You can find numerous articles on debt consolidation, debt negotiation, and debt settlement companies right here on our website. Our position on these companies is that you don’t need them — you can settle your debts on your own!
Even with all of the free information available on our website, many people are still afraid to take on debt settlement, but we assure you that you can do it! Don’t get discouraged — keep reading!
Advantages to Settling Your Debts
- Handling everything yourself cuts out the monthly expense of hiring a debt settlement company.
- You have access to a complete library of resources, forums, books, and videos right here on our site.
- You decide what debts you want to settle and for how much.
- If you have a question, you can post a question on our discussion forums.
- You will not feel alone, instead, you will feel supported and informed.
Do it Yourself vs Using a Debt Settlement Company
- Excessive Fees Charged
- Creditors Refuse to Work with Debt Settlement Companies
- More Regulations
- Large Up Front Fees
- False Claims Made by Debt Settlement Employees
- Debt Settlement Companies Control Your Money
Excessive Fees Charged
Reason #1: When the industry was started about 20 years ago the fee structure was on a success-oriented basis meaning commissions or fees were charged on the amount of savings the company was successful in negotiating for their client. Now fees are 12 to 15 percent of the total principle balance before any effort is made to work on your account. Usually, the fees are prorated over the first year of the contract but some companies take their fees over the first 3 or 4 months. This is money that cannot be used for settlement purposes. Some companies also charge a start-up fee and monthly service charges.
Creditinfocenter Answer: Our eBooks, Forums, videos, and pages upon pages of information on the website, will show you how to work the system to position your accounts in a way that your creditors will want to settle with you for 35 to 50 percent of the total amount. You can use our forums where you can share experiences and successes with other forum members. You can also post questions for our in-house experts for any further advice you may need.
Creditors Refuse to Work with Debt Settlement Companies
Reason #2: Their point is that the high fees should be better used to apply against any debt. For example, let’s say you owe $25,000 on five cards at $5,000 per card. Your upfront fee to a debt settlement company for professional services may cost you as much as $3,750 or more.
Creditinfocenter Answer: Our free and low-cost information on our website, leaves you with more of your money to apply to your debts, which will allow you to become debt-free sooner and at less cost. Recently both MBNA (now Bank of America) and Citibank have announced their refusal to deal with debt settlement companies. To get around this roadblock, the debt settlement companies are having their clients call on their own after a training lesson. We provide you all the information so you can feel confident about negotiating on your own.
Increasing Industry Regulations
Reason #3: More and more regulations are being forced on the debt settlement industry by various federal and state regulators.
Creditinfocenter Answer: In 2004, the FTC shut down one of the largest credit counseling and debt settlement companies for charging millions of dollars in erroneous fees. See Our related articles on Ameridebt, and other debt consolidation companies. The following states have either banned the use of or severely reduced the activities of debt settlement companies: Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin. We will provide you with the proper information to negotiate a settlement on your own.
Excessive Up Front Fees
Reason #4: Fees being charged by debt settlement firms constantly go up or they charge large fees upfront.
Creditinfocenter Answer: The debt settlement companies know how unpredictable your financial situation can be, what you think you can do today can often change by tomorrow. You might work the program for a year and may have settled 1 or 2 accounts but what if you have to stop the process? Where are you now financially? Your accounts are now a year older with hardly any money to settle because you paid the Debt Settlement company their fees upfront based on your total debt.
False Claims Made by Debt Settlement Employees
Reason #5: Debt settlement company professionals and employees claim they can dictate to the creditor’s sizable discounts on your debt.
Creditinfocenter Answer: This is simply not true! Debt settlement companies work in the same arena as other debtors and have no influence on the collection or debt reduction practices of the large credit card companies. However, as we’ve laid out in our DIY debt settlement article, you can usually settle with collection agencies for 10 to 25 percent. We can show you how to approach the process in a serious business-like manner, which will impress both you and your creditor. The debt settlement process is complicated but we have broken down the entire process making it more simple and easy to understand. With our eBooks and information on this site, you will have everything you need to reduce your debt.
Debt Settlement Companies Control Your Money
Reason #6: Most debt settlement companies will set up your set aside money in an “escrow account” that they control. Red flag items here! What is this escrow account? Do they give you a monthly statement on it? Remember, these companies are not banks, and therefore the accounts are not FDIC insured like most regular savings accounts. Just think of it, thousands of dollars of your money which you cannot touch and which is at risk.
Creditinfocenter Answer: We will suggest ways for you to set up your own account in a bank that you choose. It is important to manage these accounts based on your financial abilities.