Most of these schemes involve filing suit against a third party debt collector. Whilst collection agencies violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act nearly every time they contact somebody for a debt, getting a court to award you damages is not trivial. The violation has to be something that is not technical, and not a matter of human interpretation.
The one’s that don’t involve FDCPA violations, revolve around the issue of whether or not money was lent to the debtor. Typically proof of indebtedness is requested, as a preliminary step to establishing that no money was lent to the consumer. The usual ending point of this strategy is the person filing an FDCPA violation, and ignoring the issue of whether or not money was lent.
These organizations do not reduce your debt load by a single penny..
Neither creditors,nor collection agencies have any legal requirement to pay attention to what they do, or offer, even if they are acting as your authorized representative. [The rules are slightly different, if they are your legal counsel representing your interests in a legal matter.]
I’ve forgotten the name of the organization, but most US pharmaceutical manufacturers belong to it. Basically, it screens individuals for various criteria, and if enough matches are found, you get your prescriptions gratis. If you don’t hit those criteria, but match a different set, you get them at a discount. (Ask your pharmacists for the name of the organization. Also ask your pharmacists about options for you to continue them,when your insurance ends.)
Depending upon the amount, and type of debt that is owed, bankruptcy might be your best option. However, bankruptcy lawyers typically do not do pro bona work for individuals. (They do do it for non-profit organizations. But even in those instances, the person filing bankruptcy has to pay all of the court costs.)
Talk to your local consumer credit counseling agency. [Make sure it is the real mccoy. IRS (3)(c) Increasingly, these are for profit organizations with similar names.] Find out what other options are available.
Find out what usually happens to creditors in similar situations as yours, who do not go thru their entire program.
Once upon a time, a debtor in the circumstances you describe, would not be sued, because it was not cost effective to do so. [This was especially true in Texas.]
The current situation seems to be that creditors will sue regardless of their costs. Their theory being that the individual will have attachable assets before the judgment expires.