If you are currently participating in a Debt Management Plan (DMP), you must read the following article by the Federal Trade Commission:
The FTC has found that some organizations that offer DMPs have deceived and defrauded consumers, and recommends that consumers check their bills to make sure that the organization fulfills its promises. If you are paying through a DMP, contact your creditors and confirm that they have accepted the proposed plan before you send any payments to the organization handling your DMP. Once the creditors have accepted the DMP, it is important to:
- make regular, timely payments.
- always read your monthly statements promptly to make sure your creditors are getting paid according to your plan.
- contact the organization responsible for your DMP if you will be unable to make a scheduled payment, or if you discover that creditors are not being paid.
You need to be aware that if payments to your DMP and creditors are not made on time, you could lose the progress you’ve made on paying down your debt, or the benefits of being in a DMP, including lower interest rates and fee waivers. Although creditors may have forgiven late payments that you made before you began the DMP, the creditors may be unwilling or unable to do so if payments are late after you have enrolled in a DMP. If you fall behind on your payments, you may not be able to have your accounts “re-aged” again (reported as current), even if you start a new DMP with a new counselor. That means your credit report will have “late” marks and you will rack up late fees, which, in turn, will lead to more debt that could take longer to pay off.
If you believe you have been the victim of a debt settlement or debt management company, you should contact an experienced consumer attorney to discuss your options.