Other Ameridebt Complaint Letters
Written by: Kristy Welsh
Since posting our article on AmeriDebt, I have gotten some interesting feedback emails. Especially interesting were letters from former clients of Ameridebt. We thought they might prove interesting (and informative) to you. There's even a positive comment!
I have some information that I would like to add to your story. I joined Ameridebt around a month ago. I was told that the initial donation would be $125.00 to which I agreed to help for the plan. I initially set my first payment up for May 1st, which was to be for $475.00 and then to have each additional payment of $350.00 to be taken out on the fourteenth of each month. I called back after closer look at my budget and changed the first payment to the 14th. On the 6th of May, a rep called and said that a mistake had been made and the money had been taken out of my account. I was frantic. I had mailed several bills out that I had not put on the credit plan because my parents are co-signers. Between the 4th and the 6th, I had 4 check bounce that resulted in $96.00 NSF fee. When I addressed this issue with AmeriDebt, they said that they were sorry, but that they had saved me 300.00 and that I would just have to get over it. I was so upset. I entered the program to get out of debt not create more. the reason that I went with AmeriDebt is because I thought they were the best. All the reps I have talked with have been extremely nice, but I am out $96.00. I would have canceled my plan, but I have spent 200.00 and I will wait to see if it pans out. On top of that, it has been 21 days and none of my creditors have been paid. I hope, for my sake, that everything will work out and that I have not wandered into a scam. I wish I had found your website first.
A skeptical AmeriDebt customer.
I am another unhappy Ameridebt customer. I went through the same experience of getting harassing phone calls from creditors while I was making payments to Ameridebt.
Ameridebt charged us $6 per creditor and did not even take into consideration what I can afford to pay per month. The first month I paid $435 and next month the payment went up to $512 and they made me pay the difference between $435 and $512. So my 2nd payment was $589; the reason being they forgot to add one of the creditors. Over the period, the monthly payment kept on increasing because the creditors wanted more and more money. The interest was never reduced until I called after a few months to see what the problem was. After being frustrated about what was happening with my creditors, I started to call to make sure they were receiving their money. One of them didn't even have any information on us. Another company told me they couldn't get their payments on time.
I think you are doing a great service to consumers by putting these facts on your web site. Keep up the good work.
I got a very uncomfortable feeling dealing with AmeriDebt even before I read your article. It seems that if you don't sign up (pay!!!) for the Infinity Loan Program, your customer service goes to pot. Doing this debt management deal is a huge decision and I think one needs to feel very comfortable and trusting with whomever their dealing with. I didn't have that feeling with Ameridebt and decided to go elsewhere.
About 2 weeks ago, I found AmeriDebt's website.I filled out everything it asked me to,and sent it to them. The site did say I would be contacted by one of their counselors, and I thought it would be a simple thing to see what their organization could do to help me. Well, they called the next day and my husband told them I was at work, and told them when I usually get home.They did not call back when he had told them, they continued to call during the day when I work and my husband was there. My husband got angry about them continuing to call him. Ameridebt gave him their phone# and told him to have me call them, but before I had a chance I returned home one afternoon to find a message on my answering machine from one of AmeriDebt's counselors who sounded a bit 'teed off' because I HAD requested their services online and he could not reach me after MANY attempts! Well, this just rubbed me the wrong way - I mean, o.k., I did fill something out for them, but I thought it was more of an inquiry than something "carved in stone" and if I changed my mind about talking with them then "oh well". Is that a crime punishable by constant, irritating phone calls, and messages by 'teed off' counselors? Gee, I get enough of those from creditors, I do NOT need any more from credit counselors (if that's what they call themselves)!! I wish I would have found your site 2 weeks ago before I went to AmeriDebt's site looking for "help"!
I have also gone through Ameridebt. I thought I was doing good by getting some help. They did state that I didn't have to make any payments to my creditors, that my payment to them was all I need to do. After I made my first payment to them they told me that they couldn't go through one of the creditors and that I could pay a lower payment because the payment that they figured out included all of them, they never offered to take the extra money and apply it to my next payment or refund it. So I pretty much lost that money for so called costs for my loan (that is if I go through them for a loan). I have only been with them for 3 months and I still have creditors calling me saying that they haven't heard from Ameridebt for their payments. I've contacted my rep and she tells me it's taken care of. I guess only time will tell.
Another Ameridebt story. And I am 60 years old and should have known better. I wanted to lower the interest rate on my credit cards, and Ameridebt promised to do just that. They also assured me that working with them would only help me because my creditors would see that I am trying to pay them off. So I signed. My first payment of over $1400 went to Infinity (CIC note - AmeriDebt's debt consol loan source), never to be seen again, I am sure. The second payment went off two days ago (too later to stop payment on the cashiers check) and I am receiving calls from creditors demanding two months payments. None have been paid one penny as yet. The tragedy of all this is that I have NEVER been late on a payment, and have always paid more than the required amount. I now have to decide whether to continue and try and recoup some of the first $1400 or write it off to bad judgment and try and regain the lost ground on the two missed payments. I'm out $2800, am 2 payments behind on my accounts, have probably ruined my credit rating, and feel like such a fool.
update to this letter - 7/12/99:
An update on my Ameridebt experience. My update is a rather happy one. I only stayed with Ameridebt for 3 months before dropping the program. I had never had any problem with my payments and although I was (and still am) heavily in debt due to medical emergencies, have worked out a program on my own that is fantastic. More on that later. I dropped Ameridebt because of all the reasons others gave. They never made the payments until 3 months into the plan. I was receiving letters and calls from creditors whereas I never had in the past. As well as late payment charges. Something that was also new to me. I was told that there had been a mix-up when contacting my creditors but it was all straightened out now. I still decided to bail out of their program. I then called Infinity and demanded my first payment of over $1400.00 back. They mumbled about expenses and costs but did send me a letter saying they would reimburse 1/2 of the amount. It has yet to arrive but I think it will. I do have their note saying they will and I am not above going to small claims court if they don't send me a check.
I have since called all creditors, asked them to cancel my credit cards VOLUNTARILY, (all but one did--they kept the Ameridebt info on the records however I am contesting that and I feel sure it will eventually be removed) and erase the Ameridebt connection from my record. I am back to making payments on time and schedule and all is well again. And I found on my Quicken computer banking program, a debt reduction feature that is wonderful. It does all the calculating for you, tells you how much to pay to higher interest debt first and if I follow the plan (and I WILL) I will completely out of debt by August 2001.
update to this letter - 7/18/99:
I'm here again with what will be the final chapter in my Ameridebt experience. I waited for Infinity to send me the promised 1/2 of the $1400 from my first payment. Somewhat skeptical but as I said, would have gone to small claims court for it. Anyway, I received the check for $750 late last week. I urge you to tell your readers that if they decide to drop the Ameridebt program, do go to Infinity and DEMAND their payment back. One half back is better than losing it all.
My husband and I have been on the program for nearly a year and are preparing to leave the company. Our feelings are that after such a long period of seeing very few results and being treated the way we have been for the past 10 months, we no longer see any benefit from working with them. Unfortunately, this letter could go on and on about details of their misrepresentation, inability to return phone calls, unprofessionalism of representatives (at least five or six to whom I have spoken ), mistakes made on their part in not having contacted creditors to reduce interest rates as they promised, etc.
My husband and I began with the program in the hope that it would help us gain more control and ultimately eliminate our debt. We made what I thought was a responsible, educated decision when we joined AmeriDebt. We have not been married long and both came into the marriage with previous debt. The program has done nothing to help us! In fact, with their late payments to our creditors, it has probably damaged our credit even more.
Our debt is nearly the same as when we began, even with these large monthly payments. Also, when our six months were completed, and we wanted to consolidate, we were denied. It was requested that we continue to make our monthly payments to AmeriDebt until the debt is removed. How convenient. We have recently decided that it would be in our best interest to leave AmeriDebt and make our own payments where we can ensure that they are on time, that all the money we send will be applied to our debt, and that our integrity will never be compromised.
Email #8 - Positive Feedback!
I would like to let you know that I have been enrolled in AmeriDebt's program for the past eight months. My experiences have been far different from the other e-mails that you received. I am completely happy with the job that Ameridebt has done for me. Their customer service reps have always been very friendly and helpful. Most of my creditors did reduce the interest rates on my accounts and the ones that didn't were paid off by Infinity Resources Group. My average interest rate is currently approximately 8% (including the Infinity loan). I guess that AmeriDebt's program doesn't work for everybody, but it certainly has worked for me.
Let me inform you of my experience with Ameridebt. My husband and I were told that they would IMPROVE our credit rating. We were not behind on our payments at all UNTIL Ameridebt. They have totally ruined our credit!!! Granted we are saving $300/month - however, it has cost us more than that in our credit. We had a credit rating of 850 until Ameridebt - now our credit rating is 618. We have been unable to receive refinancing on our house due to our credit rating. They told us we had to pay the first months payment for processing fees......we did NOT have a choice! We were NEVER told it was a "donation".....They are bogus and give false information. We are not the only people that this has happened to either. We have friends that went on the program to "help" their financial situation! Thank you for listening to me complain and thank you for the fact that I am not nuts - that they do not do a service to the general public.
To whom it may concern: I signed up for AmeriDebt's program in May of 1999. I believed them to be legitimate, however shortly after sending in two payments of 108.00 per month, my situation was completely out of my control. I was told by Ameridebt that my creditor agreed to the 108.00 payments. I never received any documentation. I continued to receive collection calls, and Ameridebt was quick to dismiss them, saying don't worry about it. One call in particular scared me because the collector said that there was no agreement between my creditor and Ameridebt, and I was going to receive a summons to appear in court. My creditor wants the entire balance now paid which is 6484.00 plus court costs. I called Ameridebt, and yet again, they reassured me that this was just a scare tactic, and eventually these types of calls would cease. Two days later, I receive a summons. I call Ameridebt, and they tell me that they will call the attorneys for my creditor and negotiate an arrangement. Ameridebt calls back and tells me that the attorneys have agreed that I can pay 170.00 a month which was workable for me. I waited a few days, but received no phone calls or documentation from any party at this point. I call the attorney's for my creditor, who only told me that Ameridebt never contacted them at all. I called my creditor to see if all was not lost, and they said that they never received a proposal from Ameridebt for 170.00, which they also told me was sent to the creditor. I have contacted Ameridebt several times for documentation. They insist it has been mailed, but I've received nothing in 2 weeks. I explained the situation to the creditor and they were less than sympathetic. Ameridebt has gotten me into a very difficult situation. I can't afford an attorney to represent me, I have no documentation to verify my claims, I will have a judgement against me on my credit report, and I don't know what will happen next. I believe that Ameridebt should be held liable for these events. I thought that I had made a smart decision, and now my credit is ruined and I'm being sued.
Email #11 - Feedback on another company!
My husband and I have been working with another debt consolidation company (not Ameridebt!) for the past 8 months. I have been extremely happy with them. When I first called the young lady I spoke to was the nicest customer service rep I've ever spoken to. As well every other time I needed to call them I have never spoken to anyone who has been anything but wonderful to me. Now I will admit that the first 30-60 days were ruff due to the credit companies calling us, but the company got right onto it and they told me exactly what to say to them if they did call. I wrote it down and put right by the phone. My husband and I had previously had pretty good credit, not perfect, but ok. We got into a difficult situation and needed help. I have spoken to all my credit companies and yes some consider this slow payment, but most do consider this as current, not past due or slow. This occurs after you have continuously paid through the company for 3-6 months. But the best thing I found was that they are non profit and they negotiate with the credit companies to reduce your interest rate and service fees to nothing in some cases. How can you beat that? Plus they give you a date when the debt is over. There is an end, vs. the never ending fees and interest charges. We probably could have paid the minimum payment to keep it up to date, but one most I was paying 40 dollars a month then a 45 dollar fee was put on every month. At that rate not only would I never pay it off, but I'm charging an additional 5 buck a month! Anyway, I am very satisfied with the way I handled my debt problems.
I read the article you posted about Ameridebt and I wish I had read it sooner! I had signed up with Ameridebt and then withdrew from the program due to misrepresentations and that none of my creditors had been paid. I found out that one of my credit cards had been cancelled due to the program and I was unable to rent a car for a business trip. I made a payment on July 15, 1999 of $896.00. Infinity Resources offered to refund me $696.00 which I refused. I told them I wanted the full $896.00 since they have had my money since July and I have received no benefit since none of my creditors had been paid. I am still trying to get them to give me my refund. Additionally, I am trying to get my credit card account reopened and I had to make payments on my own that Ameridebt hadn't made.
If there is anything that I can do to assist your reporting of these activities, please let me know. I am going to call the number you referenced in the Washington Post article to give information about Infinity Resources business practices. Thank you so much for what you are doing. I wished I had researched this more before. I hope that my bad experience will prevent someone else from experiencing this.
I enrolled in the Ameridebt credit counseling program before Christmas (1998) and as one of your articles stated Ameridebt did take my first payment to cover costs associated with handling my account. I had creditors calling me demanding payments. I tried to explain to them (creditors) that I was enrolled in the Ameridebt program and that Ameridebt should have been mailing the payments to them, of course creditors don't want to hear anything except the "checks in the mail". I did not see the results of my payments until the third month on the program. Ameridebt did set up a payment plan with my creditors for the least amount possible. It would have taken me forever to pay off the debts. I got smart and canceled my enrollment in the Ameridebt program about four months ago. Since then I've paid off two creditors and am working on another. I did not like Ameridebt and would never recommend them to my friends or anyone else for that matter. The only good thing that Ameridebt did for me was help me realize I didn't need them...
I can't believe what I am reading. I have been with Ameridebt for 6 months. We too had to pay Infinity the first month, for who knows what. They made it sound like they could help. After six months, if we paid on time, we would get a debt consolidation loan. I thought that I was making an informed decision, and this would help me get out of debt. Now, it is our sixth month, and I have written a letter to Ameridebt to request that Infinity grant us the consolidation loan. I have some serious doubts as to them approving it. Our credit was actually really great before we started, but I knew if we kept just paying the minimum balances, we would never get anywhere, so that is why we went to Ameridebt. They promised to help you get the debt paid off. Now we are moving, and trying to buy a house. This is the first time we have even seen our credit report in probably a year. We have been declined because our credit report shows over 30 late payments some as many as ninety days. We were told by a mortgage pre-qualifier that there was absolutely no way anyone would give us a mortgage with this on our record. He even stated that having Ameridebt on our Credit Report is almost as bad as having a bankruptcy! All of these were due to Ameridebt not paying the creditors until the third month!!! I do not know what to do. We are moving and our credit is totally ruined. I really want to take legal action against Ameridebt to at very least get my good credit back. Does anyone know what I can do?
If you have had negative or positive experiences with debt consolidation companies, not just AmeriDebt, please let us know. We are especially interested in the debt consolidation companies who advertise on this site.