Debt Relief Program Introduction

Welcome to the free online debt relief program published by CRN. Our information system is designed to deliver detailed debt relief tips and tools, and the ongoing support you will need, when you are dealing with problem debt, like credit card bills.

Once you have completely reviewed all of the CRN foundational debt relief program you will be well equipped to make decisions about how to deal with your current financial struggles, and to step on to the debt solution path that is right for you.

Our mission is to inform and educate consumers and professionals about debt relief tools and options utilizing the past and present experience of knowledgeable debt and credit experts. This, combined with the power of a social network solution, is how people can help people get out of debt.

Ways to learn and get debt relief help.

The CRN debt relief program is delivered through this web site. Our basic education is broken down into sections and categories. The core debt relief education is supplemented by special reports that cover specific topics and actions in more detail.

We also publish continuing articles that can supplement the debt relief guides, and with videos that are published through the debtbytes YouTube channel.

The people-helping-people part of the CRN debt relief program was originally designed for implementation through a reader forum. That turned out to be a spam magnet. We may later set up a forum like structure for readers to help and learn from each other. For now, we can all interact with questions, comments, experiences, and feedback using the comment section that is open and available to all on virtually every page of this website.

Open participation:

Anyone can access and participate in our debt relief program. You will gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and detail about how to resolve your debt and credit challenges. Everyone is invited and welcome to participate in any section of the CRN site.

You do have access to fair and affordable paid consulting. You can learn more about the benefits of supplementing what you learn from our free publishing effort here.

Paid professional help and consulting IS NOT REQUIRED for you to benefit from our online debt relief program. In fact, you can get feedback from us free just by participating in the comments of the different debt relief program sections and articles you will read. You will get dedicated and honest feedback without cost. Paid consulting, services, and one on one access to a professional for ongoing guidance, is for those who want or need professional debt relief services.

Get Informed and Get Credit Card Debt Relief:

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to debt relief. There are tools and strategies that will fit your situation that will not work for someone else. There may be creative ways to deal with your personal financial situation that can involve more than one strategy covered in our debt relief program education. The idea behind our online system is for us to work together with you to assist you in achieving affordable debt relief results. Publishing our debt relief program for all to review and openly participate in helps us to fulfill the mission CRN started out with back in 2004.

Whether you are here to utilize the free education tools and resources, or find a reputable service or professional through the site, we look forward to assisting you in achieving debt relief and giving you a head start toward financial health.

You can click on any of the navigation menu to skip to a debt relief category, or move through the debt relief program in the order we set it up, by clicking the link at the bottom of each article, such as now:

Proceed to the Debt Relief Program Getting Started Page.

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  1. Heidi says

    I have one public record already placed on my record by Hunt & Manriquez for roughly 3500.00. They just served me for a different account for 1200.00. I want to take care of this one before the judgement is won by default but after reading some information online I am now concerned about the first public record. How should I go about setting up an arrangement with account that was already been placed as a public record? I have read many articles on the internet about this specific company not being on the up and up when making an arrangement with them. I am worried because I want to take care of it but am barely making it as it now. Please help!

    • Michael Bovee says

      Heidi – Some of the information you need to read and consider when seeking debt relief from an existing judgment, or when settling when be sued can be found here:
      Settle an existing credit card judgment
      Settle when being sued

      There is enough information on the 2 pages linked above to allow you to start to formulate your plan. If you have specific questions after reading each page, post them in the comments sections for feedback.

      If you are looking for something like one on one assistance and a more formal debt relief program with professional help just call into us for a no cost consultation in order learn what makes the most sense for you with all that you have going on: 800-939-8357 ext. 3

  2. John Beck says

    First of all thank you for your service!

    My question is how do I find out if Joe Pezzuto is actually the Law Firm that CACH hired to settle my debt, I can’t find his law firm on my credit report to just says CACH LLC. I’m more than willing to settle the debt myself and have before with other companies which much success I just want to be sure I’m giving my money to the right law firm.
    Also can you explain what “Pay For Delete” means.
    Thank you so much for your service…!!!

    • Michael Bovee says

      John – Attorney debt collectors do not typically provide information to the credit reporting agencies. I would be surprised if you told me Pezzuto was. Pezzuto is a known collection law firm, and does collect for Cach LLC. You can certainly request validation of that from them, but just know that there are instances where the law firm will meet your request quickly followed by filing a collection action in the court. I am not saying that is what will occur here, but that it can.

      It sounds like you have achieved debt relief on several other accounts. Those experiences will help you here. I find Cach LLC purchased debts to be better negotiated and settled prior to them filing a court action to collect.

      Pay for delete is an attempt to offer full or partial payment to a debt collector in order to get a negative item related to the account removed from your credit report. The Pezzuto law firm cannot do anything about credit reporting from Cach LLC or the original creditor. Pay for delete is not common. Early medical bill collections, or utility bills would be some limited exceptions. Pay for delete is not on the table in your situation.

  3. Perliza says

    Hi Michael,
    First of all I just want to know more about your company, Is your company a member of USOBA or TASC?
    If I choose to hire your company to settle all my debt, How long would it take for me to be debt free?
    I don’t really have a lot of bad debt I only owe less than $3,000 to 5 companies which I have not paid for the last 3-5 years its not because I don’t want to pay but because they won,t give me a chance to negotiate a settlement.
    Do your company offer any type of guarantee for your services? And what is the guarantee?
    Do you have debt negotiator? Are they IAPD certified?

    • Michael Bovee says

      Perliza – Your questions are fairly loaded, but I will try to keep my answers brief. Post a comment reply on any point you would like more clarity on.

      The United States Organization for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA) is all but defunct for more than a year. CRN was never a member.

      The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) is all but gone for a while now too. CRN was never a member.

      Historically I was something of a critic of both organizations. I, and CRN by extention, are more about advocating for consumers, not protecting debt settlement companies interests. Which is what TASC and USOBA were both all about. I am not a fan of most debt settlement company operations.

      If for some reason you put stock in a debt relief company belonging to an association, and even though I think that is the wrong reason to trust one, you would now look to membership with the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

      You cannot hire Consumer Recovery Network directly in order to negotiate your debts for you at this time. You can talk with a CRN specialist in the network about getting assistance with DIY or direct settlements by calling 800-939-8357. Without knowing the specifics of your debts I cannot offer feedback about how long it would take to get debt relief through settlements. If you post a comment with the following information, I can offer an estimate:
      Who were your debts originally with? Who is collecting now? What are the balances on each account? What state do you live in?

      CRN has always offered a money back guarantee on all of its education and consulting products. Guarantees have never been necessary for the direct debt relief negotiation CRN offers because that service has always been either free, or based on performance and results, once an agreement is reached, since 2004. All specialists in the network still offer the same guarantee CRN always has.

      The International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) is also something I put very little value to. A person with an average reading level, and zero debt and credit experience or knowledge, can and have read material for a couple of hours and pass for a certificate.

      IAPDA certification, and TASC or USOBA membership, are all things the debt relief services industry created in order to accomplish a few goals. None of which are a benefit to consumers in my personal opinion and professional experience.

  4. Wilhelmus says

    I have been %100 disabled since 2004 and my income dropped dramatically when I was placed on SSI in 2005. At that time I had two credit cards a visa issued through Bank of America and a MC issued through citi bank. Since 2005 I have racked up nearly $16,000 on these two cards alone not including my car loan. I think it important to note I had these cards before my disability occurred . Now the minimum payments on each card are more than I can handle, what is my best coarse of action to resolve this issue? I,m a long time member with each of these cards, and see no end in sight. I could use some solid advice on which direction to turn.

    Thanks Bill

    • Michael Bovee says

      Bill – Let’s start with a process of elimination:

      What are your minimum payments on the Bank of America and Citibank cards today?
      If those payments were locked in at roughly $300 a month, would that be affordable?
      If you cannot afford 300 a month payments on the credit cards, how long would it take you to pool together roughly 7k? Your answer here would help me expand on what settling with BofA and Citi would look like.

      My initial feedback about different debt relief programs will depend on your answers to those questions. I can also dig a little deeper into your particulars after you post your responses, and if your reply helps to eliminate lower monthly payments through a credit counseling program, or eliminates debt settlement as a relief option.

  5. dustin says

    I had a credit card around roughly 12 years ago that i couldnt pay. Over the years i have struggled and even tried to set up a payment plan when things were finacially stable. I have watched the balance owed grow excessively in my opinion as thr debt was transferred over and over again. I gave up trying to resolve it cause frankly i wasnt even sure who i was supposed to pay anymore. Ive moved alot. At least 3 sometimes 4 times a year. I just recieved a court paperwork stating a judgement was ordered and a new attorney took it from another attorney. I was never served any court documents and now the debt has increased from the original principal of around 2200$ to almost 12,000$. Is this even legal? Im beside myself at this point because i have finally found a good stable place of employment and i dont need the problem with wage garnishment. Who could i contact to get this insane amount to a reasonable amount and work out a plan for weekly payments. I live in california and the original debt is with NCO Finacial for Providian Credit Card.

    • Michael Bovee says

      dustin – If you are just recently sued for a debt you stopped paying 12 years ago, I would encourage you to talk over your situation with an experienced debt defense attorney. You may be able to unwind this through the courts, and for less a cost than what you might be able to settle the debt for. Would you like me to send you an email with contact info to an attorney in California with the experience you would want?

  6. Faye says

    I am 71 yrs. old & live on Social Security. I had a delinquent Belk acct. which they turned over to attorneys (Frederick Hanna & Assocs.). A couple of years ago I had a ruptured appendix & almost died. In the hosp. for 10 days. Lost down to 90 lbs. Then I had a skin cancer on my leg removed. Then I learned that I had breast cancer & had a double mastectomy. Obviously I have tons of medical providers to pay. Hanna & Assocs. offered me a 3 pay plan ($714/ea.). My total acct. balance is $3,042.71. Their offer was a good one except that I cannot handle those large payments. I have mortgage (condo) payment, a condo monthly fee, utilities & lots of medical bills. I’m paying small amounts on most but there are so many of them. Hanna advises that if I pay $25 monthly that only $7.25 will apply to my loan balance. I would never be able to pay it off. I am in good health now. Is that typical of debt attorneys like Hanna to apply only a small portion to the balance ea. month? I hate not to pay on my medical accts. because they saved my life, & I may need their help again. I hate for the attys. (Hanna..) to get a judgment against me, but that might happen. Please advise. Thanks much!!

    • Michael Bovee says

      Faye – It is not clear from your comment whether you have already been sued for this account. If not, I like settling with a lump sum, or as few payments as possible. I am with you on the 25 dollar a month offer from the Frederick Hanna collector. You can work to save up the money to settle with Hanna. How long will it take you to save up 1k total?

      If you have already been sued by Frederick Hanna and Associates I will have different feedback to offer.

  7. Josh B says

    I will make this short and sweet. I had a credit card about 5 years ago through CITI that I ended up losing because I couldn’t pay it. It was around 10,000. It went to several collections agencies and now has landed at an attorney’s office. I FINALLY have a stable job and can make payments. I called them and it is has not gone through the court system yet he said I made it in time. He said if I can afford $350 a month until it is paid off it would be fine. Is this a normal practice? So basically I am paying the attorney $350 a month until the credit card debt is paid off and then they said they will report back to the creditor that it is paid off. Thanks for your advice.

    • Michael Bovee says

      That is pretty normal Josh. Debt collectors regularly accept payment plans, even collection attorney’s. Can you afford that amount? Can you tap some resource to come up with a lump sum in order to pay this off all at once (often at a steep discount)?

      What state are you in? If the SOL has passed to legitimately sue, you may have more bargaining power.

      • Josh says

        I am in Arizona. The max I can do right now is the $350. It is taken out once a month. So once I pay off the attorney what happens. Does he report it to someone to my credit doesn’t keep getting worse? What would happen if I got a large sum together. Don’t I still owe that 10,000?

        • Michael Bovee says

          Pretty much. Check your credit report 30 to 60 days after the final payment you make to verify that they followed through and your credit report shows a zero balance owed.

          If you were able to pull together roughly half the balance owed, you can often settle debts for less than what you owe. The benefit here is that the amount owed will show zero on your credit report (even though you paid far less; you no longer have to deal with debt collectors; and the risk of being sued for collection is eliminated.

  8. Kirby says

    A judgement was issued and I was ordered to pay a medical bill for $2470. I have made 34 payments of the required $50 / per month. I now have a balance of $1154. I would like to know if there is a chance that I can settle this debt or will I have to just continue with what the court ordered? If I can settle who should I contact, the court, the lawyer, or the hospital? Thanks for any advice.

    • Michael Bovee says

      It is possible to settle a judgment debt, even though payments are still being made consistent with an agreement you made. But settling debt in this scenario is usually something that is done when regular payments to the judgment creditor stop coming in. For more details on resolving judgement debt, see:

      The lawyer is the first place to connect with regarding any settlement they may agree to. Some medical debts cannot be settled for less due to other agreements the service provider may have with insurance companies.

      If you wanted to pay the remainder in full, you could potentially do that with the court. But you would not go through the court to negotiate any reduction.

    • Michael Bovee says

      If you have US based debt, I can offer feedback. If you have debt and credit questions that are Philippines based (accounts originate there), I will have little to share.

  9. Jorge says

    What are my options to settle or negotiate a judgment already happening. My checking account was put on hold but there was barely any money to settle the debt that grew 3 times from the original in 2008.

  10. James LEP says

    Hi Michael I’m really sick about today I handled the civil suit pro se did everything in or filed the answer the interrogatories put in a sworn stamped objection the plaintiff asked for an extension which was today nov 17 I went to court for a non jury trial but I was told the judge settled the case and was handed a summary judgement I believe the judge was crooked can you please help me Michael I’m from nj I also found out just about an hour ago that this person that I worked with for 20 years is a family member of the judge which might of had something to do with it. Take care Michael and please get back to me, thanks,jimmy

    • Michael Bovee says

      I would encourage you to reach out to an experienced debt collection defense attorney in your state. Preferably one with experience in that same court. What city are you in?

  11. Kristen says

    Hi Michael I keep getting phone calls from these companies that say they can do a debt litigation or debt dismissal as part of the fair credit act and. They said it is not like debt consolidation what are your thoughts on this

    • Michael Bovee says

      You would need to be more descriptive about what they are offering for me to share any feedback. There are many types of debt relief being offered out there. Some of it is what I call debt denying, or taking an argumentative approach to the banks, money and credit systems, and often with monetary protester undertones.

      Some debt elimination is counter productive. But posting more will help me to understand what you are looking at.

      • Kristen says

        They said if I pay 542.50 a month they will cut my debt in half and settle my 29,000 for 12,000 and it would not be reflected on my credit score it’s called the ramsaran law group

        • Michael Bovee says

          That sounds like an attorney sponsored debt settlement program. Settling debt is a common and effective way to get out from under heavy credit card bills.

          The promise that not paying credit cards in order to later settle will not be reflected in your credit score is a huge red flag though.

  12. Lily says

    We just received a collection notices on a ComEd final bill for one of our store rentals. We have a perfect credit report and they collection agency said they reported this to the credit agencies. I paid the bill this morning. Is there any way to have that taken off my credit report. My credit score is 799 and I’m so worried that it will drop significantly. What should I do? Should I hire any attorney to help me?

    • Michael Bovee says

      Look on your credit reports and verify that the collection is on there. If it is, post an update and lets go from there.

      What is the reason for the account going so long without payment? There are sometimes good reasons to request good will removal of a negative item on your credit reports. I am never all that optimistic that good will letters will work out, but I have reason to be with utility companies.

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