For the last four years, I've been trying to get out of my money pit (home), which I got stuck with after I got divorced.  Every single thing I've done though has just made things worse for myself and my kids.  I got bad advice from a real estate agent, which led to me getting into about $50K worth of debt, only doing so with the expectation that I'd recoup a lot of it when I sold my house, but that never panned out because of the three contractors I hired, only one of them actually did the job I paid for, the others ended up costing me even more money cleaning up the mess they left behind.  I found all of these people through angie's list or home advisor, which I used thinking that it would help me avoid this type of problem.  They weren't willing to lift a finger though, wouldn't even post my review!


Then I signed up for National Debt Relief, I was paying all my bills but I had nothing left over to cover unexpected expenses.  That, and I was worried about all this debt affecting my ability to get my security clearance renewed.  I had used a credit counseling service back in the early 2000's and it worked out really well for me, they helped me get my payments lowered and all my debt got paid, and paid off within a few years.  I thought having a more formal plan in place to handle all this debt would help put me in a better position with the people reviewing my clearance eligibility.


I thought National Debt Relief did the same thing, based on what I read on their website, and what the intake person told me, and didn't find out the true nature of their business until I got served by my bank!  They paid off one credit card within the first few months, which I guess is a part of their scam, but that's the only one they've paid off in the 18 months i've been with them.  They've taken over $18K of my money, almost $9K in fees, and of my seven debts they were supposed to be handling, they paid off one credit card, I have two judgements, and they haven't bothered to contact any of the other four creditors.  It's disgusting really, because I told them why I wanted to go with their service before signing up.  This program may work well for some people (although I can't imagine who), but I was definitely not someone that they should have signed up. 


I know that I should have read all the fine print, and i do take responsibility for not doing my homework before signing up for this, at this point I'm just trying to figure out how to clean the mess they've done to my credit up before I go through a reinvestigation on my clearance, which should be any time now.  The only reason I didn't stop is because of the two judgements, which both were settled, but the settlement was based on NDR sending them the money, not me.  I asked an attorney about this and he said that I need to get approval from both attorney's to handle this myself before I can start sending payment, and while I have reached out to both, I'm still waiting for them to get back to me.


I need help figuring how to deal with NDR and my creditors.  I just have no clue who to go to for help.  I tried going to an attorney but that'll cost a fortune, and the only thing he said he'd be able to do is just call all my creditors and try to work out some sort of payment arrangement with them, or help me file chapter 13 bankruptcy.  I really do think there's a way that I can get some of my money back from NDR, and possibly get all the charge offs remove from my credit report, but I need someone who's familiar enough with this scam to guide me through the process.  


I tried using Dave Ramsey's site to find a financial coach, but both of the guys who contacted me wanted $300 up front, and never indicated that they knew how to deal with this, they just seemed to be more focused on helping me budget.  


if any of you have been through this and have some advice/suggestions I'd really appreciate it.  


If nothing else, I also wanted to find out how I can help others avoid making the same mistakes that I did, is there a good place for me to post this kind of stuff?