Freedom Debt Relief has a “Debt Reduction Program” designed to offer a solution for consumers dealing with high levels of debt who are seeking debt relief options. Their goal is to get you out of debt in the shortest amount of time while saving you the most money possible through debt negations with your creditors.
Here are some quick facts about Freedom Debt Relief:
Company Founded: December 2002
Years In Business: 6
Number of Employees: 133 per BBB report/over 500 per website
BBB Rating: F
BBB Complaints: 153 in the last 36 months
Fee Information: Retainer fee/Service Fee
Escrow Available?: yes
Source of Funds: client payments
Fee Structure:Retainer Fee included in monthly payment for first 3-4 months of program followed by service fee for approximately 15 months which is also included in your monthly payment.
Avg. % Settled: They do not guarantee any settlements but strive for 50% of the amount owed.
Refund Policy: yes- if at program completion your total debt reduction is less than 3 times the Service Fees you have paid to Freedom Debt Relief they will return a portion of the Service Fees. The amount of the refund will be calculated so that the amount of Service Fees we retain is equal to 1/3 of your total debt reduction. Retainer Fees are generally non-refundable.
Minimum Debt Required: not specified
About the Company:
Based on information provided on the company website Freedom Debt Relief was founded in 2002 and currently employs about 500 employees based out of three offices located in San Mateo, CA, Sacramento, CA and Phoenix AZ. The Better Business Bureau has a report for this company with a rating of F, noting that the company is currently operating after the founders received a cease and desist order from the Department of Corporation in the state of California. You may read more about order from the BBB here. Other information listed on the BBB report indicates the company received 153 complaints in the last three years with 144 of those complaints currently resolved and 9 that have been administratively closed. Freedom Debt Relief is an accredited member of The Association of Settlement Companies and also has a report available through Dun and Bradstreet.
The Debt Reduction Program offered by Freedom Debt Relief is based on an increasingly popular form of debt reduction known as debt negation or debt settlement. Designed for consumers struggling with serious amounts of debt this program is intended to reduce your debt by approximately 50% by negotiating with your creditors for a lump sum payment less than the actual balance you owe. To begin the program you must contact the company for a free consultation to assess your financial situation and determine if this form of debt relief is right for you. If the program is the right fit for your situation you and Freedom Debt Relief will determine a dollar amount that you can save each month toward debt negotiations. Once settlements are made (which will likely take several months to see results) you will be notified of said settlement by a “good news” notification letting you know that debt has been successfully negotiated.
From the information provided I was unable to determine how the Retainer and Service fees are calculated. If I were to wager a guess based on other companies in the same industry the overall amount would be based on the amount of debt you currently owe since it is paid at the beginning of the program.
The website is professional and easy to navigate. It offers several pages of information on how debt settlement works. In the FAQ’s section many important factors are covered explaining both the potentially positive and negative results of entering this program. Although the company doesn’t advertise information gleaned from a simple internet search (BBB report) they do provide adequate contact information so that a person interested in doing a more “in-depth” search has little difficulty in finding more information. Since I have reviewed companies that don’t provide these tidbits of information to help individuals looking for more information this was appreciated when looking for more information.
Overall this looks like a company to stay away from. I base this on a BBB rating of F and a seriously front-loaded fee structure. If your looking for a more reputable debt settlement company, check out our top recommended companies.