Halo Debt Solutions   

Posted :Saturday, November 13, 2010by Sportin L Send Maill  Tell a Friend

Bad service

After going on disability I was unable to pay a couple debts to credit card companies. I signed up online to have debt solution companies contact me and subscribed to HALO Debt Solutions' services. The totaled my debt and charged me a percentage based on that. The plan was for me to save a set amount every month from which they would take their fee in reducing amounts. They provided me with a plan showing the amounts I owed reduced by 50% and the way my account would grow. The plan was after a year I would pay off the first and smaller debt and two years after pay off the second so that I was to be debt free in 3 years. They sent me cease and desist letters to send to my creditors to have the creditors contact them to negotiate a settlement on my behalf. I also provided them with a limited power of attorney and a hardship letter explaining my situation. I was also advised to not talk to any creditors that called me because it was just a harassment tactic. My contract with them began in Feb. 2010 until I cancelled it in Sept. 2010 and demanded a refund of the $1300.00 they took which I still have not received. What did they do? Nothing! I spoke to my creditors several times and none had been contacted by HALO. I received a court summons and was sued by one and even after they knew I was being taken to court, HALO did not contact anyone. They sent me an email saying if I could get a settlement in court that was suitable to accept it. After the Court date came and went -disability payments are not garnishable and a judge cannot order someone to pay an unsecured debt from disability- HALO never bothered to contact me to see how things went. A few weeks after i sent them a letter saying I wanted to cancel their services they actually contacted me with a settlement offer that was double plus several thousand dollars more than the original debt amount! They led me to believe they were going to work actively on my behalf and explain to my creditors that I was in a hardship situation and negotiate a settlement for a lesser amount and show I had a plan in place to do it. This was supposed to stop the phone calls and give me hope there was going to be an end to my problems. My first flare up with them came after I learned they had not contacted anybody. They changed their story to "Well, the debt has to go to collections first so we know who to negotiate with." One debt did go to collections and they still didn't contact the agency. The other debt was handled internally by that company and as recently as last month HALO has still not contacted them. Before I went to court and was in another session with them asking what I was paying them for I was asked by my representative if I wanted them to contact the collection agency and try to negotiate something for me. I could not believe it! Of course I said yes, but they didn't. During my time with them I was switched to 4 different representatives. The only time they paid attention to me was when I was angry about their inaction and wanted to cancel my account and get my money back. I wish I had a dollar for all the promises to call people and to call me that were never made. Every time I called at them to ask what was going on I learned some new bit of information that was never mentioned when I first signed up. A biggie was settlement offers are only good for 30 to 90 days and the savings plan they had me doing was essentially pointless and meant nothing to the creditors. I also learned that HALO knew I would be served a summons and have to appear in court but led me to believe at the beginning their efforts on my behalf would avert the entire summons and court thing. I went to court and my name was in the paper for being sued, all things I was promised would not happen. If that wasn't bad enough, I learned I would have to repeat the entire process for each creditor! When I went to court HALO didn't even provide an overview of what to expect or what to say. Their advice on what to fill out in response to the original summons was not only wrong but wasted the court's time. The judge was amazed at the treatment and advice HALO had given me so didn't hold things against me. In court, I basically went up against a collection agency lawyer on my own. Speaking to the lawyer after the hearing we had a frank discussion during which he told me that had I never heard of HALO or talked to them, every single thing would have played out exactly as it did. They did nothing for me other than take over a thousand dollars with a thousand and more still due. I got zero in return. The lawyer said the debt settlement industry is unregulated so can operate as they see fit. I would suggest anybody using one of these services make sure they ask questions and ask again.

Business & Finance   United States   comments

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