Watch out… Usually, they leave YOU to handle the harassing phone calls, threatening letters and such, you send a set amount (Including a ‘Service/admin charge’ of $50.00!) to their financial company the one I tried used London Financial. They in turn bank it and get the interest too, then in seven years they make offers to your creditors.
Meanwhile, your rating is in the toilet even more, and by that time, Usually your creditors have sent your ‘bad debt’ to a collection agency. After only a few months, I called and wanted out. They refunded my dough, and I paid off one of the debts and moved on with the others.
It was hard, but I am now within about 2-3 years of being DEBT FREE if all goes as it is right now, and 4-6 years to total freedom if I have to go back to straight SSI. Retail, like any job has NO guarantees, so all I can do is work hard, keep my slate clean and collect a paycheck. If health or whatever comes and takes the job, I now, after a few years am better equipped to pay the minimums with SSI, but work lets me pay a goodly bit above minimums.
I guess my point is don’t pay someone else to do what you, yourself can do. Keep a savings account in some bank, with a co-signer so you or they cannot go and take any money out. Keep a log of when the creditors call, and note the times, dates etc. Don’t volunteer info to them on what you are doing, they don’t need to know. Be prepared for a rough ride, but after five or seven years of banking that money, then YOU call the creditors and ask what they would settle for. Then counteroffer with a lower amount that you can pay them right then and there.
This is what worked for ME, so I can’t promise uniform results for all, but it is better than having to pay more than needed to get out of debt.