Extremely high credit card debt. Payments to creditors stopped last june while under the guidance of US Legal Services. I saw your article regarding them and I am currently 6 months into their program. Today, one collection agency (United Credit Bureau on behalf of Citibank) contacted my Mortage bank (Wells Fargo). Wells Fargo called me and I called the collection agency. I put them off until I talked to US Legal Services. By the end of the day, US Legal Services did negotiate a settlement reduction from 11.7K to a little less than 3.5K, however, I only have $1K plus change in my program savings account. The current offer is being taken to Citibank for consideration. A decision is likely on Monday. In addition, US Legal also negotiated a settlement with WFNNB (Victoria Secret). That settlement is for $215 plus change for an original debt of $627 (now up to around $800) and is pending for now as we sort out the Citibank issue.
After reading your article, I certainly have some concerns. USL does seem to be working for me, but your concerns and the grading on the BBB website (F with words like fraudulent more than once) has me worried. I’m thinking of seeing the Citibank settlement through, which will require me to pay extra on the $1076.55 monthly payment for three months if Citi agrees to a three month payment as opposed to a lump sum. I have been in this program for six months for a total debt of around 75.6K as of last June. Now, with interest and penalties that has gone up. Steve, what do I do? Can I get out of the contract? Should I get out of the contract or stay with the program at least until the Citibank account is taken care of? At least then the 6K plus I’ve paid will have been made up by the over 8K settlement reduction, pending approval and possible counter offer. They did offer to me directly to setle for 4.8K
Ultimately the issue here is that all the money you paid to date sounds as if it went to fees for US Legal Services rather than helping to negotiate settlements quickly which would have most likely prevented this situation from happening.
At this point the fees have been paid and hopefully the services will be delivered. Just make sure you don’t agree to any settlement offer that you can’t meet the terms for. Agreeing to a settlement you can’t afford or can’t pay as negotiated is not good and can lead to unfortunate consequences.
What you decide to do moving forward is totally up to you. If you do decide to try to get out and go for a refund, read this.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.