entered into a Debt Settlement program 15 months ago. When I signed up, I was trying to protect my 690 credit score and had some major events which forced me to do this. I was told credit would not be impacted but boy was I wrong. All credit cards charged off within 6 months. On my credit report, I have 4 charge offs from major CC companies (Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, Discover). This company will "settle" for me by keeping monthly payments in escrow, however they do not negotiate pay for delete or negotiate that all past dues will be removed. They target a 40% of original debt negotiation.
Since these accounts will just be updated as settled and all negative lates will remain, I doubt that my credit score will improve at all. Should I cancel this program and try to negotiate directly with these creditors? Two of the smaller ones (CitiBank and Discover) I can now "pay in full" and hope they will pay for delete or update with no lates and paid in full/agreed so will ask for letters up front. The other two larger ones ($10k and 14k) I would have to try and negotiate paying settled for delete, if their is such a thing (CitiFinancial and Chase). Any thoughts or suggesstions?
I do not see any collection agencies showing up on my credit report and not sure if there are any out there that deal directly with this Debt Settlement company. Any advice would be appreciated.
If it were me, I would go back to the OC, explain the circumstance, and have an offer and a plan to pay off the debt. Paying the amount in full is more likely to produce goodwill for deleting lates. You can always ask.
PS - if you do find yourself in a tight spot again, try working with the creditors, vs using a debt settlement/management company. It doesn't always work out, but worth the effort.