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I Just Spent an Hour Talking to Nationwide Debt Direct. – Yohanes

“Dear Steve,

I’m in debt for $42k+. I have been transferring the balances (0% 12 months) from one card to the other, but it’s catching up with me now.

Just talked to debt settlement company for more than an hour called Nationwide Debt Direct. Googled it and your website mentioned about this company. Same address for formerly F-rated BBB company. Seems legit to me, will settle my debt from $42k to $24k with $667/month fixed for 36 months.

What do you think?

The account manager said that the success rate of the negotitation with B of A, Citibank, and Chase is high. They will be compensated on the forgiven amount through money from TARP Funding. Make sense to me, but you know this business better.

Thanks in advance.

Yohanes”

Dear Yohanes,

I’m curious what your expectation is in entering into the debt settlement approach. If you don’t have the cash on hand to settle quickly then you will wind up in collections and potentially be sued before your debt is settled. It’s just a possibility you need to be aware of.

I’m not sure if you’ve reviewed your major debt relief solutions. Feel free to use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

In reviewing the options presented on the Nationwide Debt Direct website, I do have some concerns. It appears they are trying to talk you out of other possible options in order to sell you a debt settlement solution.

They say, “Nationwide Debt Direct provides one of the strongest proven debt-elimination processes to help you become debt free in as little as 12-36 months!” But I find that hard to believe. As far as I’m aware, only bankruptcy has the power of a legal process behind it to discharge your debt. That seems to me to be the “strongest” technique. Additionally, I’d ask Nationwide Debt Direct to provide you with a written good faith estimate and documentation to support their performance claims. The FTC has very strict guidelines on such matters.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.
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They also appear to be using the same tired old message to try to discredit bankruptcy when they say:

We at Nationwide Debt Direct believe that bankruptcy should only be considered as a last resort to resolving debt situations. We feel this way because a bankruptcy filing may legally remain in your credit report for up to ten years under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Additionally, in 2005 Congress passed new bankruptcy laws which make it more difficult to file for bankruptcy. – Source

Bankruptcy is not a “last resort” as they say. It is a possible solution in the mix of all options to deal with debt. In some cases it clearly should be a first resort.

While they say that bankruptcy will be reported for ten years, what they don’t say is that only a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be reported for ten years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be reported for seven years, the same length of time that debt forgiveness and collection activity that typically follows a debt settlement approach will be.

The solutions page of the Nationwide Debt Direct site only focuses on debt settlement. – Source.

While you may ultimately decide to use the services of Nationwide Debt Direct, it seems that you owe it to yourself to fully investigate your other options in order to make an informed decision that is right for you.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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