Regular readers of The ZipDebt Blog know that I have been telling consumers for many years they can negotiate their own debt settlements. I’ve personally taught thousands of people to handle their own settlement project with tremendous success, and I have numerous client testimonials to back up that claim. However, there is no question that many consumers are fearful of handling the process themselves. Time and again during a phone consultation, a prospective client will ask me, “Can you handle the negotiating for me if I pay extra? Or is there someone you can refer me to that will do it for me?”

“No,” I have always replied. “I’m not a settlement company, so I don’t offer third-party negotiation services. I can coach you through this process and you will do just fine. There really are no debt settlement companies I would be comfortable in recommending anyway. None of them have your interests at heart, only their bottom line.”

So aside from the occasional private referral to a trusted colleague in the industry, I’ve never systematically referred consumers to any outside negotiation service. However, I do recognize that some people simply don’t want to tackle the project on their own, even though they can save big on fees by using the DIY-with-coach approach to debt settlement. Whether it be stress, health issues, time pressure, or some other factor, I do recognize that some folks prefer to have someone else handle creditor negotiations on their behalf.

I am happy to announce that I have finally found a third-party debt negotiator I can refer people to, with total confidence they will be in excellent hands. The company is Debt Relief á la Carte, and the man behind the name is Jared Strauss. Jared is a former champion debt collector who switched sides in 2002 and started working with consumers who needed debt settlement services. Jared has been *extremely* successful at negotiating settlements for his clients, and quite frankly, he has the only track record in our industry that holds a candle to my own results here at ZipDebt.

Here are a few key facts about the successful results achieved by Jared and Debt Relief á la Carte:

• 90% of the creditor accounts enrolled were successfully settled, with another 4% of accounts entered into a new payment arrangement with the creditor, for an overall successful resolution result of 94% — simply amazing for this industry.

• 90% of Jared’s clients have “graduated” from his program, meaning ALL of their enrolled debts were settled, or all but one account (resolved via payment arrangements in lieu of a settlement). Again, this is unheard of success and no other third-party company comes anywhere close to this achievement.

• The average length of time clients are in Jared’s program is an astonishing 78 days! That’s incredibly fast!

How does he do it? The short answer is that Jared is very selective when determining who will be a good fit for his approach. He only accepts clients who are in a position to do “simultaneous settlements.” This means that a client must have adequate financial resources lined up in advance, so that Jared can negotiate ALL the unsecured accounts across the board at the same time. Jared’s clients know the results of the overall settlement process very quickly as he works the accounts simultaneously, instead of one by one like virtually all other debt companies. By moving so very quickly, he is able to avoid the usual problems and conflicts caused by long-term debt settlement programs.

One of the key reasons I am so comfortable in recommending Jared is that our views are in lockstep unison on what works and does not work in debt settlement. Most third-party settlement companies are looking to bring in as many new clients as possible and base their business model on high volume. This naturally leads to a sales process where reps have incentives to “sign up” just about anyone with a credit card debt, whether or not the client will likely be successful at the process. This is a key reason that the debt settlement industry in general has a truly dismal success rate, reported by the FTC to be as low as 10%. With a failure rate of 90%, it’s quite clear that long-term (36-48-month) settlement programs simply do not work as advertised. So I was very pleased to learn that Jared thinks the way I do about the crucial importance of taking a fast-track approach to debt settlement. He readily describes his business as a “boutique,” and he is not looking to enroll hundreds of people per month, just a few clients who fit well with his approach.

Not everyone who wants to pursue this credit card debt settlement option will qualify for the Debt Relief á la Carte program, but if you feel you may be a good candidate for this approach, please visit Jared’s website or give him a call at 800-354-9102. He offers free consultations and will help you determine whether this is the correct strategy for your situation.