I became a client of Freedom Debt Relief when my only other option was to file bankruptcy. When the economy tanked, my job went from full time to two days a week. I continued to make my monthly payments by emptying my savings account while I looked for work. In the end, I reached out to Freedom Debt Relief.
In the beginning, the lady on the phone was sympathetic. Like she understood everything that I was going through. Once I signed up, customer service changed. My agreement was for $152.00 each payday. When I went back to full time, I called to increase my payments. From what they tell you, that will help you resolve your debt faster.
This went on for a year and a half. I never missed a payment or had any issues. After a decade of having the same bank account, I changed bank accounts. The ONLY company I forgot to advise was Freedom Debt Relief (that's because the program was seamless and you really don't think about it). When I missed the payment (after being with them for a year and a half), they didn't call and say, "Hey Ms. Anderson, is something wrong? You missed your payment." NO! I didn't realize that I missed a payment until I started getting emails from them to get back on track. After then, I realized that they quit making payments on my behalf, which in turn, canceled my settlement with the said company.
IF they had called, I would have given them the new bank account number, and then things could have remained the same. Instead, they tell me that I'm in default and now I need to restructure my payments because I have to pay a different amount to the creditors. The best example of what happened is with American Express. I missed my payment to Freedom Debt Relief, and they did not pay American Express. The following month I was on track, and they tried to pay American Express, who rejected the payment because I defaulted on the agreement.
This went on for over three months, meaning that American Express did not get paid for three months. I (not Freedom Debt Relief) reached out to American Express and explained what happened and even after not getting paid for three months, they honored the settlement agreement (the only thing Freedom Debt Relief did was offer to restructure my payments so they would have the money to pay American Express the full amount of the original debt).
I got over that and stayed with the program. I shouldn't have! I am paying them $202.00 bi-weekly ($404.00 a month). I have two accounts left. One, a settlement was agreed on and I only owe them $4,080.00, and the other is for less than $1,300.00. But, they have me in the program for another 20 months. That is because they are only paying $204.00 every month for the company with the agreement. They will not be paid off for 20 months (1 year and 8 months). If they would apply more money to them, it would be paid off in 10 months.
I asked Freedom Debt Relief to increase the payment to them (I just wanted all this behind me), Freedom Debt Relief wouldn't do that. I told them that I was considering pulling that company out of the program so I could make the payments myself. Freedom Debt Relief made that sound like the worse possible thing to do. They told me all the "worse case scenarios," although, that's not how they put it. They just said, "We'll send them a letter telling them that you are no longer in agreement with them which would void the agreement." Which means that I would have to try and negotiate with them or I would be sued for the full amount (after Freedom Debt Relief took their fees of $2,725.00 for that account), which means that it would have cost me more to pay them off.
I FOUGHT with Freedom Debt Relief to get contact information (in the beginning of the program, you sign papers so that collectors only talk to Freedom Debt Relief and you are completely out of it). I was on the phone with them for over 30 minutes while they repeatedly and continually told me that they strongly advise against me reaching out to the collection agency.
I finally got a phone number from them. It was the wrong number; they did not give me the number to the company they were sending payments to! However, I did find the collection agency with the account, and I was able to find contact information. I am happy to say that the account will be paid off in 8 months compared to the 20 months Freedom Debt Relief had me set up for. Of course, the collection agency just wants to get paid. When I offered them the entire $404.00 a month that I was paying Freedom Debt Relief, they were more than happy to take it.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend