Here is a secret shopper call I made to a group that presents themselves as a company that is backed by attorneys, which I could not confirm, and they claim they are only registered in two states. They also charge a 10% fee based on the amount of debt, 100% up-front.
Highlights From the Call
- I can pick and choose which creditors you want in the program.
- Stop paying the creditors when you enter the program.
- The goal is to trick creditors into tripping over collection laws.
- Creditors settle for between 20%-30%
- Costs 10% of original debt up-front.
- They’ve never retained attorneys locally to settle out of court.
- Will contact credit bureaus regarding everything negative after debt is paid off.
- On $80,000 of debt the payments would be $800 a month for 10 months.
- I said I had Discover, Chase, American Express. Not a problem to work with.
- Would start working on my file right away.
- Chance I won’t have to pay the debt at all if the creditors are tripped up with collection law and disputing credit report information.
- If creditors won’t participate then they file suit. They’ve only filed 1 suit.
- Sales rep left me foggy on what the success rate of the program would be and could not specify what percentage of clients are successful.
- If creditors don’t violate the laws then I can keep making payments and settle the accounts latter.
- “We do settle the debt but we don’t call ourselves a settlement company.
- Later tells me they will settle accounts for 40%.
- They would not represent me but would give me paperwork to file if I got sued. They claim their success rate is higher if client represents themselves in court.
This approach clearly has them unabashedly charging 10% fee before they do any work. I do happen to have a copy of the agreement with this company and the agreement says it is a non-refundable fee.
What is also interesting about the agreement is that it is actually not between the consumer and an actual lawyer or verifiable law firm.
So what’s your vote on this call? Would you label them as FTC TSR complaint?
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