The following article was submitted by Sean Ryan from Active Debt Solutions. Active Debt Solutions is a member of the American Association of Credit Counselors that has pledged to put consumers first.
17632 Irvine Blvd., Suite 225
Tustin, CA. 92780
Warning: AVOID THIS COMPANY
A spammer on www.getoutofdebt.org was kind enough to place this message:
“Debt consolidation plan is the perfect tool for getting out of debts. Free credit counseling is available at www.yourdebtfreeadvisor.com” in the comments thread of this link.
While SPAM rears it’s head on the Get Out of Debt Guy’s Blog sometimes, one would think the producer would have more sense than to place it on a consumer advocate’s website which warns people about bad companies. Not the case here.
The message itself is poorly written, as if the author was speaking in broken English. While that in itself is not cause to criticize, it did beg for further examination. So, I clicked the link and the Homepage there were nothing but red flags.
Here are some quotes and my take-
(FROM THE HOMEPAGE)
“We are here to provide you knowledgeable legal advice not only to help you manage your debts but also to stay away from debt consolidation scams.”
There is no indication that this is a law firm. Oops. It is illegal to give legal advice for a fee, or to represent that you are a lawyer, unless you are.
“Stop demands from creditors!”
Debt settlement usually will INCREASE demands from creditors.
(FROM THE “HOW IT WORKS” TAB- This is bad…)
How Debt Consolidation Works
Debt consolidation is a process where debtors can avail low monthly debt repayment plan. Debt consolidation has two important stages. The first one is debt negotiation with creditors and the other one is formulation of plans.
Debt Negotiation with Creditors
This is the crucial part of debt consolidation and is done by getting in touch with the creditors. Some people can settle debts with creditors on their own. And for those who are unable to do that can hire professional debt consolidator to work on their behalf. Debt consolidator will contact your creditors to let them know that you are going through financial hardship. Therefore you are no longer able to repay the money on time. This effective and professional debt negotiation will stop the harassing phone calls from creditors.
To lessen these difficulties, people prefer bankruptcy since this will allow them to gain freedom from debts almost instantly. Bankruptcy is a legal process which needs to be filed by debtors in federal court. As per the present bankruptcy law, creditors are not allowed to contact their debtors. Due to this reason, creditors often agree to give up some fees or interest in lieu of losing the entire amount owed.
Formulating a Plan
The next step after credit debt negotiation is formulation of a superior debt repayment plan. This you can do it either on your own or you can hire a professional debt negotiation attorney to do that for you. Debt consolidation attorneys will come up a payment plan based on certain information about your credit, your monthly income, the amount of debt that you owe to your creditors, etc.
The objective here is to formulate a strategic debt repayment plan by consolidating your entire monthly payments into one payment and divide it among your creditors. Debt consolidation attorneys are able to tell you about your monthly payments as well as the tenure of your debt repayment plan. A perfect debt consolidation plan is strong enough to stop collection calls from debt collectors.
Debt consolidation plan is the perfect tool for getting out of debts. Free credit counseling is available from professional debt consolidation companies which will understand the effect of credit and debts on your credit score.
I don’t even know where to begin here! They have actually confused three different types of debt relief here & actually jammed it all into “Debt Consolidation”. Lawyers don’t negotiate Debt Management or Consumer Credit Counseling Plans. Debt settlement won’t “stop harassing phone calls. And how bankruptcy got in here, I have no idea!
Then, of course, there’s this tab:
Credit & Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation is a process where your entire unsecured debts are merged to form a single outstanding debt amount. This is done by reviewing your previous credit information. Debt consolidation program is not going to have an adverse effect on your credit. In fact, debt consolidation is beneficial to both debtors as well as creditors. It doesn’t cheat creditors out of what they owed. If a consumer is having good credit rating and is making payment on time, then a creditor will not change its policy when entered into a debt consolidation program.
Tips for Improving Credit through Debt Consolidation
There are ways by which you can improve your credit through debt consolidation. Some of them are as follows:
- At first, you must choose a professional debt consolidation company and make sure that they don’t report to any Credit Bureaus.
- Before you sign up for debt consolidation program, make sure that you have closed all your revolving charge accounts. After signing up, your next assignment is to call your credit card companies to close all your credit card accounts. The reason for this your credit report, you want it to state “Closed by Consumer” instead of “Closed by Grantor”.
*Debt Management absolutely has a negative effect on your credit! Further, they indicate you should “choose a company that does NOT report to the credit bureaus”! OK- Now I’m more confused, so I am to pay your company, in turn, you repay my debts but do not report them being paid?? Ummmmmmmm….
(From my favorite part- The “Testimonial” Tab!)
” I just wanted to say thanks to everyone there at Your Debt Free Advisor. My husband and I could not be more happy with the negotiation process and outcome. The burden and stress with being in a snare are now gone, all of our credit card debt is erased for good. Thanks so much ” Amanda and Garry, WI
Wisconsin huh? Debt settlement is not permitted by law in WI
“Your staff is really amazing! First, we signed up for an 16 month program. We just completed month 12 and all of our accounts have been already settled! We are so happy to wait to purchase our new home in a few more months. We are grateful we found you!” P. Florence, CO
NOT registered with State of Colorado to provide debt relief services.
“Hello All, I just wanted to send a sincere thank you to each of you for all you do. For all of your kind services, sincere help and great patience. Thank you very much specially for me. “ Best Wishes Annie, CA
“Thank you very much specially for me.”
Hmmmm…, Again, with the broken English.
“I just wanted to thank you and client services for all your help so far. Everyone I have talked to is very supportive and knowledgeable. I look forward to working with the supportive client services and specially you. “ Thanks M. Bowell, FL
“working with the supportive client services and specially you. ““Specially” again…?
” You are an angel sent from GOD to help people is the least I could say about you. I personally appreciate you and your teachings. GOD Bless you Always ” A.Thompson
I didn’t see anything indicating that they were providing “teachings”!
I don’t know. Maybe it’s me but it appears ALL of their testimonials were written by a foreign blogging service and NOT a client. We are contacted daily by such companies offering to provide written blog-support and writing services. These companies from India really don’t understand what we do and that’ OK but just because they happen to be inexpensive, we would never use one! Not only is it a violation of FTC rules advertise using deceitful and dishonest statements, but I’m not so sure I would want a company that deceitful to handle my financial affairs!
OK, look, I could pick this apart at each sentence. Avoid this company! Either they have no idea what is on their website, what they are doing as a business or, even more certain, how to help a consumer in financial need. Any company can write “client testimonials”, right? Surely many even do so- but to write them so POORLY? A good company will have no need to write their own testimonials. We have some on our website, written by our clients and have the documentation to back up their legitimacy.
It’s difficult to know who to trust. In order to find out more I contacted the company via their website. I received a call back from a salesman named Neil. He informed me that he worked for DEBT NEGOTIATIONS NOW and that the site I was on was just a lead generator! Phew! I guess it’s ok for a lead generator to be dishonest, right? And I should trust the company that uses such a lead generator that lies, right?
After telling Neil my debt amount and simply that I had “experienced a hardship”, he explained that debt settlement would save me thousands a year. The website seemed to say that there were many options available. I guess Neil knows best though, since he is the expert.
He told me it would cost half of what I owe and in 24 months I would be debt free, including their fees. I pressed him on their fees and he said they were included in my payment but were only 9-12% of my debt. He stated that “the first couple of months I would be paying toward my fees” which is illegal in the United States in debt settlement so I convinced Neil to agree to email me a contract so I could see for myself. He made me promise to review it with him when I receive it. I promise Neil. To date- I have not received an email from Neil.
If you are looking for help with an affordable debt relief program you may come across a lead generator website or an ad for services produced by a lead generator instead of an actual debt relief company. Typically lead generators produce marketing material to induce you to contact them and in turn sell your information to a third party who can provide you the services you seek.
While that may be fair, they should (many do not) disclose to the consumer that they do not, in fact provide directly the service you seeking. It can very difficult to know whether you are contacting a debt relief provider or simply a marketing company who wants to sell your information to a provider.
Sadly, sometimes the only you’ll know is by making a single inquiry and, in turn receiving multiple companies contacting you back. Many debt relief providers use these marketing companies and often cannot control how many companies the provider sells your information to.
Research is the key to making good financial decisions. Inquiries need to be made in looking for new or unique options or we are simply ignorant to them. Do your homework. Use referrals. Search for information on www.getoutofdebt.org . Listen to what the seller tells you. And, as always, if it sounds too good to be true, don’t walk away, RUN!