Debt Settlement Company Review and Best Practices Guide

CRN is a very different debt settlement company than any other currently in the debt relief industry. Due to the nature of our industry, we are often found to be in a position to point these differences out. It has been our experience that it is well worth the time and energy to openly describe who we are and what we do, in contrast to how you would review a typical debt settlement company. The purpose of publishing this is so that those with whom we interface, on behalf of our membership, can get to know us better. We are critical of the way debt settlement is carried out by many in this industry. The best debt settlement company will provide open and detailed information about their business practices, not only to the public, but to lenders, collectors, and debt owners alike.

Review the following best debt settlement company practices:

  • We do not interrupt in any way, shape or form, a creditor’s ability to communicate directly with a CRN member. This is an ill-advised, yet normal practice used by many debt settlement companies we have reviewed. Quite to the contrary, we encourage our members communicate directly with creditors or their collection agency assignees, and later debt owners.
  • We do not now, nor have we ever, held settlement escrow funds for consumers either through a trust account, special purpose fund or through an arm’s length 3rd party provider. We do not make or remit payments to creditors in any way, shape or form, on behalf of members. Our debt settlement company review suggest most debt relief companies use third party accounts to guarantee payment to themselves, not for the purposes of guaranteeing payment to creditors and debt owners.
  • We do not now, nor have we ever, participated in fair share contributions with creditors.
  • We do not enroll consumers into Debt Management Plans. Due to the current problems throughout the economy and financial industry, many creditors make direct offers to consumers that do not require the involvement of an outside 3rd party sponsored DMP. This results in a much faster and cost effective solution for both the consumer and creditor. Our members are made aware of this. Most companies in our industry do not disclose this. Their models rely on collecting fees for debt settlement (in some cases-whether they negotiate or not), or the income from active plan management.
  • CRN does not favor one creditor over another. What we do favor is; The Math! Each creditor has developed their own policies, and timing, of different methods for resolving an account. Whether hardship, liquidation, or settlement is the preferred option on a specific file, these policies and trends are what has, and will continue to; drive the individualized plan of action for each CRN member. Whether working directly with each of your internal recovery departments, or outsourced pre/post charge off assignees, the condition of a CRN member, and the present trends, will dictate the type and speed with which, successful arrangements can be structured and fulfilled. Any debt settlement company review will reveal that most service providers work with math more favorable to their own bottom line, than the arrangements that are in the best interest of their customer, followed by quicker debt resolution for the issuers and debt owners.
  • CRN does no paid advertising. We rely on word of mouth and organic exposure.

5 key factors to look for in any debt relief company review.

  1. We offer an alternative for consumers seeking to avoid Bankruptcy.
  2. CRN provides each member educational material and access to our professional staff. Our program is designed with both the debtor and creditor in mind. Each member works one on one with the same specialist throughout their membership. We get to know our members individually and assist with tailoring strategies that fit their particular circumstances and financial hardships. Each members experience can vary dramatically based on their personal financial condition. We have members that work with CRN for as little as a few weeks to a few years.
  3. We encourage consumers to work directly with their creditors. By working directly with creditors, collection agency assignees, and debt owners, our members are able to apply the fees normally associated with debt relief company services directly to their debt. When our members work with theirĀ  creditors it provides for a better recovery rate, as creditors are not commissioning assignees, or liquidating nonperforming accounts, at basement pricing. This key factor sets CRN apart from virtually any other debt settlement company review you may complete.
  4. CRN offers a guarantee to consumers. We recognize, as should everyone in our view, that there are times where consumers are better served by a professional mediating on their behalf. If a consumer elects for us to contact their creditors and assist in mediating arrangements with which they can be successful, we do. CRN members review each and every offer on creditor/collector letterhead and then approve and fund, or reject them.
  5. When we perform any direct service for consumers, we charge a small % of savings. It is a fee model based on success. The fee, where applicable, is anticipated only when a member’s creditor obligations are met. We have consistently offered the lowest success fee compared to any other debt settlement company you may review. Your debt settlement company review for 2013 will now show many debt relief companies charging only success fees. The best debt settlement companies now follow federal guidelines from 2010 that guide when fees can be considered earned. CRN has used our success fee since 2004 (prior to official incorporation in 2006).

We recognize the pitfalls, drawbacks, overpriced and outright scam nature of many debt settlement company programs offered to consumers struggling with debt. In the current economy, it is more important than ever before, that a consumer be educated on all of their legitimate options and be provided with the opportunity to make informed decisions. We provide that opportunity.

Our commitment to CRN members is our first priority. A byproduct of this is the opportunity for CRN to develop open, honest, and ethical communication with creditors and assignees. By extension, our commitment to our membership is a commitment to you.

We look forward to the opportunity of working directly with your organization while serving the needs of our members.

If there is anything you would like to learn that was not part of this debt settlement company review, communication regarding creditor/collector relations should be directed to:

Michael Bovee
CRN President

800-939-8357

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