Debt settlement firms call for a minimum of $10,000 in credit card debt. Of that $10,000 you have to give them $1500-2000 in upfront fees for them to settle your debt. To save money for a lump sum settlement and their fees, they tell you to stop making credit card payments and to give that money to them for their fees and for an eventual lump sum settlement.
If the debt settlement firm says they can get a $5000 settlement for that $10,000 of debt, how long will it take you to saves $7000, which includes $2000 in fees? What happens if they cannot settle with your credit card company? What happens to the account that has not been paid? What happens to the money paid to the debt settlement firm, and what about your credit rating?
Saving $500 a month for 14 months will yield $7000. At that rate of savings it will take more than a year to effect the lump-sum settlement with $5000 after $2000 in fees is taken. After six months the banks write off bad credit card debts, and within the year they sell those bad debts in bulk purchases.
If that happens to you, that means some junk debt buyer has bought your debt for 10 cents on the dollar before it has been negotiated. At that point there is no reason for the bank to remove the charged-off debt’s bad mark from your credit report, which means it will be there for seven years.
If you are prepared, you can handle the junk debt buyer?s collection efforts, according to the Credit Card Debt Survival Guide. But if you have placed your trust in the debt settlement firm, you can be blindsided by a junk debt buyer and threatened with a court summons and possibly even be served one.
So, your settlement fee is gone. Your debt is not settled. Your credit is bruised. And, you are fighting debt collectors. If you are lucky you still have $5000, but only if the settlement firm put it in a third-party escrow account.
Matt Highlander writes about the many strategies for eliminating credit card debt; some for those who can pay, some for those who cannot pay. Read all about them in the 230-page Credit Card Debt Survival Guide