16 CFR Part 310 Telemarketing Sales Rule- Debt Relief Amendments #543670-00147

Submission Number:
543670-00147
Commenter:
James Rennie
State:
PA
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 310 Telemarketing Sales Rule- Debt Relief Amendments
I recently used the services of American Financial Systems to remove and negotiate my debt. Unfortunately I was unaware I could do the same thing myself by contacting credit card companies on my own and negotiating with them directly, thus eliminating the large fees I had to pay to AFS. AFS initially told me in writing an amount of money it would take to settle all of my credit card debts. I agreed and paid them a lump sum, because it was lower than what I owed. After they mismanaged my account and the funds, and ran out of money to pay the remaining creditors I owed to, they said I had to pay another 15 thousand dollars to settle the remaining accounts. Unfortunately my back was against the wall, and I needed to be out of debt, so I had to give them the remaining funds to pay off the remaining creditors. AFS grossly misrepresented what the fees would be and the payoff amounts. They poorly managed my account and did very little on the customer service side. Anything they did, could be completed by a consumer on their own, and with less money spent. I would not recommend debt settlement agencies or companies to anyone, and would suggest that they work with the credit card companies on their own. These debt settlement companies are really just in the business to make money and are highly unregulated. They should be accountable for the misrepresentations they give and accountable for errors they make. I would favor the FTC to regulate this sector and do audits of accounts like mine, where I was completely misinformed during the initial review and "Sales pitch" and actually lied to. Best regards, James Rennie