gold dollarDebt Settlement Companies & Debt Negotiation Companies

Debt settlement companies do an enormous amount of advertising on the web. They 'seem' to offer a better way of saving money on your bills through debt settlement.

The idea is that these companies are able to reduce all your unsecured debts by 50, 60, or 70%. It seems that the big creditors are willing to give these professional companies large reductions.

These sites also claim that they will bring you peace of mind from creditor calls, guarantee results, and do all this based on what you can afford to pay. Sounds too good to be true... doesn't it?

Well, some websites do use this as an opportunity to scam. They claim they can predict the future and promise precise payoffs and results in 1 or 2 years. Be assured this is absolute nonsense.

No one can predict the future. Every time the interest rates change or two banks merge, the policies change and this means that debt settlements also change. These scam companies also offer:

  • NO Better Business Bureau (BBB) to prove reliability and good track record. Instead they have things like Dunn and Bradstreet or Chamber of Commerce, links that any company can get.
  • On the phone, they promise future and wonderful results, but send a contract that reflects no guarantee nor promise of any results.
  • Charge you a flat commission on your debts instead of a percentage of what you are saved.
  • Suggest you sign up for a debt consolidation program and pay back your debts in full with interest.
  • Suggest that debt consolidation doesn't appear on your credit report - it does, and costs you much more than debt settlement.
  • Get you started and you never hear from them again.
  • Actually get you deeper in debt by not doing anything on your accounts.

Debt Settlement Companies - Reviews

Based on our research and evaluations, we can only recommend 2 debt settlement companies and websites out of the many evaluated, as they have proven themselves as a legitimate means for an individual or small business to get out of debt.

These debt settlement companies provide an initial free consultation. Their counselors guide you through the entire process, and personally help you resolve your debts.

All the sites recommended by us offer a guarantee if you meet certain requirements.

If you have credit card, personal loans, or any type of business debts, you stand an excellent chance of saving a lot of money and having peace of mind that you have a solution in place.

In order to retain a debt settlement company a consumer needs to have a lump sum of cash, and their accounts need to still be held by the credit card companies (i.e. not in the hands of debt collection agencies). Debt settlement companies usually have established relationships with the credit card companies and can come to a settlement agreement fairly quickly.

The fees charged by the debt settlement companies are usually a percentage of the savings from the forgiven debt. With the current credit crunch, more and more credit card companies may be more willing to settle existing credit card debts rather than add to their already large written off bad debt portfolio.

Debt negotiation companies on the other hand, work with consumers who have no cash to make settlement offers. Debt negotiation companies set up a "trust" for you.

They are not a licensed bank under the Federal Reserve guidelines. They collect a monthly fee, with the thinking being that you are saving enough money to settle the accounts at a future date.

A portion of your monthly payment is taken as a fee for the debt negotiation company. Unlike consumer credit counseling services, they do not pay your creditors each month. They put money into your "trust". Your creditors are not told of your "arrangements" with the debt negotiation company.

The drop out rate of consumers from debt negotiation companies is high. It is important to note that debt negotiation companies do not handle calls from the credit card companies or the debt collection agencies.

Credit card accounts typically go to debt collection agencies after they are charged off (or written off), typically 180 days after the last payment on the account. The length of the program is often 3-5 years, with many consumers not being able to keep up with the payments for this period of time. It is not unusual for consumers to wind up being sued or even more deeply in debt with added interest and fees accumulating.

Our Recommendations:

CuraDebt Debt Services

One of the debt settlement companies we suggest you check is CuraDebt, with many satisfied clients, local legal representation, a clean Better Business Bureau rating dating back to 2000. It has friendly, knowledgeable staff and a variety of programs to best meet your needs and specific goals. They also offer a money back guarantee. (Speak with a counselor to review details).

Consumer Reviews:

Gary and Laura Chaman 07/20/2010

Our experience in the program with CuraDebt has been better than we expected. Our negotiator Juliana has, in our eyes has gone above the call of duty. Her work has saved us thousands of dollars. In times of need, it is so much appreciated. It makes us sleep easier at night knowing that we are on the way back to being debt free. We could not have done it without the help of our negotiator Juliana. Thank you so much.

Raymond Addington 07/09/2010

Sara is awesome and has taken all of the stress of dealing with these credit sharks off my plate for me. Not to mention has done a great job of reaching manageable settlements as well. Would recommend to anyone in a bad credit situation.

Check out Curadebt as your debt settlement company of choice here!

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To achieve financial freedom, ideas such as: listening to good advice, learning how to make a budget, understanding credit repair possibilities, avoiding the scams, and generally becoming more knowledgeable of the credit card business, can all play a role in eliminating credit card and other debt. There is A smarter way to manage your money.

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