In July 2010, I published “Debt Settlement Done Right,” which included ZipDebt’s success tracking statistics for the period 2006-2009. As far as I know, I was one of the first in this industry to publish actual data on my results. Today, it’s still quite rare to see a debt settlement firm publish transparent information about actual performance results vs. the claims made in their marketing materials and sales pitches. There is a reason for this. Their data would show they do a poor job, get their clients sued on a regular basis, and fail to settle most of the accounts for most of their clients.
This is the latest update to my published success tracking statistics, and the data include the pool of clients who purchased one of my programs from 2006 through 2012. The updated stats demonstrate a track record I am very proud of. I’ve achieved excellent results in coaching consumers how to settle their debts quickly and safely on their own, with no need for professional negotiators or the sky-high fees they charge.
Please note that these figures pertain to clients who settled unsecured debts (primarily credit card debt). I’m not including data for clients who required assistance with settlement of second mortgages or HELOCs, a phenomenon that is unique to the past few years of the financial crisis. The process of settlement is different for mortgages, so it would not be appropriate to mix the data together. This will be especially important in the reporting of the amount of debt settled by clients, and the overall percentage achieved, since mortgage balances are usually much larger and the settlement percentages lower than for credit card debt. But it’s also important to recognize that the timeline for mortgage settlements is not the same as for credit card debts or other unsecured accounts. In general, mortgages require a longer timeframe before settlement can be reached.
Here is the hard data on ZipDebt Success Rates for clients who did DIY debt settlement on credit cards and other unsecured accounts. For the exact methodology employed, please see the original July 2010 post.
ZipDebt SUCCESS RATES (Cumulative) 2006-2012
1. Total Number of Clients @ 2,232
2. Number of Refunds @ 62
3. % Refunds/Total @ 2.8%
4. Coaching Not Included (Basic) @ 306
5. Insufficient Contact to Determine Results @ 722
6. In Progress @ 32
7. Pool of Coached Clients @ 1,092
8. RESULT A_ COMPLETED @ 501
9. RESULT B_ 80% Finished @ 294
10. RESULT C_ 50% Finished @ 82
11. RESULT D_At least 1+ Settlements @ 148
12. RESULT E_Filed Bankruptcy @ 67
13. BASE SUCCESS RATE (= RESULT A + B) @ 73%
14. 50%+ SUCCESS RATE (=A+B+C) @ 80%
15. SUBSCRIPTION SUCCESS RATE (A+B+C+D) @ 94%
BASE SUCCESS RATE – This is the most conservative definition of “SUCCESS” relative to my program. The group of “Completed” plus “80% Finished” clients are all success stories. These are people who made the program work and achieved the desired outcome. They settled all their debts, or had settled 80% or more of the starting balances by the time their coaching subscription ended. I am proud to announce that based on this simple criteria of “getting the job done right,” ZipDebt has a base success rate of 73%.
This is an inversion of the normal success rate for a traditional debt settlement company. Most of them have a FAILURE rate higher than 73%! It is also common knowledge that Chapter 13 and credit counseling programs have a high failure rate as well. I am quite proud of the excellent results achieved by ZipDebt clients. This 73% figure for my base success rate represents HUNDREDS of success stories – these are ordinary people who cleared out their credit card debts via self-negotiated settlements.
50%+ SUCCESS RATE—It’s important to remember that this is a do-it-yourself (with coaching) program. Clients often learn enough in their first 6-12 months with me to keep going on their own after their coaching subscription has expired. Some people choose to renew to extend their coaching service, while others really take the DIY-spirit to heart and finish out on their own. Including clients who were approximately half finished with their settlements upon expiration of the coaching subscription, the success rate climbs to 80%.
SUBSCRIPTION SUCCESS RATE—Considering that 94% of clients reported at least one successful settlement during their coaching subscription period, virtually every one of these customers received full value in return for the cost of their subscription fee, and most would say their savings on the first settlement alone paid for the program cost many times over.
BOTTOM LINE: My data clearly shows that consumers are capable of negotiating settlements on their own and achieving BETTER results than those obtained by third-party debt settlement firms.
To consumers considering debt settlement: It’s not for everyone. It’s imperative that you be a good fit for this approach in terms of your financial situation, and that includes having access to sufficient resources to negotiate your settlements quickly. ZipDebt clients are so successful because they move FAST – the majority of our settlements are negotiated before charge-off, or shortly thereafter. To learn more about this very successful approach to debt settlement, please read my Free 32-page report, How to Eliminate Your Debts Quickly and Safely Without Filing Bankruptcy.