Debt Settlement Company Scams, part II

From another Reddit Thread:

Similar to my situation. Apparently there's many debt settlement companies that prey on people with a lot of debt. Instead of recommending filing for bankruptcy they try to convince you that debt settlement is a much better solution. It's not especially if you have multiple unsecured debts.

In my case my debt settlement company was GRT Financial. I had over ten unsecured debts totaling over $50k and they said that i'd end up paying only half that if I work with them. What I didn't notice is that their settlement fee was $10k and that it is due as soon as they settle one of my debt accounts. So as soon as I made my third monthly payment they quickly settled one of my smaller debt accounts so that I'd be on the hook for the full $10k settlement fee.

Simultaneously I got sued by one of the creditors I owed money to and I asked GRT Financial for help and they basically told me i'm on my own.

As soon as I realized that it's all a scam I tried to cancel and it wasn't easy I spent hours and hours for days on the phone and I just kept getting transferred from one agent to another. Finally I filed a complaint at BBB and almost immediately I got an email from GRT Financial wanting to set up a talk with me. We talked the next day and I made it clear I wanted to cancel.

At the time I canceled there was still a little over $700 at the special payment account thing at CFTpay which supposedly I am able to withdraw whenever I want because I'm a part owner of the account. CFTpay scheduled the withdrawal to happen a week from that day despite my wishes that it'd be immediate, they couldn't explain why it couldn't be immediate, my guess is to give GRT time to take the money before I could.

I wasn't surprised when before my scheduled withdrawal GRT Financial came and in took it all. Called them and they were like you still owe us for the remainder of the settlement fee but we're not going to sue you.

Running out of options I researched bankruptcy and found a good lawyer in my area who's been walking me through it. We filed today and the 341 meeting is on April. If everything goes well my unsecured debt will be wiped out months from now. I wish I had tried bankruptcy instead of debt settlement companies.

 

If you live in Southern California and have been taken advantage of by a debt negotiation company or a debt consolidation company - if you have been paying one of these companies and are not seeing any results - call me for the truth. I'll tell you everywhere they lied to you, and I'll give you an unbiased opinion of your options. I'm friendly. I don't bite. I also don't bullshit.

Eric Ridley
The Debt Freedom Attorney
(805) 244-5291


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