Franklin Debt Relief is named after two famous Franklins: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Benjamin Franklin. It's a name you don't hear a lot anymore (in 2018 it barely broke into the top 500 list of popular boy's names) but it's one that is closely connected to American history. This is why it was chosen by this debt relief company, and why you will find many references to their namesakes on the Franklin Debt Relief website.
The company’s logo features Benjamin Franklin’s silhouette and his famous saying, “I’d rather go to bed with supper than rise in debt”, an apt quote for this company and for the millions of Americans that find themselves waist-deep n deb
Franklin Debt Relief (FDR) provides hope for those in financial trouble, just as President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” gave hope to the nation during the Great Depression in the 30’s.
About Franklin Debt Relief
- Address: 236 E Irving Park Rd Ste B, Wood Dale, IL 60191-2099
- Web Address: http://www.franklindebtrelief.com/
- Date of Founding: 3/1/2006
- Contact Number: (312) 445-4700
- BBB Accredited? No.
Update Late 2018
The review that follows on this page was written in 2017 and updated periodically thereafter. At the time, Franklin Debt Relief were not accepting new clients. We thought that this would be temporary, but over a year later it remains to be the case.
If you visit the Franklin Debt Relief website you will be greeted with a page that is blank but for the words, “Franklin Debt Relief are no longer accepting new clients” followed by an email address and instruction for existing clients to use it. This makes any further review updates very difficult, as you can imagine, and it also renders a review somewhat pointless, but we will continue to monitor the situation and will update this page if it changes. In the meantime, take a look below to discover if this is a company you should wait for or one you should avoid.
There isn't a great deal of information out there on Franklin Debt Relief. We found complaints that seemed to be very worrying, including one where a customer stated that a creditor had not been paid, even though Franklin Debt Relief had “settled” the account, but this complaint was resolved privately and without issue.
However, there has to be a reason they stopped accepting new clients for a prolonged period of time. They either have a very small team who became overworked, or they are winding down and planning to go out of business. We would lean more towards the latter. Because if it was the former then it wouldn't explain why they have been refusing new clients for so long. You would also expect them to hire more members of staff if they had more accounts, and to keep their website active. The sensible option would be to keep everything as it was to ensure they remained strong in Google/Bing and then to simply place “not accepting new client” messages within the site itself. To put a wall in front of everything seems like a drastic step.
Our Franklin Debt Relief Review
As mentioned already, this review was created after they had stopped accepting clients, and it has been updated several times. But it takes information from a time when they were accepting clients, as well as from many former customers and employees of the company.
FDR has a debt settlement program called the “New Deal.” The company offers a free consultation to those looking to discover how the program works and if they would qualify for the service.
They work with various types of unsecured debts including credit cards, store debts, and medical bills; and their goal is to negotiate with creditors to lower the total amount owed. Once the debt is settled, there is a one time fee of about 15%.
This is a very low when compared to many other debt settlement companies and is one of the big positives about Franklin Debt Relief. However, there is no telling whether this rate will remain or not if they return.
FDR claims that if the customer can make their payments on a consistent basis, they can lower the total amount of unsecured debt by 50%, which is a very high number and another big benefit for the company. Franklin Debt Relief’s objective is to have customers debt free in as little as 18 months, but they acknowledge that it can take a maximum of 60 months.
There are no upfront fees, which means they abide by the FTC regulation on this matter, and if the debt is not settled all funds made to the escrow account will be returned to the client. FDR offers a detailed breakdown of how they negotiate with credit card companies, as well as potential setbacks they might encounter during the negotiation phase with the creditors. There are also testimonials from past clients that can help a current customer decide what to expect when doing business with them.
Our teams of reviewers were somewhat impressed with how honest FDR are in stating that settlement may not be the best route for everyone. They also state that those without a steady source of income might not be the best candidate as they may have a hard time accumulating the funds necessary for settlement. Note that these guidelines can be applied to any settlement company, and not just FDR.
Franklin Debt Relief has a section has a section on their website that details how settlement companies work (not available while they are not accepting new clients), how they get paid, how your credit will be affected, and what factors lead to a successful settlement process and which ones don’t.
Franklin Debt Relief other pros include:
- They provide a free consultation
- They have nearly a decade of experience
The risks associated with debt settlement include tax liability, credit score reduction, and the potential for litigation, especially on well overdue debts. On a more personal level, we are concerned about the company’s lack of AFCC accreditation and the fact that they have stopped accepting new clients. Although the company has a good rating, there is little to no updated information on them out there.
There is also little transparency how the company works to actually assist their clients. Prior to them shutting down to new clients there was a blog featuring articles about credit scores and debt relief myths, student loan debt information, and how to avoid being scammed, but even this wasn't as detailed as it could be. What's more, nothing has been added or updated for years. In fact, the last time we saw an update was back in 2012.
We would also like to see more tools and educational resources offered to consumers on their site. At this time, FDR’s training program lacks some needed structure.
The Bottom Line
Franklin Debt Relief has over 10 years of experience, but the latter part of that has been spent refusing new clients, and that is a concern.
They are not accredited with the AFCC, although they do have accreditation with the IAPDA. Our team of researchers encountered multiple, illegitimate contact numbers, so we recommend taking advantage of their free consultation to find out more about the company’s services. We also recommend looking into other top recommended companies that have been reviewed on Debt Reviews, including DebtMerica and America Debt Resolutions.