I’m currently in debt 50K which is more then I make on an annual basis. Payments are to the point that I have no extra money all going to pay CC bills. I feel horrible for allowing this to happen and while I know I have learned never to let this happen again I am being eaten alive by the debt.
I received in the mail an advertisement from www.paymentreliefcenter.com stating that I may be eligible to receive as much as $43,000 in debt relief through the Payment Relief Center initiative. What does this mean? Does this mean they let my payments go deliquent and as such incurr late fees and making it worse? I am so worried that I have no idea what to do. I would love to catch a break but I am afraid to get into with a company and find all they are doing is making it worse for me.
While I have not seen the mailer you received I did visit the web site of Payment Relief Center and from my review it appears they are a debt settlement company that is promising a painless
way out of debt using debt settlement. While I have not seen their contract I would not be surprised to learn it is a front-loaded contract where the fee, probably around 15% of the enrolled debt will be paid primarily first out of the funds collected from the client.
I think what I was most surprised at in my quick look at the Payment Relief Center was that the domain name was registered to a David Melrose at Dallas Home Loans in Plano, Texas. and in fact Payment Relief Center, LLC is a registered to David Melrose in Texas. Registered on September 19, 2008. – Source
What make the mortgage loan connection interesting is there were a number of subprime loan brokers that made a move into selling debt settlement services when the subprime loan markets collapsed.
While the mailer you received may have given you the impression there is some government program you are “eligible” for, there is no such government program. It appears to be nothing more that a pitch to sell you debt settlement services.
I did call Payment Relief Center and spoke to a representative, Anthony. Overall he did a better then average job of explaining things in comparison to calls to calls I’ve made other debt settlement companies. In fairness to Payment Relief Center I did end the call before they went through the entire sales presentation.
The sales person did seem to guide me to come up with a “hardship” that was acceptable. In addition I asked your question concerning late fees and was told that I would incur late fees from my creditors in the program. They made a claim that it didn’t matter since they were going to negotiate the debt based on the original balance but if it took you years to save money to actually settle and the balance of the debts grew, the final negotiation is based on the balance of the debt at the time you have the funds to settle. That claim made me go “huh?”
My primary concern during the call was the representative was quoting me a pretty specific amount of debt they could eliminate. He also made it sound like credit counseling would hurt my credit more. That’s not an accurate statement in my experience.
While we did not discuss it on the call, it would be a good idea for you to check out the success rates or failure rates of both debt settlement and credit counseling approaches in my previous linked post.
I did like the fact that he did not hide the 15% upfront fee charged by the program. But paying for the total debt enrolled in the program does not mean that all debt will be settled and in my opinion is not the best approach for the consumer.
There are other debt settlement options that instead of charging you a fee based on the total debt enrolled they primarily charge you a fee based on what debt they actually settle. If you are truly interested in debt settlement as an option I suggest you contact Damon Day to review your options and help you find a suitable company and have him review the debt settlement contract you will be asked to sign.
As part of your due diligence and investigation into what debt relief solution might be best for you I think you should also contact a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to a credit counseling company.
The connection wasn’t the greatest but you can listen below to my call with Payment Relief Center that I made on your behalf.
Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.
Bottom line is you need to be aware that allowing your debt to fall behind will result in higher balances and fees, you will be in collections and you could be sued and have your wages garnished. It is not a magic solution without consequences.