I joined the program of debt management with Care One Credit 3 years ago. I received the Debt Management Agreement from AFS (an affiliate company w/ Care One Credit) on May 26, 2005. I had listed 3 creditors with the plan initially agreeing to pay $227.00 per month to be distributed to the creditors and agreed to a $15 contribution to AFS per month. Now, I have to say, I initially joined the program because of the services stated on the website (www.careonecredit.com) that would be provided by the company, like working with the creditors to lower fees and percentages based on my financial hardship and the payments I can afford per month, also, the fact that only one payment would need to be made directly out of my checking account per month. After the initial agreement I received a phone call from a representative stating that one of the creditors, denied the payment through the program. Then the representative lowered my payments to $170 per month. I contacted that specific creditor and made payments directly with them and they are paid off. For 3 years I received statements from AFS stating that $170 was being deducted from my checking and $128 was being paid to Citibank and $27 was being sent to Sears.
Last week, On June 4, 3 years later, I called Care One Credit to find out what my current balance was and how many payments are left and they could not give me any information at all!! I was told to contact my creditors directly. I did, and to my shock Citibank is now telling me I owe more than I did 3 years ago!! My Sears credit account was delinquent and sold to debt collectors and they are filing a lawsuit against me!! When I called the Care One Credit representatives to get some information, they informed me that a letter was sent back in 2005 informing me that Citibank and Sears had declined the proposal. I never received this letter. Why wouldn't a representative call me to inform me of this just like they did for the other creditor or send a certified letter to make sure I receive such pertinent information? I would think this is a very important piece to the debt solution services the company offers. You would think if I don't respond then maybe there should be a follow up call, since this was clearly such a crucial aspect to the debt solution.
I owed Citibank a total of $6,389.57 when I started the program 3 years ago. They now claim that I owe them $9,299.46 and they wouldn't speak to me any further since I was making payments through a third party. According to my conversation with the Supervisor, Antoinette of Care One Credit on 6/4/08, Citibank declined the offer of $128 per month and they wanted $140 per month. So, for a $12 a month difference that totals to $432 in 3 years, Citibank now claims that I now owe $2,909.89 more than the initial total. The supervisor's response to that was "apparently your payment wasn't even covering the fees and finance charges". She didn't offer any help, not even to look into why the payments were not being credited. At least the Sears account did go down from the initial total, I owed Sears $1,256.60 and it is now $533.77, but it still went to a debt collection agency. Now, the reason I joined the Care One Credit program was because the company claims they can help people in debt pay off the creditors according to the payments they can afford. Part of your service is working with creditors to lower finance charges and interest rates and as long as I made the payments on time every month. However, what they did for me was be a middle man and take my money from the bank and forward it on to the creditor. I also have paid a total of $540 in "contributions" to AFS, which I agreed to thinking I was being helped.
I don't understand how a so called reputable company such as Care One Credit who claims to help people in debt and provide such services, can let this happen to someone who was trying to do the right thing and pay off their debt while going through financial hardships.
Flushing, New York