Debt relief agency "soliciting" me?? Is this legit? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Soooo......we have tons of credit card debt and a couple of months ago I had a late payment.  Last year was the worst year we've had, as far as income, and it's really catching up with us now.  Anyway, it's getting to the point where the minimum payments on our credit cards are making it hard to make ends meet each month.  I'm considering some kind of debt relief.  The other day in the mail I got a solicitation from a supposed debt-relief company, which said that because of my delinquent payment I was referred for debt relief by my credit card company, and/but because of the "responsible way" I have handled my debt over the past couple of months (we used our tax refund to make a large payment against it) I qualify for this program which will reduce my debt by about half and let us get out completely in 5 years.  Should I call them?  Are they legit?  I haven't looked into the whole subject of debt-relief very thoroughly yet, so I know nothing about it.  I'm really hesitant to do it at all, because it feels wrong to not pay back the money we've borrowed.  On the other hand, maybe the part I'm getting out of paying is mostly interest.  And maybe it's best for the future of my family if I do something about this.  I just have so many questions about debt relief and don't really understand it all.  I know that I've got to do something, though - we spend too many nights lying awake feeling terrified. 

 

What do you guys thinK?  Anyone ever gone with a debt relief program that can tell me what it was like?  Thanks in advance....:)


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#2 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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Try looking up the company with the BBB.

 

I personally would stay away from a debt-relief company. I just don't trust them. I've heard too many horror stories. That said, if I was going to search out a company to do debt consolidation I would choose a company I found myself - not one that found me.


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#3 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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I agree, stay away. All the financial experts on TV say that a debt-relief agency can't do anything for you that you can't do for yourself. Meaning, call your CC companies and work on some kind of agreement. GL!

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#4 of 8 Old 05-18-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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Another person in agreement with the pps. Def. do some research so that you have peace of mind.  Creditboards.com is a great resource (great boards, lots of info). Like a pp said, you can do for yourself what they do for you...minus the fee.  Do you know about debt snowballing? Have you found whatsthecost.com or similar websites? There is a way out.  I'm living proof. Our last two years have been brutal on us, yet we are still managing to pay down debt, slowly, yes, but surely. I really like the basic principals of Dave Ramsey. I've tweaked them a bit to better suit our situation, but it is so helpful to have a PLAN. I was just so clueless! And now I feel empowered. Good Luck!

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#5 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 04:01 AM
 
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Don't do it!  But what you should do is find a well-respected nonprofit credit counseling agency.  If you have sufficient income you can qualify for one of their programs - which will cut back your interest rates.  That will make the payments more manageable and get you out of this spiral. 

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#6 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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I can give you a horror story.  8 years ago we were totally SCREWED by a "legit" debt relief organization.  It was awful and we didn't know until it was too late.  Don't do it.

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#7 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, all of you, for these replies.  You may have saved me from disaster.  I've been reading up on debt reduction and stuff; and getting similar answers about debt relief agencies.

 

That said, today I got a message on my cell phone (!) from someone claiming to have spoken to me about lowering my monthly payments on my credit card (I haven't spoken with anyone about this).  She said she found a non-profit agency that could work with me on lowering my interest rate to 1.7 or something and cutting my monthly payments in half, which she assumes I'd want to do since I'm currently paying only the minimum amounts.  How does this person have my information?  Did my credit card company make a referral because they're afraid I'll declare bankruptcy and they'll get nothing?  Are credit reports public information?

 

Ugh...this is so scary.  I like the suggestions on dave ramsey and credit boards, though.  Gives me a ray of hope.  THanks so much, all!.


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#8 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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I've gotten calls like that too...and I don't have any credit cards!  On the occasions I've actually answered I've laughed my head off and told them to peddle their wares elsewhere.  I mean really.  I haven't had a credit card in 8 years (even since I was totally screwed.)  Now if I can't pay in cash, I can't have it.

 

But I'm glad you didn't jump in to anything.  That sounds super attractive, but that's what they're banking on...a desperate person looking for a miracle.  It's really disgusting.

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