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JG Wentworth Debt Settlement Reviews: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

What is JG Wentworth?

First things first – let’s talk about who JG Wentworth is, and what they do. Basically, they’re a company that buys structured settlement payments and annuity payments; you know, those long-term payments people get after winning a lawsuit or something.So let’s say you won a big case and you’re getting paid out over 20 years – JG Wentworth will give you a lump sum of cash upfront, and they’ll take over receiving those future payments. It’s kind of like a loan against your future income, but not exactly.They’ve been around for a while (since the 90s) and you’ve probably seen their commercials with that opera singer belting out “It’s my money and I need it now!” Catchy, right?

JG Wentworth’s Debt Settlement Services

But what we’re really here to talk about is JG Wentworth’s debt settlement services. Basically, if you’re drowning in debt, they’ll negotiate with your creditors to try and get you a lower payoff amount. The idea is that you pay JG Wentworth a fee, and they use that money (along with their negotiating power) to knock down what you owe.It sounds good in theory, but – as with anything involving money and debt – there are some pros and cons to consider. And that’s where these reviews come in.

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The Good: Legit Debt Relief for Some

Let’s start with the positive JG Wentworth debt settlement reviews. From what I’m seeing on Reddit and Quora, some people have legitimately gotten decent results using their services.One Redditor said they negotiated $30k in debt down to $12k through JG Wentworth’s program. Not too shabby! And on Trustpilot, there are a handful of 4 and 5 star reviews from folks who were happy with the settlements JG Wentworth got for them.I also found some positive reviews on AVVO from people who felt JG Wentworth’s customer service was helpful and transparent throughout the process.So for some consumers, using a debt settlement company like JG Wentworth did provide legitimate debt relief. If you’re struggling with high interest rates and collection calls, having a third party negotiate on your behalf can take a lot of stress off.

Potential Tax Implications

Now, one thing to keep in mind with debt settlement is the potential tax implications. If JG Wentworth settles your $10,000 credit card debt for $5,000, the $5,000 of debt that got written off could be considered taxable income.So you might save money on what you owe, but you might also get a bigger tax bill. Just something to be aware of and factor into the equation.

The Bad: Upfront Fees and Credit Score Impacts

Unfortunately, not all the JG Wentworth debt settlement reviews are positive. There are quite a few complaints and criticisms out there about their services too. Let’s dive into some of the downsides people have experienced:

 Those Pesky Fees

One of the biggest knocks against JG Wentworth is their fees. From what I’m seeing, they typically charge 25% of your total enrolled debt as an upfront fee. So if you have $20,000 in debt, you’d pay $5,000 right off the bat before they even start negotiating.On top of that, there may be additional fees along the way, like percentages of any debt they actually settle. According to FindLaw, these extra fees can really add up and eat into any savings from the settlement.And here’s the thing – you’re paying all that money upfront with no guarantee of results. JG Wentworth could negotiate and get your debts reduced…or they might not. But either way, they keep those hefty fees.Lots of reviewers on sites like ConsumerAffairs complained about feeling misled on the fees and having a hard time getting clear answers from JG Wentworth’s reps.

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Credit Score Destruction

Another major downside is the potential impact on your credit score. See, when you enroll in a debt settlement program, you basically stop paying your creditors while JG Wentworth negotiates on your behalf.Well, missed payments are going to trash your credit score in a big way. And having accounts in “debt settlement” status can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years, making it harder to get approved for loans, mortgages, apartments, etc. down the line.On LawInfo and other legal sites, attorneys warn that severely damaging your credit can have lasting financial consequences that may outweigh any debt relief you get.

 The Ugly: Shady Practices and Legal Troubles

Unfortunately, some of the JG Wentworth debt settlement reviews allege practices that go beyond just high fees and credit score impacts. We’re talking serious accusations of unethical, misleading, and potentially illegal behavior.

The Lawsuits

A quick search shows that JG Wentworth has been hit with quite a few lawsuits over the years related to their debt settlement business practices. Here are just a few examples:

  • In 2019, they paid $8 million to settle a case with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over allegations of deceiving consumers about the fees and risks of debt settlement.
  • In 2017, they settled a $5 million class action lawsuit accusing them of violating debt collection laws by making misleading statements and false threats.
  • There are ongoing lawsuits like this one in Pennsylvania where the state Attorney General claims JG Wentworth engaged in deceptive marketing and advertising around their debt settlement program.

Yikes. When you see that many legal actions and settlements, it’s definitely a red flag about potentially sketchy business practices.

 Complaints of Lies and Harassment

Digging through online complaints, there are plenty of people who claim JG Wentworth’s reps lied to them, made false promises, and were just generally shady in their sales tactics.On PissedConsumer and Ripoff Report, there are horror stories of people being misled about fees, not getting promised settlements, and even facing harassment from JG Wentworth’s debt collectors.One person on Reddit said a JG Wentworth rep falsely claimed they were a law firm and threatened legal action during the sales pitch. Just super sketchy stuff that makes you question their ethics.Now, to be fair, you’ll find negative reviews for pretty much any debt settlement company out there. But JG Wentworth seems to have more than their fair share of accusations around deception and strong-arm tactics.

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So Is JG Wentworth Legit for Debt Settlement?

Okay, so after looking at all those JG Wentworth debt settlement reviews – both good and bad – what’s the final verdict? Are they a legitimate option for debt relief or should you steer clear?Honestly, it’s a mixed bag. On one hand, they are an established company and some people have legitimately gotten their debts reduced through JG Wentworth’s program. The positive reviews show it can work for certain consumers.But man, those fees are really high. And the potential credit score nuke is definitely concerning. When you factor in all the lawsuits and accusations of deceptive practices, it gets really hard to fully trust JG Wentworth.

 Exploring Other Debt Relief Options

My advice? Be very cautious and do your homework if considering JG Wentworth for debt settlement. Exhaust other debt relief options first, like:

  • Negotiating directly with creditors yourself
  • Looking into a debt management plan through a non-profit credit counseling agency
  • Exploring bankruptcy as a last resort (yes, it sucks, but sometimes it’s the best path)

If you do decide to use a debt settlement company, shop around and compare their fees, read the fine print, and don’t let anyone pressure you into signing up. There are plenty of legit debt settlement companies out there with more transparent pricing and better reviews.At the end of the day, getting out of debt is tough – but you don’t want to make your situation even worse by getting ripped off or misled. Be a smart, informed consumer and watch out for any red flags with companies like JG Wentworth.And hey, if you’re ever dealing with serious debt issues or legal troubles, don’t be afraid to reach out to an experienced debt settlement lawyer or consumer protection attorney. Having someone reputable in your corner can make a huge difference.

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Key Takeaways

Let’s do a quick recap of the key points on JG Wentworth debt settlement reviews:

✔️ Some consumers did get their debts reduced through JG Wentworth’s program
✔️ But upfront fees are very high (typically 25% of enrolled debt)
✔️ Credit score will likely take a major hit during debt settlement process
❌ Multiple lawsuits and allegations of deceptive marketing practices
❌ Many complaints about lack of transparency, harassment, broken promisesAt the end of the day, debt settlement is always a bit of a gamble. JG Wentworth may work for some people, but there are also a lot of red flags and risks involved with their services based on these reviews.

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