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Frequently Asked Questions

Debt Relief Help

How do I check the progress of my debt settlement process?
How can we help you to pay off less than your full debt?
What types of debts can we help with the debt settlement program?
What happens in your free consultation session?
What happens when we reach a settlement?
What happens if I miss a monthly payment?
How will a debt management plan impact my credit score?
How long will it take to rebuild my credit after a debt settlement program?
How does the debt settlement program work?
How will debt settlement impact my credit score?
What are your fees?
Are there tax consequences to debt settlement?
Do you provide legal advice?
How do I know if you will be able to settle my debts?


How does the debt settlement program work?
A: Our program is designed to help you avoid bankruptcy by attempting to settle your debts within a reasonable time frame and at a monthly payment that you can afford. It is important to note that there are many factors that go into the ability to obtain a settlement and we can not force creditors to work with us. Therefore, results may vary and not all creditors may agree to settle. When you make your monthly payments a portion of the money is accumulated in your trust fund to be used for settling purposes. When a creditor agrees to a settlement we will receive it in writing and send it to you for your approval, or act on your pre-authorization. Once you approve the settlement the debt is then paid with your trust money. It may be marked on your credit report as "settled for less than the full amount". Depending on the condition of your credit report at the time of enrollment a debt settlement plan may have an adverse effect on your credit report and credit score.

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How can we help you to pay off less than your full debt?
A: In a debt settlement program we will aggressively work with your creditors in order to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. This is done through a series of negotiations, after you have saved funds, performed by professionals who are experienced in working with your creditors. Your hardship and financial situation will be explained to your creditors during the settlement process in order that a fair agreement may be reached. Keep in mind that no company or professional can promise or guarantee you that all of your accounts will settle. If they do so, this is your sign that they may not be shooting straight with you. The truth of the matter is that not all creditors will participate in negotiations. We will do our best to get you results as quickly as possible with industry experience and knowledge. Furthermore, all settlements will be approved (or pre-authorized) by you before they are paid.

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What types of debts can we help with the debt settlement program?
A: We generally can help with any unsecured debt including, but not limited, to credit cards, medical bills, personal loans and business debts. However, every situation is different and we cannot guarantee that all creditors will agree to negotiate and/or settle. We will analyze your situations and let you know which creditors we will accept in to the program. Your total unsecured debt may need to be at least $10,000.

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How will debt settlement impact my credit score?
A: If you do not make required minimum payments to your creditor you may be breaking the terms of your agreement with them and your actions will probably be reported to consumer reporting agencies as a late, delinquent, charged –off or past due balances. This is true anytime you fail to make your minimum payments in a timely manner. After settlement your creditor may comment that the account was "settled for less than the full amount" on your credit report. Depending on the condition of your credit report at the time of enrollment, a debt settlement plan may have an adverse effect on your credit report and credit score.

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How long will it take to rebuild my credit after a debt settlement program?
A: This mostly depends on you and whether you pay off your creditors, but it is important to know what impacts your score. Any negative credit information may remain on your credit report for seven years. Go to www.myfico.com for more information, or ask your counselor or negotiator for the break down. Keep in mind that no one can erase accurate but negative credit information. Essentially, the banks want to access the likelihood that you will pay the loan back in question. Although your fico score represents the foundation of the banks analysis, there are other factors that help determine whether or not you get approved for a loan. Each lender has separate criteria it will use in conjunction with your score while evaluating your application. However, when rebuilding, it is important to focus on financial health, not manufacturing a high credit score. There are three important steps to remember: First, live within your budget. If you do not have the money to purchase something do not buy it. Many Americans overextend themselves by creating a lifestyle that is not conducive to their income. Second, save money for emergencies. Many citizens use their credit cards to handle any emergencies that life throws at them. This creates a credit build up which leads to a credit crunch, and potential insolvency. Unless you are committed to saving money to manage emergencies, then eventual credit difficulties are inevitable. Finally, it is important to invest for the future. Most experts recommend that consumers begin considering retirement as soon as they enter the workforce. When focusing on financial health, your credit score will gradually increase naturally, but more importantly you will be much more apt not to create the insolvency that created the difficulty to begin with.

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How will a debt management plan impact my credit score?
A: Credit will be impaired by participation in a debt management program and a consumer's ability to secure other unsecured or secured credit may be affected. In addition, creditors may place a notation concerning participation in a DMP on a person's credit report, and that some lenders may view such a mark negatively. Although a "credit counseling" notation is a neutral notation for FICO purposes, some creditors may not use this notation and instead use a notation with a negative connotation. Additionally, some lenders may view a credit counseling notation negatively despite the FICO treatment. Therefore, enrolling in a DMP may have a negative effect on the client's credit.

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How do I check the progress of my debt settlement process?
You can do this in a few different ways...First, you can always call our customer care representatives from 9-5 EST. They can let you know your trust account balance and help you with any other questions you may have. Secondly, you may track your payments and settlement activity through this website once you become an active client. You will also receive written correspondence from your creditors when an account is successfully settled.

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What happens in your free consultation session?
Your personal counselor will go through a Personal Financial Analysis with you. This analysis is a detailed session that will identify your current situation, create a game plan to help reach your financial goals and review all possible options to find the right option for you.

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What happens when we reach a settlement?
Once a settlement is reached, you will be notified by your negotiator. You will receive the signed settlement agreement put into place by Progressive Debt Relief and your creditor on your behalf. Once the settlement has been paid, you should receive a letter from the creditor directly acknowledging that the settlement is now complete and no further debt is owed. If the creditor reports to the credit bureau, your debt will reflect a zero balance.

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What happens if I miss a monthly payment?
We may not drop you from the program for missing one payment. Our company understands that circumstances may arise and our main focus is to help you get back on track. The key to working through these times is communication. Simply let us know your situation, and together we will make reasonable arrangements to get you caught up. Keep in mind, If more than one payment is missed we may conclude that this program may not be right for you and your account may be terminated.

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Are there tax consequences to debt settlement?
If your creditor settles your debt for more than $600 less than what you owed, the savings may be reported by your creditor to the IRS as Discharge of Indebtedness Income. You understand that Progressive Debt Relief assusmes that you enrolled in its Debt Settlement Plan because you are insolvent, having financial difficulties with your unsecured debts, and/or have used a Debt Settlement Plan to avoid filing for bankruptcy. The IRS website www.ustreas.gov says that you may be able to exlude Discharge of Indebtedness income if you are insolvent. For more information on tax ramifications to you personally please consult a tax preparer, CPA or Tax Attorney or refer to IRS Publication 908 "Bankruptcy Tax Guide" and IRS Form 982 "Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness" available on the IRS website.

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Do you provide legal advice?
Progressive Debt relief does not provide legal advice or representation. Consult an attorney for legal advice and representation, including for information about whether Bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation. By failing to pay creditors, you may be in violation with the terms of your agreement with your creditors, which may result in a creditor suing you.

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How do I know if you will be able to settle my debts?
We do not get paid until we settle your debt so we certainly are motivated to get results. The acutal size of any debt reduction and the actual length of time that will be needed to negotiate a specific settlement or to complete your plan is not guaranteed. Any individual creditor may use a number of different critieria in determining that creditor's willingness to settle a debt or the amount acceptable in settlement, including but not limited to, the amount of debt, the current status of the debt, the reasons you are seeking debt settlement, the type of debt ant the amount of your disposable income.

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What are your fees?
We charge no fees until a debt has been successfully negotiated for you. Once you make one payment towards the negotiated debt than a service fee applies to that particular debt. The amount of the service fee depends largely on the program you choose. Once a specific program is determined, your counselor will give you the specifics of your fee structure. We are committed to making the client fully aware of any fees that would be applicable. In respect, Progressive Debt Relief is committed to maintaining fees that are at the low end of industry standards, while investing in customer service to ensure that we deliver a high quality product that creates a positive end result for our client.

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