Why Some Debt Settlement “Programs” Are a Rip-Off

There is a difference between a debt settlement “program” and debt negotiation with The Fullman Firm. Here is how debt settlement “programs” typically work.

Step 1 of a debt settlement “program”: Sign a Long Term Contract which requires you to write a BIG FAT CHECK every month to your “settlement fund”. Although the Debt Settlement Company (DSC) may not technically “own” this account, it has access to this account to withdraw funds for its fees.

Step 2 of a debt settlement “program”: Watch as the DSC takes ALL of the first three (3!) payments as part (that’s right, only “part”) of its fees. Meanwhile, three months have passed and you have not gotten any closer to settling your debts.

Step 3 of a debt settlement “program”: Keep making large monthly payments into your “settlement fund”. Watch as every month the DSC skims additional fees off of YOUR money while waiting for you to accumulate enough for them to start work (this will take many more months but in the meantime the DSC has taken large fees from you up front and not actually settled any debts).

Step 4 of a debt settlement “program”: After the delays of the first three steps, the DSC (if it is not run by outright thieves) will now begin to contact your creditors and ask if they are willing to settle. The DSC is usually not run by real lawyers, there is no analysis of your situation under any consumer protection laws, and no action can be taken other than “begging” for a deal.

Step 5 of a debt settlement “program”: Finally (again, if the DSC is not run by outright thieves) some of your debts may be settled, and some of the deals may be good ones.

Step 6 of a debt settlement “program”: Some of your creditors will not offer good deals, and after many months of not getting paid, some of them will threaten a lawsuit. The DSC can’t address these threats with any real authority, because it usually is not a real law firm, so you are left on your own. In the meantime, any “installment” settlement agreements made by the DSC, will simply extend the statute of limitations and give the creditors more time to sue you in the future.

Step 7 of a debt settlement “program”: One or more creditors may actually sue you but, again, the DSC can’t or won’t defend you.

At The Fullman Firm, we negotiate with creditors on your behalf while applying decades of real courtroom experience to analyze your situation and look for any advantage over the creditors, including possible violations of consumer protection laws. You only pay us when we are actually working and we do not skim fees from your settlement funds. In fact, you hold onto your own money until we work a deal you agree to. Save your own money until you have enough for a discounted lump sum settlement that can wipe out the debt all at once. If a creditor does try to pursue legal action against you, you can ask us to defend you, which we can do as trial lawyers. Finally, if you decide to pursue the protection of the bankruptcy courts, we can assist you with that as well. We know bankruptcy is not your first option, but it is one of many options, and the point here is we can give you options that a DSC cannot.

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