Debtmerica was founded over a decade ago by members of Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Their goal was to create a business that could tackle the growing debt problem in the United States, and both the debt issue and Debtmerica have grown considerably in the years since.
If you want to attain a little financial freedom, shaking off the shackles of debt, then Debtmerica may be able to help. In this guide we take a close look at their services to see how.
- Address: 3100 S Harbor Blvd #250, Santa Ana, CA 92704
- Web Address: http://www.debtmerica.com/
- Date of Founding: 5/10/2006
- Contact Number: (800) 470-8155
- BBB Accredited? No.
Debtmerica was founded by friends that met at business school. They put their heads and goals together to launch this business and it has been flourishing ever since. According to their BBB page they are registered as a Sole Proprietorship, which came as a surprise and hints at their smaller size, but they were founded back in 2006 and have had a lot of time to get experience.
Debtmerica provides debt settlement services and claims to provide a better alternative to counseling, consolidation and debt management. That's debatable, and in some cases it's undeniable that the aforementioned options will be better, but debt settlement can certainly be a great option and it seems like Debtmerica are one of the better providers out there.
Are Debtmerica a Scam?
This is a question being asked about all companies in the debt management sector and it seems to be especially common with debt settlement companies. It's one of those things that sounds too good to be true and involves a lot of money, so red flags are raised, but it's not a scam. Sure, scams exist in this industry, but that's why accreditations also exist and it's on you, the consumer, to lookout for these and to do your due diligence.
These days it usually only takes a Google search to tell you whether a company is a scam or not, as a search will return a wealth of blacklist warnings, bad reviews, and all kinds of angry forum and social media posts.
To be clear, Debtmerica is not a scam. It might not work for you as well as you hoped, but that doesn't make it a con.
By all accounts Debtmerica is a great place to work. It is a small company, but it's one that has also been voted one of the best places to work in Orange County and you'll hear nothing but good things from former and current employees.
Our Debtmerica Review
We tasked our expert researchers with reviewing Debtmerica and all of their services, and this is what they came up with.
Debtmerica work with most types of unsecured debts, including credit cards, store cards, medical bills, and more. As discussed in our guide to household credit card debt in the US, credit cards account for over $1 trillion worth of debt, passed only by student loans. This means that Debtmerica have no shortage of customers looking for their services.
Debtmerica is accredited by the AFCC and IAPDA, and it has a team of fully certified negotiators on hand to discuss debts with creditors. Their program can be considered a better alternative to bankruptcy, as their relief plan is not made public.
No Big Fees
Debtmerica does not have any upfront fees. This should be the case with all settlement companies because of a law passed by the FTC in 2010, however, there are still companies out there who flout this law and charge fees every step of the way.
Customers who signup to Debtmerica can expect to pay 20% to 24% of the total amount of debt enrolled, and this amount only needs to be paid on completion of the program. There is a free consultation available to those who want to know if they would qualify for the program, and this consultation can also provide guidance to customers who do not qualify.
Once the process begins then customers will be set up with an escrow account with a 3rd party bank where a predetermined amount of funds will be deposited on a monthly basis. This will help to build a substantial balance that can be used to negotiate with creditors. Debtmerica’s fee will be rolled into the monthly payment agreed by the client's various creditors.
Honesty, Speed, and Transparency
Clients will be given the option to negotiate the amount and the funds will be transferred to the creditor by the client. In the case that the client is not satisfied with the amount negotiated, there will not be a charge. The only charges a customer can expect to see is a monthly maintenance fee, which usually runs at about $9.95 and is non-refundable.
We are usually very wary of monthly payments and tell all customers to be cautious as well. But this only applies to a program fee, which is paid for the services rendered (as opposed to account/escrow fees) and is typically higher than $40. I such cases there is no incentive for the company to settle quickly, but in this case the fee is merely covering their costs.
Speaking of speedy settlements, Debtmerica aim to settle all debts within 24 to 48 months, with the first account estimated to be settled in just 4 to 6 months. The majority of settlement companies advertise debt forgiveness for pennies on the dollar. Debtmerica is more open and honest by pointing out that most settlements usually fall in the range of 15 to 75 cents on the dollar. Information on the company's fees is easily accessible along with legal facts on litigation and bankruptcy. There is also an FAQ page on their website covering all common questions in an honest and transparent way.
Pros for this company include:
- Vast resources on their website (articles, blogs, etc.,).
- They are certified by the AFCC & IAPDA.
- They have lots of experience in this industry.
It's important to be aware of the potential issues with debt settlement before agreeing to a program like this. It can be the best option and it's also one of the cheapest, but if the process is prolonged then you run the risk of litigation, and there are also potential issues with regards to credit score drops.
Debtmerica, along with many other settlement companies, does not service the entire United States and their programs differ from state to state. You can gain access to their services in all of the following states: CO, CT, GA, KS, ME, VT, WA, WV and WI.
The Bottom Line
Debtmerica Relief works by negotiating with creditors to reduce debt on many unsecured accounts, after which these debts are paid off in full. The cost of the program is rolled into the monthly payment and the whole process is very transparent and open, with several major industry accreditations to back them up.
If settlement is the right path for you, it's worth giving them a look. At the very least you should try their free consultation and see if it's worth taking any further. You may also want to try some of our other top rated debt settlement companies, including:
Just click the links to be taken to our extensive reviews of these programs.