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Does Every Debt settlement program tend to charge 15% of debt for their fees?

No, but 15% of the debt amount you enter into their program is an industry average of the fees involved in debt settlement. However, how that 15% is charged varies among companies.

All companies build their fees into the monthly payment quote they provide you during your initial consultation. You need to be very clear as to exactly how much of the payment they quote you is going to fees vs. going towards building up your account which will eventually be used to pay off the debts once they are negotiated. Add all the fees up over the entire length of your program and they should be around 15%.

The various ways in which the fees are collected are as follows (in order from most common to least common fee structure for debt settlement companies):

1. All or a very large percentage of your first few payments go to the fees then the amount decreases in month 3 or 4 and hold steady the rest of the time you are in the program.

2. All or a very large percentage of your first few payments go to the fees then the amount decreases in month 2 or 3, then you pay a monthly maintenance fee (like $50), and then you pay a percentage of the savings the settlement company is able to negotiate for you after each settlement is reached (like 25-35% of the savings). This makes the fees more based on performance so the more they save you the more money they make, however, realize that if they save you a lot, the total fees may be way more than 15% (not a bad thing since they saved you more money!).

3. The fees are totally based on performance so you pay nothing until the settlements are reached. This is a rare fee structure.

I hope that clears up the question. Be sure you understand ALL the fees involved in any program before signing up and DO NOT base your decision on who to use based solely on the fees charged. The cheapest companies are often the worst (or outright scams).