In this Americor debt relief review you will find the information you need before you embark on a debt relief program with Americor. When you’re struggling under the weight of a lot of debt, Americor’s debt relief program may sound wonderful. The idea that maybe someone can help you take the stress out of your situation and get you back to stable financial ground can be appealing. But, debt relief programs can be complicated.
Don’t skip the details and trust that Americor will fix your situation or you may end up in a worse situation. The article and video discuss how Americor’s debt relief programs work, the things you should look out for, and what could go wrong.
How Americor Debt Relief works
All debt relief programs start with deciding what debts will be included in the settlement plan. Americor will want you to include all your unsecured, consumer debt into the settlement agreement. This is because they are paid based on the total debt settlement amount. You may have accounts you don’t want to settle for one reason or another. You can exclude them if you want.
So, let’s say you decided to include three credit cards and a personal loan. The next step is to determine how much you can afford to put aside every month on those debts. A good idea of this amount would be what you’re currently paying each month towards these debts.
You will stop paying your creditors
You will no longer send your creditors your monthly payments. Instead, you will put that money into a separate bank account which Americor controls. Additionally, you give them power of attorney over your finances. Americor assumes responsibility to manage those debts. At this point, Many people are relieved that they moved from four monthly payments to a single monthly payment. It feels good to not have these debts hanging over them anymore. Unfortunately, that is just an illusion.
While you are making your payments into the bank account, Americor is not making your monthly payments. This is the heart of the plan.
Every one of the debts you included in the settlement plan will be late and eventually fall into delinquency. Neither you, nor Americor, will tell your creditors what is happening. They will just stop getting payments.
Your “payment” account grows
While you are not paying your creditors, the bank account where you are sending the money continues to grow. When Americor feels like there is enough money in there, they will pick one of the lenders to open a negotiation to settle the debt. In short, this means they will essentially offer that lender a sum of money to settle the debt for less than you currently owe.
If a lender agrees, they often set up a structured settlement requiring a series of payments over time. Missing a payment could lead to the structured settlement being canceled, and you’d owe the full amount again. Americor will manage those payments using your payment account, but you have to continue paying into it.
Americor can only negotiate a settlement once you have enough money in your account. After they’ve made your initial settlement, they might need to wait before negotiating with the next lender until you’ve built up the balance again.In theory, they continue this process until they have convinced each of your creditors that some money is better than no money. At that point, you are debt free!
Americor Debt Relief Review: What could go wrong
So far, this sounds like a wonderful plan and you may be wondering, how do I sign up. But you need to know what could go wrong and the negative aspects of this plan.
Your credit will be destroyed
First, as you can well imagine, this process completely and utterly trashes your credit score. If you already had a terrible credit score, you probably aren’t out much. But, it would not be unusual for you to find that the process leaves your credit score in the 400s or low 500s. And it is likely to stay there for years. The settlement process can take two to four years. During that time, you will not have a chance to even begin to rebuild your credit because your accounts are all in default. Afterwards you will have to show responsible use of credit, but you will struggle to find lenders who will give you a chance.
Creditors may not negotiate
There is no guarantee that the creditors will even negotiate your debts Americor debt relief. One reason is that Americor tends to start with your biggest debts. Why? Because, by law, they can only take their fee when the debt is settled. They are acting in their best interest and going to go for the biggest whales first. But there’s a simple problem with that approach.
There is a very real possibility that one or more of your creditors will actually sue you for the debt. It might have been better for you to have settled the smaller debts so you had fewer potential lawsuits to contend with. Or, starting with the companies that have a policy of suing people for delinquent debt. Instead of having your debt settled you might find yourself paraded in front of a judge several times for different lawsuits. The creditors could try to garnish your wages or put pressure on you to pay. During the legal process, Americor will not be by your side. They are very clear about the fact that they offer no legal services. Your choices will be to hire your own lawyer or risk a summary judgment. A summary judgement that will go entirely to the creditor’s favor.
Reducing your debt by half isn’t as good as it appears
All of the risk you face may be worthwhile if Americor’s debt relief can cut your debts in half. Then again, maybe not. The numbers aren’t as good as they sound. On their website, Americor boasts about the people that reduced their debts by 50%, sometimes more. Of course, those results are not guaranteed.
But, even if you do see those results, you need to keep in mind that Americor’s primary fee is 25% of the total amount of the debt in the settlement agreement. For example, let’s say you owed $10,000 and Americor got the lender to settle for $5,000. You would pay your creditor $5,000 and you would pay Americor their fee of $2,500. Therefore, your savings is actually only $2,500. There are examples of people who actually saved no money after they paid Americor’s fee. There is even a posted where the person ended up paying more than they would have if they had just paid the debt in full.
Here’s even more bad news, though. You don’t even save all of the $2,500. First, there might be other fees that are charged along the way. Americor is not clear about whether there are other fees, but I have read from some reviews that they might have a set-up fee, a monthly maintenance fee, escrow fees, and maybe even a balance transfer fee. We reached out to Americor for clarification on their fees, but as of this writing, they had not responded.
Your savings is taxable income
Even if there are no other fees, there’s another reason why you won’t save as much as you think. And this reason might surprise you. In the example, Americor negotiated your debt down to $5,000 even though you owed $10,000. Well, the IRS considers the $5,000 discount on your debt as regular income. The IRS sees this as your creditor giving you $5,000. That means you will be paying income taxes on the $5,000 you “saved” even if you paid half of it to Americor.
Issues with Americor Debt Relief
Imagine this, you are two or three years into this process and the last creditor absolutely refuses to settle. They are calling you at work for their money and filing suit against you. It looks increasingly like they will not play ball. Unfortunately, you don’t have the money to pay them. You have no money for an attorney. Moreover, your credit is trashed, so you can’t find a lender to help.
This is where Americor comes to the…rescue? That’s probably not the right word. They introduce you to the lending company that they own called Credit9 to help you out of this jam. They generously give you a loan so you can get that creditor off your back and avoid legal proceedings. The interest rate will almost certainly be over 25% and there will be an origination fee on top of that. So, it’s possible you now traded your credit card debt for a worse credit score and a personal loan with a higher interest rate.
Trustpilot reviews for Americor debt relief
If you look at Americor’s Trustpilot reviews, you might have questions. Americor looks like they have overwhelmingly positive reviews. Trustpilot is an independent company, but Americor invites their customers to review them on Trustpilot. Companies aren’t stupid. They ask their customers to review them when the customer is most likely to be happy. In this case, right after starting with Americor or after the first settlement. You can see that in these reviews. Even after reading hundreds of reviews, we struggled to find any positive review from customers at the end of their experience with Americor. Does that mean that no customers were satisfied? Of course not. But does that mean we have reason to be skeptical? Probably.
Actual Americor fine print (disclosure)
Here is the actual disclosure on Americor’s website as of December 16th, 2023. You should read this in its entirety before enrolling. It’s broken it down into sections with our comments added but has not been edited in any way other then breaking into these sections.
Cost and basics
“Americor provides debt resolution services. Our clients who make all monthly program payments save approximately 40 – 50% of their enrolled debt (average of 43%) upon successful program completion, before program fees. Fees are based on a percentage of your enrolled debt at the time of starting the program and range from 14%-25% of your enrolled debt. Programs range from 20-48 months.”
Comments: The average discount on the debt 43% IF the program is completed. See the next section.
Minimums and expectations
“Clients must save at least 25% of each debt due to an enrolled creditor before a bona fide settlement offer will be made. On average, clients receive their first settlement within 4-7 months of enrollment and approximately every 3-6 months thereafter from when the prior debt was settled. Not all clients complete the program. Estimates are based on prior results and may not match your results. We cannot guarantee that your debts will be resolved for a specific amount or percentage or within a specific timeframe.“
Comments: This means that you cannot complete the program if they are unable to get at least a 25% discount. This is part of the reason what the average is 43%.
“We do not assume your debts, make monthly payments to creditors or provide tax, bankruptcy, accounting, legal advice or credit repair services. Our program is not available in all states; fees may vary by state. Some programs may be offered through The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates d/b/a Advantage Law. The use of debt resolution services will likely adversely affect your credit. You may be subject to collections or lawsuits by creditors or collectors. Your outstanding debt may increase from the accrual of fees and interest. Any amount of debt forgiven by your creditors may be subject to income tax.“
Comment: Most of this has been discussed in the article.
Additional fee disclosure
“Clients may withdraw from the program at any time without penalty and receive all funds from their dedicated account, other than funds earned by the company or fees paid to third-party service providers, as may be applicable.”
Comment: This makes is sound like there are additional fees. These fees will not be returned if you withdraw from the program.
“Read and understand all program materials prior to enrolling. “
Comment: This is always good advice. Easier said than done because the language may be confusing.
Determining the eligible debt
“Certain types of debts are not eligible for enrollment. Some creditors are not eligible for enrollment because they do not negotiate with debt relief companies. To determine the offers you may be eligible for, Americor conducts a “soft credit pull.” This credit pull does not impact your credit score, creditworthiness, or ability to obtain credit from other sources. The soft pull is not a tradeline entry, does not report against your score and will only take a few minutes.“
Comment: This is expected. They will use your credit report to determine your eligible debts. They may choose not to accept some debt if know they will be unsuccessful.
“Americor Funding, LLC (18200 Von Karman Ave, 6th Floor Irvine, CA 92612) is fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). CA Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) License # 603K913.”
Comment: This is the legal details of the business.
Americor debt relief reviews from their customers
We read and analyzed hundreds of customer reviews for Americor Debt Relief programs. Here are seven things we learned from them:
Customer review learning #1:
Most of Americor’s positive reviews are from people who haven’t finished the process yet. This matters because the beginning of the process is where people feel a weight lifted off their shoulders. Therefore they are more likely to be happy. The real problems with debt settlement show up in the second, third, and fourth years. Read the reviews of people who have been through the whole process.
Customer review learning #2:
Americor has an aggressive sales team. If you show the slightest interest in the program, they will call you a lot. And, they will pressure you. They will try and undermine your confidence in your ability to handle your debt without their help.
Customer review learning #3:
Don’t rely on what the sales team tells you. This is good advice in general. It doesn’t matter what a representative tells you over the phone. You have to pay attention to the boring legal agreement before you sign it. That will tell you about the fees and the process. If the agreement says something different than the service agent, the service agent is always wrong.
Customer review learning #4:
Customer service can be an issue. There are a lot of reviews from people who said that they struggled to get a customer service agent on the phone. They would wait on hold for a half an hour and then give up. They would leave messages and never be called back. When they did speak to agents, they would get a different story from every agent they spoke to.
Customer review learning #5:
Americor may not be in a hurry. Many comments suggest Americor didn’t take action until prompted or that they didn’t attempt negotiations. This could be accurate. However, some might not have grasped how the process should unfold. Waiting until negotiations have a higher chance of success, usually when the debt is significantly overdue, is often the main strategy.
Customer review learning #6:
Americor can make mistakes. There are numerous reviews from people who found that Americor continued to take money out of their account even after the process was complete. A couple of reviews even said that a settlement fell through when Americor failed to send a payment on time.
Customer review learning #7:
There are no guarantees. It doesn’t matter how certain the sales associate sounds or how much you want to believe that this process will go smoothly. There are no guarantees. You might not save as much as you think you will. It might not happen as quickly as you want. And, you may get sued by a creditor. All of these are very possible scenarios.
Summary of Americor debt relief review
Clearly, you can tell that Americor could be a bad idea. They might alleviate some stress in the short term, but they might just be pushing that stress down the road. So, if you are struggling with debt, but Americor is not the way to solve that problem, what should you do?
The first thing you should do is figure out if you can get a debt consolidation loan that will lower your overall interest rate. If you can, more of your same monthly payment will be going to principal. This will help you get out of debt faster.
But, remember, you need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best offer you can. We’ve tried to make this easy at The Yukon Project. You can apply to check your rate with up to forty lenders at once. And they use a soft credit pull, so applying won’t affect your credit.
If you can’t lower your interest rate and you cannot scrape together more money each month to pay off your debts. Here are three more options to consider in lieu of using Americor.
- Seek help from a non-profit organization. They are less expensive and will operate with your best interest in mind.
- Negotiate the debts yourself. You can use the same process and the risks are still the same.
- Bankruptcy. No one likes to think of this, but sometimes it’s the right solution.