The number of individuals plagued with debt continuously struggle to keep up with their finances. While many of them are trying to keep up with payments, they simply can’t manage to catch up and fall further behind every month. Freedom Debt Relief has a few solutions to help people in debt out of this situation.
By calling them directly or emailing them, anyone can request a free debt analysis and savings estimate. Each individual will have different results depending on their financial situation, the amount they owe, and the policies of their creditors. Freedom Debt Relief may recommend debt reduction, debt settlement or credit counseling. They however are not able to assist individuals with debt secured by collateral such as mortgages or car loans.
If you enroll in a 36 month program, fees paid to them are approximately 6-8% of your enrolled debt every year. They state on their website that you will pay no fees to them until the debt is resolved. Their average estimated time period in which they can resolve debts are 24-48 months.
Freedom Debt Relief’s main program is called “Fresh Start”. It entails their clients to set up an account with them, similar to a savings account, which can be accessed at any time. Money they deduct from your bank account will be transferred into that account, accruing for a potential future debt settlement. They however will not begin negotiations with your creditors until you have enough money saved within that account.
While many of Freedom Debt Relief’s clients have tried to cancel the service and get their money back, Freedom Debt Relief had still continued to pull money out of their bank accounts. They hold most of your money in escrow and take some out for themselves. They take advantage of people who are under stress and may be so overwhelmed with their finances that they don’t realize what they have signed up for. Freedom Debt Relief seems to create more debt and more credit problems for their clients.
There have been many complaints with the Better Business Bureau, which should be a sign to look elsewhere for help. Many local and state credit services can assist you and guide you in the right direction. If you have to pay a lot of money for a business to help you out of debt, it should raise a red flag. If you think about it, it doesn’t even make sense.
Debt can take a toll on someone’s overall wellbeing; it is important to take care of the situation as soon as you can in order to move on with your life. As soon as it is resolved you can start the process of repairing any negative credit hits.
If you decide to move forward with a debt program, it’s essential to come up with a budget and put money aside, especially if you plan on making on a debt settlement with your creditors. Once you have settled your debt and get the relief you needed, you must continue to control and monitor your spending.
Poor health, layoffs and huge medical bills took a toll on our financial situation. We ran up our credit cards to pay the medical bills, other bills and so we could eat. We were draining our retirement funds to keep us from losing our home. It got to be too much. We learned about Freedom Debt Relief from a TV commercial and contacted them. The "sales job" they did on us was very convincing. Unfortunately, the reality of what was to come was far different.
Freedom Debt Relief only cares about how much money they can make from someone else's debt burden. We enrolled with FDR over 4 years ago. They took all of their fees upfront which is where our first 18 months of enormous monthly payments went. The monthly payments were anything but affordable. In fact, they were much higher than we were paying monthly to our creditors. After the 18 months the payments started going into our "savings account" through GCS which pays no interest, but charges big fees.
We were told to stop paying our bills on the onset of the program.
Our debt grew dramatically due to late fees and added interest. The phone calls from our creditors were numerous and nasty. FDR offered no help or advice in dealing with the calls. A couple of our accounts ended up as law suits. Again, even though FDR says they have a legal resolutions department to deal with legal issues, they could not offer any help due to the fact that the people in this resolution dept. are not lawyers. We ended up taking money from our retirement funds to pay some of the accounts, because FDR would negotiate with the creditors and then tell us we would have to pay out of our pockets because we didn't have enough money in our "savings account". This did not lessen the initial fees they took from us even though these fees were based on the total amount of debt owed.
We were also told we would receive congratulatory emails each time a debt was resolved. We never received these emails. I would have to check on their poorly updated website to keep track. Each time I would call FDR for updates they would tell me that the email address they had on file was not correct, yet magically I would still receive their useless monthly newsletters via email. The customer service reps were not helpful most of the time. In fact, one rep threatened to drop us and yet keep the fees we had paid upfront since we were not happy with how they handled things.
Our final debt has been resolved for 2 months and we still have a balance in our "savings account". I called today to see why we haven't heard anything about all our debt being resolved and was told that it is up to us to contact them for the completion packet. We will not get the money we have in our "savings account" back until the packet is completed and sent in. In the meantime, fees will still be withdrawn from that account. All in all, it has been a miserable and costly business relationship.
I would caution anyone considering working with FDR. Hindsight has revealed that we could have handled it ourselves by not paying our creditors, saving the money we were not paying, and negotiate settlements ourselves since that is pretty much what we had to do anyway. It would have saved us thousands of dollars of fees to FDR, fees for having our "savings account" through GCS, penalties and added interest.