A reader calls one company for debt consolidation but gets sent to another — which lets him down.

Question: Steve, I engaged Care One to help me with debt consolidation and repayment. They told me to stop answering my phone and moved me to Persels and Associates.

After more than five years of paying monthly, they told me my debts were resolved. I found out this morning that I have a $14,000 lien on my house from one of my debtors. Persels is gone. A company has offered to help me with a new mortgage but they cannot because of the lien.

Is there anything I can do?

— Julian

Steve Rhode answers…

Steve Rhode on how to get out of debt fast Well, it sounds like you were sued over one of your old debts along the way, never showed up in court, and lost by default. The creditor then decided to place a lien against your property.

You can verify all of this by looking at a current copy of your credit report and/or contacting your county courthouse to ask about suits against you.

My first suggestion would be to contact Care One and ask them for some clarification about what exactly happened here. Ask them to help you get to the bottom of this and don’t attack them out of the gate. Maybe there is documentation that a settlement had been reached with that creditor, but they sued you anyway.

You just need more information for a better understanding of what happened. Outside of that, you could hire a lawyer to try and fight the lawsuit and lien if you were not properly served. You can pay the lien or you can try to file additional actions which would take forever and have little chance of success.

You can always talk to the mortgage broker to see if there are any loan programs that would pay off the lien on a refinance.

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Article last modified on March 3, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .