4 Thoughts on Has anybody had a real good experience with a debt settlement company? If so which company?
  1. Reply
    bdf s
    August 17, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Well I have never had it myself personally. But I heard they are not good on your credit. If you go through that route it will be reported on ur credit report and ruin your credit. It shows creditor you can’t pay ur debt and you need second person to help you out. What I will suggest is whom ever you owe money too can
    them and try to work things out with them and if they don’t help out you may file bankruptcy.

  2. Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 8:36 am

    They don’t do anything you can’t do yourself.
    What they do is not pay your creditors for months and then try and settle for less. No special skills. They just don’t pay. It will trash your credit.

    Your creditors do not have to talk with these people. It’s your debt.
    If they don’t pay your debt. You, and you alone are still responsible for the debt. Your creditors will sue you and not the company you hired.

    If you have to do a settlement for less. Start saving your money.

    Check out http://www.daveramsey.com and listen to his radio show. He has lots of great advice on money and debt. It doesn’t cost a dime to listen.

  3. Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I haven’t had experience personally but my DBF has used one. The Hess Kennedy group.

    Pros (if there are really any):

    You won’t get the harassing phone calls anymore – your debt settlement co will (If they are any good) – you might still get a few but you can change the #’s.

    It might reduce overall expense (interest rate) and get rid of the expense but the cons outweigh the pro of it really because you end up paying in taxes AND to the co who settles for you.

    Cons (too many to list but I’ll give it a stab):

    It trashes your credit – the company might promise they can keep your credit from getting trashed but they really can’t in the run. In truth, it’s pretty darn hard to get your credit report changed once something negative goes on it. (really co’s have too much power on this over us!)

    The debt collector might send you a tax document after you “settle” which will reflect negatively on your tax return at the end of the year (as a 1099) – they will claim is as their loss but considered a gain (income) for which you must pay on. Some nasty companys will do this (Bank of America for example) and some might not. Watch out! You will not be able to claim a deductible on the money you have paid out to the third party either. However if you are paying interest on debts you can formally request in writing to have them send you tax documents (which work against them and not you had you paid them in full their high rate of interest!)

    The third party company really does nothing you can’t do yourself like a previous poster mentioned. They just don’t pay for months on end. You pay the third party so much a month (a very high fee) and when they have enough or more than enough they pay off in a lump sum settlement for less than you’d normally pay. Reminder: the 1099 is what kills you. You end up paying for more than you would have to begin with anyway through taxes AND to the third party.

    You will probably still be paying the third party company acting on your behalf long after they have “settled” for you.

    You are honestly better off paying the interest on the credit card, complaining to the better business bureau and anyone else who will listen AND NOT going through a third party. Then at the end of the year, hound them for a report on how much interest you have paid them on top of what you owed/paid them. To them, that is INCOME to them not a loss.

    This is why I don’t deal with credit card companies anymore. They gyp you!

    Good Luck.

  4. Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I have researched the following firm quite a bit. They seem solid and reputable:

    Freedom Debt Relief (www.freedomdebtrelief.com)

    They have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company is managed by Stanford graduates. I would give them a call, they offer a consultation for free. Not everyone will qualify for their program so check it out.

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