Debt-Pooling is not recommended by OCCA. Governments across Canada have been working diligently to regulate firms that offer Debt-Pooling as the number of consumer complaints is on the rise.
Under a typical Debt-Pooling plan, the consumer is assessed fees and put on a payment arrangement based on a promise of future settlement amounts. The consumer begins making monthly payments until all up-front administration fees are pre-paid to the Debt-Pooling company. Once these fees are paid, maintenance fees continue and the consumer is then required to start ‘saving up’ money in a joint account with the debt-pooler until the entire savings program is completed.
In the meantime, the consumer is unprotected, unrepresented and put in limbo while funds are held hostage. Although creditors may be initially notified that a consumer has engaged the services of the debt-pooler, virtually no work or effort is necessary on the part of the debt-pooler until settlement negotiations begin.
Should the consumer complete the program, negotiations then begin with creditors to find out what, if any, one-time settlements the creditors may be willing to accept.
The dangers of debt-pooling:
Debt-pooler does not begin negotiations with creditors until consumer has built up the required amount of funds to make a settlement.
Lack of communication with creditors and no consumer representation provided until the consumer has completed the savings portion of the program;
Should the consumer experience a change in financial situation and cannot maintain the fee payment levels demanded by the debt-pooler, the program will cease and all funds paid are forfeited to the debt-pooler. The consumer is required to pay their debts in full or begin a new debt relief program from scratch;
If the promised settlement amount is not accepted by the creditor, the consumer may be required to pay more than is affordable and may be threatened with legal actions by the creditor;
Should the consumer be sued by the creditor, the consumer is not protected by the debt-pooler.
For more information about what options are best for your debt needs, please call OCCA Consumer Debt Relief to speak to a counselor, toll free 1-866-873-6222 or request a free financial assessment online.