I’ve been enrolled in a debt settlement program and I’m not happy with it. My creditors keep contacting me, and they’re threatening to sue. The debt settlement company just tells me to not worry, but I am worried. I don’t think I want to keep working with them, but what are my options?
First, you could stop working with them. You need to check your contract or agreement with the debt settlement company, to see what you could potentially be liable for in terms of charges for work done to date, future charges, cancellation fees, etc., but certainly the first thing to do is consider halting the program. Any attorney can review the agreement and your situation with you, to see:
(1) The rules or grounds for cancellation or termination under the contract, and what you could be liable for;
(2) Whether the company has breached the contract in such a way as to excuse or justify your cancellation; and
(3) Whether the company has acted in such a way (e.g. breach of contract or fraud) that would justify a lawsuit by you to recover any losses or damages, including your fees to the company.
If the company is a member of one of the industry trade or self-regulatory associations, such as The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) or the United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA), you may also be able to take advantage of any dispute resolution services they offer to the clients of their members, to extricate yourself from the relationship while seeking return or recovery of any appropriate amounts of money.
The important thing is, if you are not happy, do not keep working with the company—find a way out of the program. The longer you stay in, the greater the potential damage to your credit, the more you may experience lawsuits or collections activity, and the more costs or charges you will run up.