consumers evoking their full legal rights through something like bankruptcy.

I’m not sure you have any leverage to make any demands other than express your unhappiness with them. I would think they will come up with some explanation of why the account has not settled yet. You will either need to accept that explanation or blow the relationship up and start over with a different company maybe for that last account.

I have no idea how Century Law Firm collected fees from you. If they were taken upfront before settlements were arranged then that could have delayed your progress. For companies who don’t earn settlement fees until arrangements are made, you would begin making payments early on.

But before you let your blood pressure explode, I’d got back and read your client agreement you signed to see if this issue isn’t addressed by your services agreement. You signed it a long time ago but if an issue happens the company will remember to reach for it quickly.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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