Wondering if anyone has used a debt reduction or resolution company, and what your experience was like? Im thinking about using National Debt Network or DebtXS. Anyone ever used one of these?? Any response would be appreciated!!
Since you’re looking for anecdotal evidence rather than straight facts, I’ll move this thread to IMHO.
Sure, whatever you want. Im new here and wasnt sure where it should go. Anyway, ANY opinions, either good or bad would help me!
From my experience:
Call them, let them do the math and the figuring. They’ll send you a proposal.
<b>MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY PAY THE AMOUNT LISTED IN THE PROPOSAL.</b>
That is why we did not go with a program. We realized that they were effectively asking us to sign to pay more than they knew we could.
Additionally, there have recently been reports in the Chicago Tribune, at least, of these companies not actually paying off, and just holding onto your money. Bingo, the credit companies start calling you again.
The 2 companies I have spoken to (at great length I might add) seem to be the best of the bunch. And the payments seem reasonable…
I’d recommend against them. If you can possible swing paying your creditors, it’s best to do it on your own. Sure, the ads on TV make it look great, but it will ruin your credit. That may not seem terribly important at this moment, but down the road it will be, when you need to buy a car or house.
I’d check out the book Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey from the library. Read it, put into practice what you can. Cut up your credit cards. Do without, work diligently to pay off your creditors, paying at least the minimum on all your bills and chosing one at a time to pay more with any extra money. As you pay off one, put the extra money into the next targetted creditor. If you can swing a part-time job to help out, that’ll get it done even faster. Remember - you didn’t get into this situation overnight, you won’t get out of it overnight, either.
Another $1500 and I’ll only have my mortgage outstanding.
Good advice StGermain, but it has went way past that. This really is my only option, other than bankruptcy, which I DONT want to do. SO really Im just looking for some opinions of others who have went this route.
Your best bet is to call up your creditors yourself. Say “I’m about to default on my debt to you because I can’t make the payments, is there anything you can do to help me?” When faced with the prospect of losing all their money that they loaned you, many credit card companies and the like get rather helpful.
IMHO, the companies that ‘consolodate your debt’ like this don’t do anything except negotiate deals with the creditors that you could negotiate yourself.
Please be very wary. These companies are worse for your credit in the long run than filing bankruptcy. Go to www.creditnet.com and then to discussion forums. The discussions there involving Debt Consolidation businesses will confirm my statement.
You can get creditors to stop harassing you without these companies. You just need to send any collection agencies involved a “cease and desist” letter.
Well, my wife and I have used one ( http://www.genus.org/ ), and our credit has improved greatly. The fact that we are in a debt management program does not even show up on the credit reports I saw–just the current balances of our credit cards and the fact that we were making timely payments.
No offense to all of you here, but … the fact is, if you’re considering debt management, it’s usually indicative of the fact the that you need some third-party help getting your financial act together. It’s all well and good to say, “you could do everything that they’re doing yourself”, but you could just as easily say, “if you had just been more responsible early on, you wouldn’t be in this fix.” Both true, both unhelpful. Being able to make just one monthly payment and not having to wrangle a bunch of creditors IS valuable.
A good group to contact is BUCCS ( http://www.buccs.org/ ). They have an impeccable reputation.
And… now that I read through everyone’s responses more closely … make sure we’re all talking about the same thing-- there are debt management companies that operate like Genus (they get your creditors to reduce minimum monthly payments, interest rates, and take your monthly lump payment and forward it) and debt consolidation companies that make you replace your credit card debts with a loan to them … is this what everyone’s thinking of? Debt management programs leave your debts to each creditor intact (i.e, you start off with three credit card accounts, then you enter the program and you STILL have three credit card accounts … you just pay them via the debt mgmt. co. and can’t use your cards at all anymore).
I’ll second debt management, although beware of the fees. Most of the ones you see advertisements for charge god-awful fees for their services. Springboard, based in Riverside, CA, is one of the ones who don’t charge an arm and a leg; I believe BUCCS was also on the low end (but can’t recall). Ameridebt and Neway offered the exact same services at many, many times the cost. Those type of ‘non-profits’ are ripoffs, at best (I believe your first payment goes entirely to them and you still need to pay your credit card bills or always be a month behind).
Thanks for the opinions so far, but I think there is some confusion about what kind of plan I am talking about. I checked into the the debt management and consolidation companies, and quite frankly, I owe too much for them to help me.
What Im talking about is debt REDUCTION, which is where the third party company negotiates with your creditors to accept less than you actually owe, usually for about 40% of your balances, the length of the plan is from 12 -36 months. I save up a certain amout of money each month, until I have the 40%, then the negotiation begins and the creditor gets paid off. I stay in control of my money. The credit report shows as deliquent (which it already does because I cant pay!) until the debt is paid off, then it shows as “settled in full” or “settled as agreed”. Im told that I can be out of debt in about 3 years ($40,000 debt!)
I have really checked these out and this seems like my only option. Realizing that I got myself into this mess, I have to get myself out.
So, now has anyone used this kind of approach??
How are they worse than bankrupcy? That sounds like an IMO…
May I ask what the debt consists of? Are these credit card bills, medical bills or car note/mortgage? If the majority of the debt is in something like a car, can you do a voluntary reposession and give the car back for the balance of the principal? Have you actually talked to your credits and tried to work out a plan? Personally, I think expecting your creditors to let you get away with paying 40% of your legitimate debt is unfair.
As I asked before - is there any way you could get a second job to help pay some of these debts? Obviously you need some help with budgetting and the like, but I’m of the old school that says you pay your debts. That 60% that you expect your creditors to eat raises the interest rates for the rest of us. They have to make that money back somehow.
No experience with that situation, Hide. I’m just paying back the full amts.
Please check your yellow pages for “credit and debt counseling” first. You may find the free services offer everything you need. A lot of the debt reduction “services” are scams (or something close).