Freedom Debt Relief, LLC offers debt settlement services. Their website states that they’ve settled over $6 billion in debt, but there aren’t any documents to back-up this claim. If you check out Freedom Debt Relief, LLC with the San Francisco Better Business Bureau you will find the company has a shocking number of complaints — “286 customer complaints”. A large portion of these complaints are from 2016 and 2017. The complaints range from problems with their product/services, to billing issues.
On Freedom Debt Relief’s defense, Trusted Company Reviews wants to mention that debt settlement companies often have more complaints on average, when compared to other industries that we monitor in our databases. Since Freedom Debt Relief is not making monthly payments to their client’s creditors (this is common with debt settlement), their clients may be getting harassing phone calls, lawsuits and trashed credit.
Freedom Debt Relief’s website appears to be well-designed, but lacking in details regarding their company fees, how their program works (whether or not it’s a performance based debt settlement program complying with the FTC or if they offer an attorney model debt settlement program).
On their website it mentions that they are a member of the American Fair Credit Counsel, but when trying to click on this logo it doesnt go anywhere, and it should be linked to the American Fair Credit Councel website if they are active members.
Government Action Against Freedom Debt Relief, LLC.
At BBB.org you can find that Freedom Debt Relief, LLC — currenty has government action against them after being sued for charging illegal fees.
Here is what it says…
“On November 19, 2015 Freedom Debt Relief (FDR) entered into a consent agreement with the State of New Hampshire Banking Department (Case No. 10-535). According to the agreement FDR will pay $133,603.55 in restitution to New Hampshire consumers along with a penalty of $54,250.00. The Consent Order stems from the Banking Department’s findings that starting in 2009 FDR was not licensed as a New Hampshire Debt Adjuster as required by law. FDR has made no admission of wrongdoing or liability through the Consent Order, and had ceased charging New Hampshire consumer fees in 2010. The order is not admissible in any court other than for enforcement in connection with its terms.”
Since this lawsuit and the government action has occurred, the company has managed to continue doing business.
With Freedom Debt Relief, LLC, and with all debt settlement companies, make sure to view their contract in detail. Ask questions to verify the information the sales representative told you, matches up with what is inside their client agreement, before you sign up for the program. Go over all fees and costs with a magnifying glass.
Laws require that with a debt settlement program client fees cannot be paid until a debt is settled, and written verification is provided to the client illustrating the creditor agreeing to settle. Once the funds are paid to the creditor and the account is paid and reported with a “zero dollar balance”, at that point the debt settlement company can get paid.
Specifically, here is what the law says about debt settlement companies.
“It specifies that fees for debt relief services may not be collected until:
- the debt relief service successfully renegotiates, settles, reduces, or otherwise changes the terms of at least one of the consumer’s debts;
- there is a written settlement agreement, debt management plan, or other agreement between the consumer and the creditor, and the consumer has agreed to it; and
- the consumer has made at least one payment to the creditor as a result of the agreement negotiated by the debt relief provider.”
On average, debt settlement companies charge 15% of the total debt enrolled into a debt settlement program, but the fees are not disclosed on Freedom Debt Relief’s website so we could not tell what they are charging.