A Peek at the Disturbing Fine Print of a Debt Settlement Contract

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Those of us who have witnessed the frustration of consumers who have paid money to a debt settlement company only to find out their debt hasn’t actually been paid down may have wondered how the consumer got there. Were they tricked? Or did they understand what they were signing up for? A party to one of these agreements recently shared the complete process and unredacted debt settlement agreement with me. The fine print was shocking. Though this can only be directly tied to one debt settlement company, I suspect this agreement is not unique. 

The 80-year-old consumer who entered into the agreement contacted the Debt Settlement Company (DSC) after seeing an advertisement claiming the DSC could negotiate down his debts by 35%. To him, this seemed like a great deal! Within a few days, the DSC got the elderly consumer's signature by sending a mobile notary to meet him locally.

Though vague bullet points regarding the terms of the agreement were provided to him at signing along with more promises of reduced debt, he did not have the time at signing to read the fine print of the agreement. They say the devil is in the details, and this agreement is no exception.  The fine print set up an arrangement entirely different than the verbal representations and bullet points provided to the elderly consumer. 

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