I’m recently divorced and have gotten myself into a debt hole. As a result, I can not manage my monthly payments.
I’m considering a debt relief contract with Americor. Is this a good reputable company, or is there a better option for getting out of debt?
It is not uncommon for people to find themselves in financial strife following a divorce. When couples split, household obligations and expenses are divided or doubled and can become unmanageable individually.
I’ve seen many people who want to maintain the same lifestyle after divorce. Sometimes one partner says the divorce was not their fault and they should not have to scale back.
The financial pressure following a divorce can be severe regardless of the underlying reason.
Far too often, these situations end badly without surgical intervention.
I’m not sure what the salespeople at Americor pitched you. I have written about Americor in the past.
If you’ve already contacted Americor, listen to what they have to say, but before you agree to hire them, ask for a copy of the client contract for you to review ahead of time. This is a critical step I covered in this recent podcast.
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On the Americor website, they lead off with this statement on their homepage, “The Nation’s Leading Provider of Consumer Credit & Debt Relief Solutions.”
That is a pretty bold statement, making me wonder what it is substantiated by. Have they assigned themselves the platitude of “nation’s leading provider,” and if so, what message does that send?
Their website’s tiny and hard-to-read fine print says, “Under our debt resolution program, our estimates are based on prior results, which will vary depending on your individual program terms and your specific enrolled creditors. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to resolve all of your enrolled accounts or that we will be able to resolve them for a specific amount or within a specific period of time. Not all of our clients will be able to complete our program for any number of reasons, including, but not limited to, their ability to save enough money during the term of their program. Under our program, we do not assume the liability for your enrolled accounts, and we do not make monthly payments to your creditors. Failing to make timely payments to your creditors on your enrolled accounts will likely adversely affect your creditworthiness, increase the outstanding balances due to the accrual of interest charges, penalties and late fees, and may subject you to collection actions or lawsuits by your creditors. However, the repayment agreements that we may negotiate on your behalf will resolve the entire outstanding balance on that account, including any interest, penalties or fees accrued during your program participation. Any amount of debt forgiven by your creditors may be subject to income tax, and you should consult with an accountant or attorney regarding the potential tax consequences of paying less than the full amount owed on your enrolled accounts. We do not provide tax, accounting, legal or bankruptcy advice. We are not a credit repair company, and we do not provide credit repair services. You should carefully read all program materials prior to your enrollment to be sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of our program. Our program is not available in all states, and our fees vary by state.
** Certain types of debts are not eligible for enrollment. Some creditors are not eligible for enrollment because they do not negotiate with debt settlement companies.”
Those are some essential disclaimers you should understand.
I don’t know how you define good or reputable. For me, a great company listens to a person’s situation and crafts a custom solution for that person based on their current situation, retirement savings trend, and the status of the current financial safety net.
Americor clearly says they don’t provide bankruptcy advice, and from reading the site, it feels as if they are trying to sell you some debt relief solution.
But without talking about and considering bankruptcy, you are not getting all the information you need to make smart choices.
You asked me if there was a better option, and there might be, but it does not sound like Americor will give you the complete picture.
So Here is What I Suggest
If you chat with Americor, ask them for a copy of the client agreement so you have time to read and understand it and ask them all your questions before signing.
You should also read the Federal Trade Commission rules debt relief companies have to follow when giving you facts about cost and success rates. Then, compare the FTC guidance with what Americor is saying to you.
You can read my following free guides and research the company to see if you are comfortable with what they are selling you.
- The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
- 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Counseling or Settlement Company for You
- How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off
You should find a good local bankruptcy attorney and have a free discussion about what bankruptcy would mean for you. Bankruptcy is the fastest way to get a fresh start for the least amount of money.
And if you want to talk to an independent debt coach, contact Damon Day and have a talk about the overall situation and what he thinks would be a wise approach given your unique situation.
You might also want to calculate what repaying your debt can cost you in lost retirement savings. Does it make sense to repay your debt if it will cause you to lose more than $1 million in retirement savings? Only you can answer that.
All of my guidance above might seem like a lot of work, but you deserve the solution to your current debt stress that makes the future better and brighter.
Logically, once you gather all the information, including that from Americor, you can make an informed choice about what is best for you in your situation.
Come back and ask me any follow-up questions you want in the comments section below.
Ultimately, being an educated, savvy consumer is the best thing you can do to make the right choice and make your financial future the best it can be.
You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
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