Freedom Debt Relief Review & Debt Tips

Is Freedom Debt Relief a good option for debt relief? Can you do a review of Freedom Debt Relief for me for my debt troubles?

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Bill's Answer: Answered by Mark Cappel

The Bills.com staff researched Freedom Debt Relief and reviewed information on the company and on its debt resolution strategies. We give Freedom a thumbs up.

Yes, Freedom Debt Relief appears to be a good option if you seek debt resolution or negotiated debt settlement. They are not a scam and have helped tens of thousands of clients resolve thousands of dollars in debt through debt settlement. The company is a leader in size and in quality, and is a good fit if you qualify for Freedom Debt Relief’s solution. Bills.com offers a Freedom Debt Relief Video that outlines your debt relief options, if you want to see more information on Freedom Debt Relief.

I will also share some of the basic homework and the facts, but be sure to pick the solution that is right for you:

  1. Freedom Debt Relief appears to be one of the largest debt resolution firms in the country, settling more than $100 million in client debts per year and managing over a billion in consumer debt (making the company one of the largest).
  2. The founders of the company are Stanford Business School alumni with impressive backgrounds in the financial services industry.
  3. One of the founders of Freedom Debt Relief is on the executive board of The American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).  The AFCC was formerly TASC, The Association of Settlement Companies. The AFCC is the leading debt settlement industry trade group. The AFCC has a strict code of conduct for its members that demands transparent and accurate communication with clients as well as full disclosure of the risk and benefits of debt settlement. Freedom Debt Relief is very active in setting regulations and standards in the industry to protect consumers.
  4. Freedom Debt Relief has won many awards (Best Places to Work in Phoenix, Best Places to Work in San Francisco, Entrepreneurs of the Year from Ernst & Young, Fast 100 list by Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. 500, and others).
  5. Freedom Debt Relief’s debt consultants are IAPDA certified. The company is one of the few to be AFCC and BSI-certified for excellent customer relationships.
  6. The company looks solid and credible, having been around long enough to serve thousands of graduates and to have developed efficient systems and business procedures.
  7. They have been in business for over a decade, so you have confidence that they have stability.

Since we believe that Freedom Debt Relief is a very good option, we also want to make sure that you do your homework on debt settlement and make sure that this is the right debt relief option for your situation, since debt settlement is not a perfect solution for everyone.

If you are looking for general information on negotiated debt settlement, I can give you the following facts:

Debt settlement, also called debt negotiation, is a form of debt consolidation that resolves your total debt via a form of negotiated, reduced-balance settlements, sometimes more than 50%, with low monthly program payments. Debt settlement programs typically take approximately three to four years to complete, and require perseverance and commitment to stick to the program until all of the debts are resolved. It is important to keep in mind, however, that during the life of a debt settlement program, you are not paying your creditors. This means that a debt settlement form of debt consolidation will negatively impact your credit rating and you will likely get collection calls. You have to partner with your firm to become totally debt free. However, debt settlement is usually a fast and relatively lower cost way to debt freedom, with a low monthly program payment, while avoiding bankruptcy. The trade-off here is a negative credit rating versus saving money and a low program monthly payment.

So, we think that Freedom Debt Relief could be a great choice for you!

In the spirit of full disclosure, we consider Freedom Financial Network and it’s related entities as sister companies and think very highly of the teams at Freedom.

I hope this information helps you: Find. Learn. Save. Also, be sure to check out our Freedom Debt Relief Review where consumers and clients post their ratings of Freedom and many other debt relief providers.

Good luck,

Bill

Bills.com

P.S. Contact Freedom Debt Relief directly and find out for yourself: (800) 544-7211


2013 Update

Since the initial review, Freedom Debt Relief has grown to become one of the largest debt resolution providers in the country. They have now resolved more than $2 billion in debts for their clients, showing real results for their clients. We are not aware of any other settlement firm that has resolved this much debt and saved as much for its clients.  They are also currently A-rated by the BBB (better business bureau) and appear to be complying with Federal and state regulations that relate to debt resolution.  Importantly, they do NOT charge fees in advance of consumer benefit or getting actual settlements, which is consumer friendly and the model advocated by the Federal government.

Freedom has been recognized as one of the best places to work in Phoenix and San Francisco, been named to the Inc. 500, Fast 100 and has had third-party audit reviews completed:

Is was audited by BSI Group, a third-party industry compliance and standards auditor. Freedom Debt Relief is currently one of only 16 companies in the industry to undergo and pass a BSI audit for formal accreditation, including client service standards and settlement standards. The company has served 75,000 clients and still average a 98% service level and customer service client on-hold times that average five seconds.

All Freedom’s debt consultants passed International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) certification, and FDR is one of three Platinum-certified debt settlement companies.

In late 2010, the FTC passed new rules and regulations that prevent debt settlement providers from charging any fees before a settlement is reached. Freedom Debt Relief is fully compliant with the new FTC rules. This means that Freedom Debt Relief clients don’t have to pay a cent in fees until they see results. This consumer-friendly rule change makes working with Freedom Debt Relief a smarter choice than ever.

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Comments (357)


Leslie P.
Meadville, PA  |  February 09, 2013
I just gave my SS# to Freedom Debt Relief. Should I not have done this? I just have this nagging feeling and want to make sure I am not going to be the victim of identity theft?
Bills.com
February 11, 2013
You should be ok, but feel free to call them back and ask them to confirm that the only use is for a soft-pull (no credit impact) of credit for evaluation of a custom debt resolution program. Good luck.
James C.
Texarkana, TX  |  November 01, 2012
Overall I have been happy with Freedom Debt Relief, but I was told I would have the flexibility to change the date that my bank account would be drafted, as long as I gave 5 days notice. That was very important to me, because I am self employed in the construction business, and my income has some major down times. I have recently had a bad stretch, and when I made a request to change a draft date, I was told that it could not be done, because of agreements made to a creditor. I told the representative that the money would not be available, but they drafted my bank account anyway. My bank covered the draft and charged an overdraft fee.
Michael M.
July 25, 2012
I joined FDR in Sept 2011...they've settled 4 out of my 7 accounts so far. All accounts have been settled at 40% of what I owed. The staff is great and the collection calls haven't been as bad as I thought! Yes my credit score took a nose dive but that's the price I have to pay for running up my credit cards! Citi has been the hardest company to deal with! I owed a total of $36k and should have all debt settled on less that 3 years total! Thanks FDR!!!
Brad S.
Portola Valley, CA  |  February 03, 2012
I am considering Freedom Debt Relief. I heard that Freedom Debt only charges fees AFTER a client gets results. Can this be true that there are no upfront fees, and that you truly only pay for the service AFTER you get the benefits?
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Jon H.
Lake Forest, IL  |  February 03, 2012
Yes, this is correct. Freedom Debt is one of the few companies that complies with new consumer rules that state that a company can only charge a fee after the debt is resolved, account by account. So it is true! Freedom is a good choice if you have lots of debt or financial hardship.
Bills.com
February 03, 2012
Jon is correct. Freedom Debt does not charge any fees until after successful debt resolution. This went in to place for all clients enrolled after October of 2010.
Mike T.
Mountain View, CA  |  January 25, 2012
Can Bills.com clarify its relationship with Freedom Debt Relief?
Bills.com
January 26, 2012
Bills.com is an independent LLC, but considers as a sister company the Freedom Financial Network, which also owns Freedom Debt Relief.

Bills.com is editorially independent. We call things as we see them. We have no problems pointing out the pros and cons of debt settlement.
Ann C.
Montgomery Villag, MD  |  January 06, 2012
I signed up with FDR in 2007, when it became clear that debt settlement was the only option to bankruptcy. Freedom Debt Relief is a legitimate company, and my experience with them was very good - they saved our financial lives. Their fee is 15% of the amount that they save you, which gives them an incentive to negotiate the best settlement for their clients. For example, they negotiated a settlement of $6,000 on a card with a balance of $18,000. The fee we paid them was worth every penny. I never met anyone face to face, it was all by phone and email. If I could have seen them in person, I would kiss and hug them all. I highly recommend Freedom Debt Relief.
Michael M.
Round Rock, TX  |  October 31, 2011
I joined FDR in September of 2011...I've made 2 payments. I had never missed a credit card payment. The minimum payments had gone up so much lately I couldn't keep up. It was a tough decision but I'm glad I made it. The staff has been very supportive and they even make courtesy calls to see if I need anything. I have 4 accounts in the "hot zone" already and negotions are underway! They said it would be about 3 years till all my debt was settled but now it looks like it might be 2!!! I have to say, that out of all my creditors (US BANK, BofA, Best Buy, Firestone and Citi) Citi is the only one that isn't honoring my request where I changed my address and phone number to FDR's...they call twice on Sundays! Thank you for this artice and thank you FDR!!! Freedom is great.
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Gillian B.
Westminster, CO  |  February 11, 2012
I've been very pleased with Freedom Debt Relief's attention so far and their courtesy calls. I have two cards enrolled, Discover doesn't seem to be honoring my change of address and phone number either. How did you deal with this?
Rosie G.
Richmond, CA  |  October 26, 2011
I am dissatisfied with Freedom Debt Relief program. I am a disabled woman who relyed on this program to help me and guide me while I was recovering. Their communication is horrible and they don't do what they say they are going to do. I regret getting into this program when I could of settled my debt on my own. I have been paying them so much money a month and they have only settled one account.
James L.
League City, TX  |  September 11, 2011
We started with Freedom Debt Relief May 2010. We had $55K in debt distribution across 11 credit cards. 15 months into our program they settle 7 accounts ranging from 35-55% settlement. Freedom is currently paying 2 on a monthly payment plan. I had to settle 2 on my own since I didn't want to get sued. I didn't want my employer finding out as well. Freedom told us not to worry. That was hard to do. I ended up using my annual bonus and settle on my own with the law firms that were suing us. Both cards were over $10K and the law firm were aggressive so I called them and settled both at 40%. However, I still didn't want to stop using Freedom and try to settle the rest on my own because it was a lot of work dealing with the law firms. I told Freedom that I settled the 2 accounts and they removed them from my plan and lowered my monthly service fee. At the time the service fee was above $300 and now it around $70 per month. I like their service. They make the process easy. The plan was scheduled for 48 month and we should be done in 25 months. I would recommend aggressively attacking your debt and send Freedom all free available cash to get out of this mess. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have about 10 more months. I don't care if my credit rating suffers. I haven't bought much in 15 months and I plan to save and pay cash. The Envelop System is a great way to spend your money. So far, I haven't had a summons for any balance under $10K. I wonder if an amount under 10K is not worth pursuing with law firms. I'm so glad I got the bonus to help me settle the 2 with law firms. If I didn't have Just stating what I've noticed with my accounts. Good luck and I hope you learned you lesson. I did.
Matthew S.
Victoria, VA  |  April 08, 2011
My wife and I made some really poor decisions regarding using credit cards and unsecured debt. We owe about 44k. After my oldest son gets out of school for the summer my child care costs will double and financially bury us. After much consideration, we signed up with Freedom Debt Relief just this week. Our first deposit into the program will be the end of this month. During my research I read reviews from people regarding FDR. My Debt Specialist at FDR, Kevin C, has been extremely helpful and has pointed out the positives and negatives of debt settlement up front. They were honest and compared all of my options in a truthful manner. I know it won't be super easy, but I need this option. I can honestly say that I am still VERY VERY nervous about doing this. Out only other choice was bankruptcy and that is an option that we didn't want to face. I hope the knot in my stomach goes away once this program gets rolling. I will try to keep updating on here. -Matt
Bills.com
April 08, 2011
Please keep us informed of your progress.
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Matthew S.
Victoria, VA  |  April 12, 2011
So we had our Welcome Call yesterday with Kristin. Everything went as I thought it would. Our Welcome Packet was received in email a few days before the call so, after reading it, I knew what to expect. She was very helpful and knowledgeable. All of our questions were answered satisfactorily. There are a few forms that I need to fill out and fax back that were in the Welcome Packet. I hope to get that done today. I did have one problem (my fault as I did not sync up my pay schedule with the auto-draft date) with the auto-draft date which our Debt Specialist, Kevin C, got resolved immediately with a simple date change form. So far the communication has been wonderful. I hope it continues throughout the process. I still worry about this entire process but I think that it's probably pretty normal. As I see some accounts settled I think I will feel a lot better about it. -Matt
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Jack S.
Pella, IA  |  May 09, 2011
Honestly, my experience has been good and bad. You will receive a LOT of creditor calls. My wife will not answer the phone because she is scared of who may answer. Get caller ID to help screen. You will get served with papers from the sheriff. If you can handle that, go for it. I have paid over $3200 to FDR and saved $8000 in debt with $14000 to go and I have been in one year. One of my debts was settled at full amount...a wash. My credit score is in the 500's. The knot in my stomach has gotten bigger. I will not be debt free for two to three more years. Price I paid for spending money I did not have and buying a house that has devalued considerably over the past 2 years. If you have signed, stick with it, if not, find another way. Pretty big business this debt-free business.
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Matthew S.
Victoria, VA  |  August 02, 2011
We're three months in and three two accounts are in collections
Bills.com
August 03, 2011
Freedom Debt Relief devotes more resources to assisting clients who have an account that goes into legal status than any other settlement company that I am aware of. Maintain good communication with FDR, so you get the best advice possible. Debt settlement is not for the faint-of-heart, but experience shows it will save you a lot of money when you complete the program.
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Jack S.
Pella, IA  |  September 23, 2011
I have a new one for you! There is a program out there where you can refinance your house even with a low credit score (which is what you get with FDR's program). So I applied.
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Paul D.
Anderson, IN  |  October 11, 2011
I started Freedom in June and it is a great relief to have lower monthly payment. I'm hoping that my 3 credit cards will settle soon.
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